Copy-paste this: Facebook 'subscription' post a hoax
A magnifying glass is posed over a monitor displaying a Facebook page. (AP / Joerg Koch)
Published Tuesday, September 29, 2015 9:02AM EDT
It sounds so simple: All you need to do is copy and paste a legal notice into your Facebook status, and you’ll be protected from the company making all your private information public. Sure, it doesn’t sound all that official, but better safe than sorry, right?
Many Facebook users are re-posting a bogus legal notice in their statuses, with the belief that the post will protect them from a supposed “subscription fee” to keep their information from being made public.
But despite the hoax’s claim that “it is published in the media,” Facebook says it is doing no such thing. There is no subscription fee in the works, and Facebook is not planning to release anybody’s private information, the company says.
The misleading post reads something like this (with a few variations):
“Now it’s official! It is published in the media. Facebook has just released the 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.”
If the awkward grammar doesn’t give it away, then the anonymity of the post should at least cause you to raise a skeptical eyebrow. This isn’t Facebook giving you a chance to opt out – it’s your friend, cousin or aunt copying and pasting someone else’s unfounded claims.
Facebook addressed the hoax directly on Monday, stating that its service “is free and it always will be” in an online post.
It’s not the first hoax to circulate on Facebook, and it likely won’t be the last. Many fake stories or advisories have circulated on the site over the years, often with ominous advice like “better safe than sorry” attached.
But if you’re worried about something as potentially game-changing as a Facebook subscription model, try this: take 10 seconds and check it on Google.