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Why are people posting the 8-Ball emoji on Facebook and what does it mean?

Mark Molloy
8-Ball emoji on Facebook: What does it mean?  -  Twitter Emoji project / Wikimedia 

Facebook users are changing their status to the 8-ball emoji as part of a campaign to raise awareness about prostate cancer.

The black eight ball has been popping up on Facebook feeds in the last few days, with many people searching online for why people are sharing the emoji. 

Many people are spreading the message, which asks users to forward it to their friends, via Facebook’s Messenger app.

Facebook users are sharing the 8-ball emoji Credit: Facebook 

“Hi mate, trying to raise awareness for prostate cancer,” the message says. “Can all you men (just men) please put [it] on your wall, don’t comment, then send this on to all your male mates.

“Hold your finger on this message and hit forward.”

The idea does not appear to be part of an official campaign to raise awareness about prostate cancer. The eight reportedly stands for the second half of the type of cancer the message refers to. 

The facts | Prostate cancer

It follows a similar campaign in which users of the site included a red ribbon in their profile picture to raise awareness of World AIDS Day.

In the UK, about 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives, according to Prostate Cancer UK. 

Men aged 50 or over, men with a family history of prostate cancer and black men are more at risk of getting prostate cancer, the charity adds. 

Gareth Ellis-Thomas, Head of Digital at Prostate Cancer UK, commented: “As 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer in the UK, sharing the 8 ball emoji is a great way to raise awareness of the most common cancer in men.

“We’d like to say a huge thank you (and thumbs up emoji) to everyone who has shared it so far and helped to get people talking. The more men who are aware of prostate cancer, the better chance we have of beating it.

“If you’re worried about prostate cancer, speak to your GP or contact our Specialist Nurses by phone or live chat on our website.”