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“Facebook Will Cost Money” Hoax Returns

by Brett M. Christensen

Image: © depositphotos.com/andyb1126

Outline

Circulating post claims that you will have to start paying to use Facebook unless you send the same post to your friends in order to confirm that you are an active user.

Brief Analysis

The post is just a silly hoax. Facebook has not announced any plans to start charging users for access. In fact, the hopelessly garbled message is just a confusing amalgamation of several earlier hoaxes that falsely claimed that Facebook, WhatsApp, Hotmail, or other providers were set to start charging users who did not share a message. Any message that makes such a claim is certain to be a hoax and should not be shared or forwarded.

Update

Recent versions of this hoax include a video that supposedly shows Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announcing that he will soon be closing Facebook down. Apparently, some viewers mistakenly believe that the video confirms the claims in the hoax message discussed below. But, of course, the video is fake.

Examples

Hi I’m mark The Director of facebook
Hello everyone, it seems that all the warnings were real, facebook use will cost money
If you send this string to 18 different from your list, your icon will be blue and it will be free for you.
If you do not believe me tomorrow at 6 pm that facebook will be closed and to open it you will have to pay, this is all by law.
This message is to inform all our users, that our servers have recently been very congested, so we are asking for your help to solve this problem. We require that our active users forward this message to each of the people in your contact list in order to confirm our active facebook users if you do not send this message to all your facebook contacts then your account will remain inactive with the consequence of Lose all your cont the transmission of this message. Your SmartPhone will be updated within the next 24 hours, will have a new design and a new color for the chat. Dear Facebook users, we are going to do an update for facebook from 23:00 p.m. until 05:00 a.m. on this day. If you do not send this to all your contacts the update will be canceled and you will not have the possibility to chat with your facebook messages
Will go to pay rate unless you are a frequent user. If you have at least 10 contacts
Send this sms and the logo will turn red to indicate that you are a user
Confirmed … We finish it for free Tomorrow they start to collect the messages for facebook at 0.37 cents Forward this message to more than 9 people of your contacts and it will be free of life for you to watch and it will turn green the ball of above do it and you will see

 

Hi I’m Carlos The Director of facebook THURSDAY WE ARE NOTIFIED BY HOTMAIL, HAPPENED ON THE TELE BY THE DOUBTS !! Hello everyone, it seems that all the warnings were real, facebook use will cost money If you send this string to 18 different from your list, your icon will be blue and it will be free for you. If you do not believe me tomorrow at 6 pm that facebook will be closed and to open it you will have to pay, this is all by law. This message is to inform all our users, that our servers have recently been very congested, so we are asking for your help to solve this problem. We require that our active users forward this message to each of the people in your contact list in order to confirm our active facebook users if you do not send this message to all your facebook contacts then your account will remain inactive with the consequence of Lose all your cont the transmission of this message. Your SmartPhone will be updated within the next 24 hours, will have a new design and a new color for the chat. Dear Facebook users, we are going to do an update for facebook from 23:00 p.m. until 05:00 a.m. on this day. If you do not send this to all your contacts the update will be canceled and you will not have the possibility to chat with your facebook messages Will go to pay rate unless you are a frequent user. If you have at least 10 contacts Send this sms and the logo will turn red to indicate that you are a user Confirmed … We finish it for free Tomorrow they start to collect the messages for facebook at 0.37 cents Forward this message to more than 9 people of your contacts and it will be free of life for you to watch and it will turn green the ball of above do it and you will see Facebok is now free, send 10 people to reactivate your service again without cost I already updated Facebook and have new stickers forward it to 15

 

Detailed Analysis

According to this hopelessly garbled and confusing post, from tomorrow, Facebook use will cost you money unless you send the same message to your friends.

It claims that Facebook’s servers have become congested, and as a consequence, Facebook will be removing inactive users to free up server space. It further claims that you can keep your account active, and avoid the impending Facebook charges, by forwarding the information to people on your contact list. And, claims the post, after sending the message to a specified number of people, your Facebook icon will turn blue, red, or green. 
Not surprisingly, the claims in the message are utter nonsense. Facebook has not announced any plans to start charging users for normal access. Nor are you required to send a post to your friends to prove that you are an active user and thus keep your account. And no amount of sharing will cause your Facebook icon to change colour.

In fact, the post is an artless amalgamation of several earlier hoaxes that have falsely claimed that Facebook or other service providers are about to start charging users who do not share or forward a message. And, several other hoaxes have also made the absurd claim that users were required to prove that they were active by sharing or reposting or risk losing their accounts.

Any message that makes such claims is certain to be a hoax and should be disregarded.

If a company did decide to start charging users for a service that was previously free, it would inform its users via official notifications and provide plenty of notice. And, it would certainly not require users to post a garbled message to avoid an impending charge. Furthermore, while a service may choose to remove users that have been inactive for a long time, no company is ever likely to force users to share a message to prove that they are active. The company already knows via its internal data systems if a user is active or not.

If one of these ridiculous hoax messages comes your way, do not send it on. And please help to stop such nonsense spreading by letting the person who posted it know that the message is just a silly hoax.

Versions With Video

Recent versions of this hoax include a video that supposedly shows Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announcing that he will soon be closing Facebook down. Apparently, some viewers mistakenly believe that the video confirms the claims in the hoax messages.

The video, titled “A World Without Facebook”,  appears to show Zuckerberg discussing his concerns about the negative impact of Facebook on people’s lives and declaring that he will be deleting Facebook in order to deal with these concerns once and for all.

Of course, Mark Zuckerberg is not really deleting Facebook and the video does not really show him making such an announcement. The video is a satirical piece published by filmmaker Andrew Oleck on April 1st, 2018.

I discuss this video in more detail in a separate report here.



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