Be careful what you believe on Facebook these days. At least two hoax messages that promise upgraded privacy protections on Facebook are making the rounds.
Even worse, at least one of the messages seems to indicate that Facebook is now charging for an upgraded privacy service.
There are several variations on these messages, some of which have apparently been circulating since 2011, Snopes.com reported. Here is a typical example:
“Now it’s official! It has been published in the media. Facebook  has just released the entry price: £5.99 ($9.10) 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 (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.”
Another variation of the scam states that Facebook users will lose copyright or ownership of all the information on their pages if they do not post a special legal notice.
“While there may be water on Mars, don’t believe everything you read on the Internet today. Facebook is free and it always will be,” a Facebook press release said. “And the thing about copying and pasting a legal notice is just a hoax. Stay safe out there Earthlings!”
Here is what one hoax message said, in part:
“Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are invited to publish a notice of this kind, or if they prefer, you can copy and paste this version.
“If you have not published this statement at least once, you tacitly allow the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in the profile update.”
Here is what Facebook’s actual statement of rights and responsibilities says:
“You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook , and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings.”
Instead of charging for privacy, Facebook makes its money from advertising revenue. Statista estimated that Facebook made $14.27 billion from advertising last year, Market Madhouse reported.
There is a very simple way to protect yourself from Facebook scams. Whenever you receive a message making a claim about a new Facebook policy, ignore it. You also can go to Facebook’s official terms of service. If it is not found there, it is a hoax.
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