FALSE: Typing ‘gratula’ in Facebook comments shows hacked accounts

Claim:

Typing the word “gratula” in Facebook comments will show if a Facebook account has been compromised or not.

Several accounts and pages posted this claim. The posts read: “Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, created a new word GRATULA. To keep your account safe, write GRATULA in the comment. If Red, your account is still safe, if it does not change the red, please change your password. Your account is already hacked.”

A reader sent one of the posts to Rappler’s fact-checking group on Facebook for verification. Facebook Claim Check, the platform’s monitoring tool, also flagged at least 7 posts carrying the same claim.

As of writing, the posts had a total of 2,167 comments, 373 shares, and 458 reactions. The posts were shared on Wednesday, July 29.

Rating: FALSE
The facts:

“Gratula” means congrats in Hungarian. Typing it or the word “congrats” in Facebook comments activates the platform’s text delight animation, which also changes the word’s font color. When clicked, emojis would also pop up and fly across the screen.

There are other keywords that could trigger the animation, such as “best wishes,” “rad,” and “BFF.” A compilation of keywords can be found here.

Facebook also has several suggestions to keep an account secure, but typing a certain word in the comments is not among them. Facebook’s security features include login alerts and two-factor authentication. Read more about Facebook’s privacy and security features here.

A cursory search showed that the claim also circulated in France way back in 2018, and was then debunked by French fact checker 20 Minutes. – Pauline Macaraeg/Rappler.com

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.