Facebook to Charge 5.99 to Keep Your Status Private? No, It's a Hoax.
Synopsis: The newest version of an old, viral Facebook hoax claims the company will begin charging an "entry price" of €5.99 (or $5.99) unless users copy and paste the alert to their own pages. As before, the message is completely false.
Now it's official! It is published in the media. Facebook has just released his entry price: € 5,99 to keep the subscription gold of your status of life "private". If you paste this message on your page, it will be offered free (I said paste not share) if not tomorrow, all your posts can become public. Even the messages that have been deleted or the photos not allowed. After all, it does not cost anything for a simple copy and paste.
As shared on Facebook, Sept. 27, 2015
Analysis: False. No such announcement was made by Facebook or published in the media. This is a boldfaced hoax.
As Facebook has stated more than once: "We will always keep Facebook a free service for everyone." In answer to a direct question from the press on that subject in 2009, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said, again, "The answer is no, we are not planning on charging a basic fee for our basic services." To date, the company has shown no signs of reneging on that promise. There's no reason why it should
Nevertheless, similar copy-and-paste rumors have circulated on and off since 2009, when the first of many such chain letters first appeared protesting a nonexistent plan to charge Facebook users $4.99 per month for membership.
Rumors and hoaxes like these exist for the same reason that Facebook takes pains to deny them — because, second only (perhaps) to privacy, free membership is of the utmost concern to rank and file Facebook users. Before Facebook, similar rumors circulated about other free online services such as Hotmail.
Rumors typically cluster around the things that are most important to us; that's how folklore works. Hoaxes do too, except that, in contrast to rumors, they're intentionally created to deceive people. Where there is fear — the fear, for example, that we may be forced to start paying for something that has always been free and that we've come to firmly believe ought to be free — there will always be people willing to exploit that fear, whether to get attention ("likes" and "shares"), to give themselves the illusion of having power over others, or just for kicks.
I'm often asked how this sort of hoaxing and rumor-mongering can be stopped, and my answer is always the same: it can't be stopped, because it's human nature. We could at least make a dent in it if we would all take responsibility for what we copy and paste and share with online friends, however. It's not hard to do a little fact-checking in this day and age.
More to the point, even if you're not a good fact-checker, all that's really required of anyone is that if you don't really know if something is true, don't share it.