Facebook to start charging this summer? Hoax spreads across social network

Filed Under: Facebook, Social networks

FacebookSome Facebook users have started posting a message on their walls, and encouraging their friends and family to do the same, claiming that Facebook will start charging this summer.

According to the message, if you post it on your own Facebook wall then you will still be able to use the social network free of charge.

Facebook will start charging this summer

It's official.. signal at 12;20 it even passed on tv. Facebook will start charging this summer. If you copy this on your wall your icon will turn blue and facebook will be free for you. Please pass this message if not your count will be deleted. p.s, this is serious the icon turns blue, So please put this on your wall

There's no link to any supporting evidence to the claim, and users would be right to treat it with extreme skepticism!

The truth is that Facebook has no plans to charge its users for accessing the site - indeed, it would be a very odd time for them to announce such a controversial move, just as its freely-available Google+ rival is launched.

My guess is that someone has started the chain letter as a piece of mischief - curious as to how many people they could fool into posting the message onto their Facebook pages.

It's not the first time, of course, that Facebook users have been duped by hoaxes and chain letters. For instance, earlier this year, messages were spreading that because the social network had become too slow the site was considering deleting inactive accounts. Again, totally bogus.

Don't forget you can join the Sophos Facebook page, where we'll keep you up-to-date on the latest rogue applications, scams and malware attacks threatening social network users.

Thanks to Naked Security reader Cody who first alerted us to this chain letter. Four of his relatives had fallen for it!

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103 Responses to Facebook to start charging this summer? Hoax spreads across social network

  1. Maybe charging would be a good idea. It would leave the 20 people who find Facebook actually useful being able to concentrate on what they're doing and not have to deal with the relentless crap. The rest of us slot-jockeys will have the hypnotic spell broken and be able to go do real life stuff :)

    • Aria · 1021 days ago

      Excuse me? And for people like me, who had a temp job but the temp job ran out of work, so I cant work, but I didnt work long enough to earn unemployment, and I am scrounging for money to eat and pay rent, what if I take facebook seriously and need it but yet don't surround my life around it? I can't even afford rent and food. How am I supposed to afford facebook? No, charging isn't a good idea. There are poor people out in this world, hunny. And we still need ways of communication. Jusy saying.

      • Ricky · 943 days ago

        Ever hear of a phone? or mail? or email? or the many countless other means of communication? Are you seriously saying you NEED facebook? It's funny how you say you can't afford rent and food yet you continue to pay your internet bill so you can get on facebook... wow. Talk about messed up priorities. What do you think people did before facebook? I'm on facebook everyday, and if they started to charge for it.... delete! Wouldn't phase me in the least.

    • priceless · 1021 days ago

      well if you feel that way maybe you should be the only one for facebook since you must have so much money to pay for the service unlike all the middle class folk that have facebook can't afford to pay because we obviously have bills to pay but by the way your talking seems like your life is set and you can afford to pay so good luck with that JAG.

    • cathy · 943 days ago

      i dont think it is good idea some people are on something ive looked at other sites to many now charging as it is ihave been on i have been trying get away from paid sites

    • Karl · 942 days ago

      WHO would fall for this crap.. Ohh. the same people that reply to E-Mails from 3rd Countries saying that Uncle Zappie, third cousin to Uncle Goober left you $41,00,000.00... Just send them $125.00 to receive the check.

    • dalegend13 · 941 days ago

      i can afford to pay internet but i have family in other states and countries i cant afford a long distance phone bill like that so maybe i want to keep in touch in there lives. You make a choice maybe your friends dont feel they wanna do real stuff with you because there on facebook sorry thats your problem dont down everyone else for it.

    • Barry · 941 days ago

      I agree, funny how some people can't live without Facebook, how sad people have become addicted to this site. Forgetting the real life, while people "say" it us beneficial look at all the harm it does. The important things in life get neglected, marriages and relationships being destroyed with families through infidelity, people posting to see if their "friends" who are really old acquaintances post on their posts as they yearn for attention. How about get a life with with your real families and true friends and get some self esteem through being productive instead of wasting your life with petty comments. If you called your friends and acquaintances all day and everyday with the stupid and silly comments posted on FB, they would eventually stop taking your calls and tell everyone that you are an attention fanatic and you need to get a life. What is the difference via this site??? Sad this is where technology has taken us, they call this progress, wonder how much more progress we can take, hmmm.

  2. Anon · 1025 days ago

    Jesus, how stupid people can be at times...

  3. wannadanc · 1025 days ago

    I couldn't help but wonder what was driving the bus loaded with folks who "hate" Facebook? There is no charge for using it, so what is there to hate? Don't like it? Don't use it. Oh well .......... life goes on!

  4. James · 1025 days ago

    Anyone dumb enough to trust Facebook deserves the consequences of every ill advised impulsive click they make.

    Sorry to be so blunt.

    • Gary · 1023 days ago

      Ooooh and like We should trust you instead. Baaaahahahahah thats the best joke yet. Oh and I am not sorry for being blunt.

    • heather · 1023 days ago

      Don't use it then??? Simples. stop venting.

