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Facebook Surcharge Hoax – £1 Per Month From January 2015

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline

Protest message being shared across Facebook claims that Facebook has announced plans to start levying a surcharge of  £1 per month from 1st January 2015.

Brief Analysis

The claims are untrue. Facebook has not announced any plans to start charging users for normal services. The message is just an updated version of several old “Facebook charging” hoaxes that have been circulating for years.

Example

PLEASE JOIN OUR CAMPAIGN

PLEASE SHARE IF YOU ARE AGAINST IT
News just out. Facebook are planning to charge all users £1.00 per month to continue using their services from 1st January 2015. Share this to your friends if you are against this and think it is unacceptable.

Dislike
THE SUR-CHARGE PLAN

Facebook Surcharge Hoax

 

Detailed Analysis

According to a would-be protest message that is currently being shared across Facebook, the company is planning to impose a surcharge of £1 per month per user for the continued use of its services from January 1, 2015. The message implores people to share the information with their friends if they think the charging plans are unacceptable.

However, the claims in the message are nonsense. Facebook has certainly not announced any plans to start charging its users for normal service. There are no credible news or media reports about such a plan. If a charge had been announced, it would have generated a great deal of discussion and speculation from commentators all around the world and have been widely reported by news outlets.
Facebook may charge a fee for using certain extra features of its service such as the ability to send messages directly to the inboxes of people who are not on your friends list. However, Facebook has repeatedly dismissed rumours that it has any plans to start charging for everyday use of its service.

And, of course, right there on its login page, Facebook prominently displays the slogan “It’s free and always will be”.

In fact, this message is just a revamped version of several other hoaxes that have falsely claimed that Facebook is about to start charging its users.

The prankster responsible for this hoax has gone to the trouble of creating a pictorial version complete with Facebook logos and even a fake “Dislike Button” image. Nevertheless, it is still just as silly as its predecessors. It is unclear why the prankster opted to list a date more than a year into the future. But, perhaps he or she just wants to see how far the fake message will travel over that period and how often it will be shared.

Let’s not give the prankster any satisfaction. If this hoax message comes your way, do not share it with others. And let the person who posted it know that the message is a hoax.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer