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HOAX – ‘Facebook to Begin Charging Users From November 1st’

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline

Report circulating via social media claims that Facebook will begin charging its users $2.99 per month from November 1st 2014 in an effort to counter rising costs. 

Brief Analysis

The claims in the message are untrue. Facebook has not announced any plans to start charging users a monthly fee for access to normal site services. The story comes via the ‘satirical’ fake-news website National Report. Nothing published on National Report should be taken seriously. Several similar ‘Facebook to start charging’ hoaxes have circulated in recent years.

Example

Facebook To Begin Charging Users $2.99/mo Starting November 1st

Menlo Park, CA — At a press conference this morning, Facebook rolled out their new monthly service plan which begins November 1st of this year. The social media giant says they will start charging members $2.99/mo to use the services that the site has to offer.

 

Detailed Analysis

According to a report that is circulating rapidly via social media, Facebook will begin charging users a monthly fee of $2.99 for its services starting on November 1, 2014.

The report claims that Facebook management was forced to implement the fee to counter rising costs. Supposedly, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told reporters that Facebook could ‘cease to exist in the near future’ if the fee was not implemented.

However, the claims in the story are untrue. Facebook has not announced any plans to start charging users for the normal services it offers. The report is yet more nonsense churned out by the fake-news website National Report.

National Report considers itself as satirical, although many would argue that the endless stream of drivelling nonsense that the site produces is not at all worthy of a satire label.

Nothing published on National Report has any credibility and the site’s stories should not be taken seriously.

Unfortunately, the site presents its fictional articles in news format. And, it no longer displays a clear or easily accessible disclaimer to inform users that the reports are not true.
Thus, many people are duped into sharing the material with their friends because they mistakenly believe that National Report articles are genuine news reports.

In fact, the National Report article is just the latest in a long series of silly hoaxes that have circulated for several years.

The report claims that poor users can avoid the monthly fee by posting the message, ‘I AM POOR FACEBOOK PLEASE WAVE MY MONTHLY FEE’.

This silly claim is reminiscent of earlier hoaxes that claimed users could avoid an upcoming fee by sharing a message with all their Facebook friends.

Regardless of the version, all claims that Facebook is about to start charging are nonsense. As it says on the Facebook login page, ‘It’s free and always will be’.

More and more bogus news reports have circulated in recent months, courtesy of a growing number of fake-news ‘satire’ websites.

It is therefore wise to check the veracity of any ‘news’ stories that come your way via social media before you share them. A quick search on Google News or another online news portal will likely reveal if a story is true.

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