Debunked – The Truth Behind Facebook Charging Users to Keep Status Private
Are you sitting down for this? Seriously, I don't want to be responsible for the potential injury that may be caused when you faint after I tell you that you can't believe everything you read on Facebook.
I have come to the conclusion that Facebook makes people stupid after noticing another disturbing trend while perusing my News Feed. Friend, after friend, person after person pasting the following status:
Now it's official! It has been published in the media. Facebook has just released the entry price: $5.99 to keep the subscription of your status to be set to "private". If you paste this message on your page, it will be offered free (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
No. No. No. A thousand times. NO!
In this day and age where information on anything you want (and some stuff you don't) is at your fingertips in a matter of seconds, it boggles my mind that people still blindly share things on social media without two minutes of research because it's worded in a way that outrages them. When in reality, if they took the time to see if there's any truth to the statement, they may find there's nothing to be outraged about.
The above copy-and-paste status update is a perfect example. After I saw at least four people that I consider to be rational, intelligent human beings, I went to my go-to site for sniffing out B.S., Snopes.com.
And what did I find at said B.S.-detecting site after typing "Facebook charging" in the search bar? Why, lo and behold, Facebook has no plans to charge users for keeping their status private — ever. They even admit it themselves in the Help Center.
What's even more aggravating? According to Snopes, this hoax has come and gone across Facebook Feeds since 2009! Each version a little different in terms of the price they're supposedly going to charge, but the fear-mongering gist is the same — Facebook is going to charge you for a service you've enjoyed for free since college because now they're a publicly traded, money hungry, corporate America, greed machine.
How dare they! Outrageous! What's next, are they going to take our guns?!?! Revolt! Revolt!
Now then, before you grab your pitchfork, light your torch, and start marching up Mark Zuckerberg's driveway (let's be honest, you'd never make it past the gate or the snipers in the towers that I assume he has), know that this whole thing originally started as an e-mail hoax that contained a link to a website claiming to be a Facebook group you could join to avoid the fee. Of course the link didn't take you to a Facebook group, it took to a spam website that infected your computer with God knows what.
The most recent incarnation, according to Snopes, started as a hoax by a fake news site known as the National Review I assume to see how gullible people are. Sadly, it seems the answer is quite gullible.
Honestly though, you don't really need Snopes to tell you this is a big, smelly pile of B.S. Think about it, if Facebook wanted to charge you for, well, anything, do you think they'd make opting out as simple as copying and pasting a status update? And why would it need to be so wordy? Wouldn't "unsubscribe", or "opt-out of fee" be plenty?
As I've mentioned time and time again, you CANNOT believe everything you read. Not only on Facebook, but anywhere for that matter. I beg of you, take the time, do the research, and make sure you're not get mad over something you shouldn't be getting mad about.
But if you're not going to listen to me, at least listen to the inspiring words of the great Jon Stewart (WARNING, link contains NSFW language).