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Issue 158 - July, 2013 (2nd Edition) - Page 8

Hoax: Facebook to Start Charging This Summer

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Outline
Message circulating on Facebook claims that Facebook will soon start charging for access but those who repost the message on their walls will get to keep their free accounts if their Facebook icon turns blue or gold.

Facebook Blue Icon

© Depositphotos.com/Ivan Springr



Brief Analysis
The claims in the message are totally false. The message is nothing more than an updated version of an old hoax and should not be reposted.

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Examples
FACEBOOK JUST RELEASED THE PRICE GRID. $9.99 PER MONTH FOR GOLD MEMBER SERVICES, $6.99 PER MONTH FOR SILVER MEMBER SERVICES, $3.99 PER MONTH FOR BRONZE MEMBER SERVICES, FREE IF YOU COPY AND PASTE THIS MESSAGE BEFORE MIDNIGHT TONIGHT. WHEN YOU SIGN ON TOMORROW MORNING YOU WILL BE PROMPTED FOR PAYMENT INFO...IT IS OFFICIAL IT WAS EVEN ON THE NEWS. FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING DUE TO THE NEW PROFILE CHANGES. IF YOU COPY THIS ON YOUR WALL YOUR ICON WILL TURN BLUE AND FACEBOOK WILL BE FREE FOR YOU. PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE ON IF NOT YOUR ACCOUNT WILL BE DELETED IF YOU DO NOT PAY

Facebook Charging Hoax


IT IS OFFICIAL. IT WAS EVEN ON THE NEWS. FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING. DUE TO BEING A PUBLICLY TRADED ENTITY. IF YOU COPY THIS ON YOUR WALL YOUR ICON WILL TURN GOLD AND FACEBOOK WILL BE FREE FOR YOU FOREVER. PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE ON, IF NOT YOUR ACCOUNT WILL BE DISABLED WHEN YOU DO NOT PAY

Icon Turn Gold Facebook Hoax


Attention! Tomorrow morning, when you connect to facebook, you'll be invited to payment info... it's official, it was even on the news. Facebook will begin a charge because of the change of profile. If you copy this on your wall your icon will be blue, and facebook will be free for you. Thanks to action

Another FB Charging Hoax


It's official.. signal at 12;20 it even passed on tv. Facebook will start charging this summer.If you copy this on your wall your icon will turn blue and facebook will be free for you. Please pass this message if not your count will be deleted. p.s, this is serious the icon turns blue, So please put this on your wall.

Facebook Blue Icon Hoax


Detailed Analysis


According to this message, which is currently rocketing around Facebook at breakneck speed, Facebook is set to start charging users. The message claims that in order to keep your Facebook account free, you must repost the information to other users. Supposedly, once you have passed on the message, your Facebook icon will turn blue signaling that your account will remain free. Otherwise, warns the message, your account will be deleted.

In June 2012, a new version of the message began circulating that claimed that Facebook is about to start charging due to Facebook becoming a publicly traded entity. This version claimed that the icon will turn gold rather than blue. A revamped "blue icon" version resurfaced in 2013.

The claims in all versions of the message are utter nonsense. Facebook has no plans to start charging users for normal access. And, even if they did have such a plan, they certainly would not impose the absurd and ridiculous condition that users must pass on a silly status message in order to keep a free account. In fact, the message is just a revamped version of a whole series of silly hoaxes that have circulated for several years.

Facebook has repeatedly denied rumours that it is about to start charging its users access fees. These utterly unfounded rumours seemingly resurface every few months and are once again passed around Facebook by users who mistakenly believe that the rumours are true.

This version is obviously based on a much older hoax that targeted MSN users as far back as 2006. As the following example reveals, both the new Facebook version and the old MSN version make the utterly absurd claim that an icon will turn blue after you repost the information, thus "saving" your account.
Hey it is Andy and john the directors of MSN, sorry for the interruption but msn is closing down. this is because too many inconsiderate people are taking up all the name (eg making up lots of different accounts for just one person), we only have 578 names left. If you would like to close your account, DO NOT SEND THIS MESSAGE ON. If you would like to keep your account, then SEND THIS MESSAGE TO EVERYONE ON YOUR CONTACT LIST. This is no joke, we will be shutting down the servers. Send it on, thanks. The use of msn and hotmail will cost money from summer 2006. If you send this message to 18 different people from your list your little icon will become blue and that will make it free for you. If you dont believe me go on (www.msn.com) and see it yourself. Dont foward this message copy paste it so people will actually read it.

And the MSN version was itself a mutation of even earlier Hotmail account closure hoaxes that have circulated since at least 2003.

In early 2013, the hoax was given new life by news that Facebook was trying out a new facility by which users can pay to have messages delivered directly to the inboxes of people they don't know. This optional feature is in no way related to the claims in these absurd hoaxes. Alas, some users apparently misunderstood what the optional trial was about and took it as confirmation of the claims in the hoax messages.

A simple rule of thumb. Any message that claims that a particular online service provider will start charging you or will close your account unless you send on the information to others is certain to be a hoax. If you receive this Facebook version or any of the other versions of this hoax, please do not pass it on to others. Reposting such nonsense does nothing other than clutter social networks and inboxes with even more utterly useless information.

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Last updated: July 10, 2013
First published: July 5, 2011
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
Facebook dismisses rumours of charging plans
False Rumours Claim That Facebook is About to Start Charging Users
MSN 18 Contacts Hoax
Hotmail Account Hoax
Facebook Trialling Option to Pay to Directly Inbox Non-Friends



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Issue 158 Start Menu

Pages in this issue:
  1. Capri Sun Mold Warning
  2. False Child Abduction Alert - 'Lilly Snatched From Surrey'
  3. Gas Saving Tips - Are They Really Saving You Anything?
  4. China Food Imports - Is It Really That Simple?
  5. Jury Duty Phone Scam Warning
  6. Myth - Ice Water Can Cause Dangerous Bloating in DogsD
  7. Amazon 'Important Message From Security Center' Phishing Scam
  8. Hoax: Facebook to Start Charging This Summer
  9. Kmart Australia Giveaway Like-Farming Scam
  10. Do Water Filled Zip-Lock Bags with Added Pennies Keep Flies Away?
  11. Photos of Old Car Collection Found in Portugal Barn
  12. Faux Image - Mounted Police Officer Riding Giant Dog
  13. Expedia Travel Itinerary Malware Email
  14. 'Google Account Hacked' Text Message Scam
  15. Completely Pointless and Misleading 'Facebook Privacy Notice'
  16. Hoax - Pope Benedict XVI Resigned Papacy to Convert to Islam
  17. Wonga.com 'Account Error' Phishing Scam
  18. Hoax Warning Claims Deadly Swine Flu Epidemic in South Africa
  19. Australian Government Withdrawing Funds From Inactive Accounts Warning
  20. 'Facebook Has Sent You a Message' Pharmacy Spam
  21. Pepsi Cola Bottling Company 'Grant Compensation' Advance Fee Scam
  22. Does a Viral Image Depict a Monkey Saving a Puppy From An Explosion?
  23. Advance Fee Scammers Using Cloned FB Accounts To Gain Victims
  24. South African 'Mighty Men' Conferences Racial Integration Hoax
  25. Did Samsung Pay a $1 Billion Fine to Apple in 5 Cent Coins?
  26. Browser and Operating System Survey Scam
  27. Circulating Message Falsely Accuses Pictured Man of Being a Human Trafficker