If you use Facebook you have seen a post, usually fairly long, that instructs you to copy and paste this post into your own status. Older people, like me, will remember chain letters that try to convince you that you’ll have bad luck if you don’t mail copies of that said letter to some number of folks. This is sort of the same thing. While every post with copy and paste instructions, on Facebook, is not a hoax or scam it is the popular phrase used in both.
Why do they ask you to copy and paste? Posting to your status will continue the spread across Facebook. Why don’t they just have you share it? If you share, it will spread the same but if the original post is ever taken down, say by Facebook because it is a scam or hoax, then all the shares will vanish.
Not true with copy and paste as only the original will vanish while all copy and pastes will still exist. If the post says something like “DO NOT SHARE” in it, then you know someone nefarious could be involved. Also with every copy and paste the identity of the original author gets harder to find.
These posts will usually start with something like “Only 5% of people will read my Facebook post to the end”, if I see this I skip it and go to the next one. Sometimes there will be a certain phrase, or misspelled word, that the original poster can search on to find their targets for future scams.
There is also those posts like “Discover you superhero name” that asks you to answer a series of seemingly mundane questions that can be used to gain personal information about you, like possible items you might use in your passwords, as an example.
The next post you see that asks you to copy and paste just play it safe, “Like” it or even “Share” it, but DO NOT copy and paste to your status.