A self-confessed social networking addict is twenty million US dollars in the red today, after repeated use of the Facebook ‘share’ function saw her accidently pledging to buy hundreds of thousands of shares in the company.
‘Facebook is the natural place to showcase my sunny nature and wacky sense of humour,’ said Bristol teaching assistant Brenda Stockton. ‘I love sharing funny videos and the like – have you seen that one with the slow loris being tickled yet? – but what I didn’t know was that by pressing the ‘share’ button you are actually beholden to buy stocks in Facebook when they’re floated later this year. Apparently it’s in the new terms and conditions.’
Stockton, 28, first unwittingly added to her stocks and shares portfolio on Monday, just seconds after the world’s largest social networking site announced plans for a stock market flotation. ‘I’d just put a link to an inspirational poem about friendship and sisterhood onto my wall when my husband suddenly noticed that Lloyds TSB Share Dealing had taken some money out of our online bank account. By the time I’d finished showing off my latest Bejewelled Blitz score we were practically bankrupt.’
The Financial Services Authority has today warned of the current dangers to Facebook users. ‘The ‘share button has recently been changed to a ‘shares’ button – that extra ‘s’ is very important. Distributing excess numbers of pointless tat: be it a youtube clip, personality quiz or overly saccharine verse is a sure-fire way of getting poked by your bank manager,’ warned an FSA spokesman, ‘and also of looking a bit of an annoying twat with too much time on your hands.’
However these words have come too late for Stockton, who is now facing the threat of repossession, fraud charges and divorce proceedings. ‘I’ve also had to put up with Mark Zuckerberg making creepy comments about the photos of me in a bikini during a hen-weekend in Malaga – I wish I’d never accepted his friend request now and I’ll be buggered if I can work out how to unfriend him.’