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.
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.
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 signalling 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 was 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. Several other closely related versions have appeared in the years since.
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 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 the 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 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.