      • Calliegirl · 942 days ago

        Damn, James.... why so venomous? Maybe you are a close friend or family member of that guy who tried to steal FB from Mark Zuckerberg? If YOU don't like FB, then YOU don't have to use it..... but you also don't have to call those of us who do like it "dumb". Just walk away. LOL

  5. It amazes me how many people I know believe this ridiculousness without taking the time to do some simple research!...lol...

    • Daniel · 1025 days ago

      Well, any intelligent person would realize that if facebook would start charging you would hear from facebook well before some wall post. They would most likely contact everyone via message on their account itself and/or by email.

      • CowgirlTough67 · 1024 days ago

        right. They'd want the money..correct? So they'd get as many ppl to stay as possible.. idk. Just my thinking

    • priceless · 1021 days ago

      thank you thats what i said but you know there's just dumb people that believe dumb stuff haven't they heard to google first.

    • Adaiah · 1021 days ago

      Research isn't even necessary here! "Please pass this message if not your count will be deleted." The grammar is a dead giveaway!

  6. Anon · 1025 days ago

    The sheep always just wander together and baaa. Thinking? Research? What's that?

  7. SmartPerson · 1025 days ago

    BLONDE ALERT!!!! Anyone that believes any of these ridiculousness should be classified as a blonde if there is no proof behind this message. its just plain old stupid what people are believing

    • I'mBlonde · 1024 days ago

      Being blonde doesn't make you stupid. I'm blonde and I am very smart. Also, I don't fall for this crap.

    • Stop the Insanity · 1024 days ago

      That's just RUDE !

    • na zdrowie · 1024 days ago

      'SmartPerson' isn't so smart.

    • Joyce · 1023 days ago

      I AM Blond and I did NOT fall for it. Bad manners!
      But as for hoaxes, I have friends who fell for it.

    • Julie · 1023 days ago

      Being Rude about any "Blonde" does not make you smart ....

    • Rachelle · 1022 days ago

      I'm sure not all of them were blond..

    • bibi · 1017 days ago

      Blonde?!?! That's a stupid remark! Don't you think!!!

    • smarterthanthatguy · 1012 days ago

      Anyone who believes any connection from hair color to intelligence is just plain old stupid

    • Crecy · 944 days ago

      My girlfriend fell for this. Yes, she is blonde.
      Meanwhile, I did some research, and she had a good laugh about it...

    • blonde not dumb · 941 days ago

      If you are so smart you would know that being blonde has nothing to do with how smart you are, I take offense to that being blonde and not dumb__

  8. Stevie · 1025 days ago

    So im guessing this is all bullshit right? I wanted to check in to it first befor i did anything.

  9. Tina · 1025 days ago

    When it comes to people trying to suck a dime out of you anyway possible, it is very plausible in this day and age. :)

    • F. McDonald · 1024 days ago

      Agreed and I don't particularly appreciate the jerks who call us stupid for falling for the hoax.

      • CommomSense · 1023 days ago

        I don't think people are stupid for falling for a hoax. I think those people are stupid because they didn't do a minimal amount of research before posting a ridiculous rumor to all of their friends, thus perpetuating the problem.

    • Lea · 1022 days ago

      Tina while it is "plausible" the post "claimed" it was even reported ON TV. hmmm. Its like the BS about Tide detergent samples in the mail containing anthrax. The post CLAAAAAIMED it was on CNN. Well folks, when you see something like that, check your local news sites, check the national news sites... if its TRUE, I guarantee it will be a posted news story on their site. If its a HOAX then guess what? When you do a search for it on a plausible site, IT WONT BE THERE! SIMPLE.

  10. Vadrian · 1025 days ago

    People beleive everything that is written on the net these's days.....
    It happened a decade ago with Hotmail..
    Happened with Yahoo mail..
    happened with other sites too....

    But please, dont hate facebook for stupid people...
    If TF1 say's it is.. lets see and wait..
    but FAceBook is making millions yearly to have it free... why charge and lose money?

    For 100 % sure, i would never pay for that site....

    • Lea · 1022 days ago

      the post claims it was "PASSED ON TV" which I guess in NORMAL English that means it was announced on a news station, which means DO YOUR RESEARCH. its not that hard. If none of the news stations are reporting it, I can imagine that its NOT true.

      • Jason · 1014 days ago

        what's with your lame all caps, Lea? the point is made with the words, not the caps. just saying. It doesnt take looking on a news station. google the damn thing 'facebook making us pay 2011', hoax pops up everywhere.

    • robertsmith · 941 days ago

      they people out there how beleive in rubbish we going to pay for face book its all crap if they wanted to charge us it would warn us now to be member not summer so this company making money throw other companys to keep this going ?,,

  11. Jacqueline Morrison · 1025 days ago

    I never believed it ever since i read it, its foolish for people to go posting such a hoax. I'm not reposting it because is stupid to even think they would go and charge ppl to get on Facebook. The people who keep saying this should be charged.

  12. Angela · 1025 days ago

    I'm curious......trust Facebook with what, some family photos????

    • TOMxEU · 1024 days ago

      Angela some info could be used to steal an identity like birthday, address and such, but mostly FB is harmless, it is actually a good thing for social development, the only real problem is, that some people takes cyberbullying too seriously and then it can be dangerous, if too sensitive people public their activities. I have my FB account public and I do not care if someone on the street would scream, he loves Bambi, I would scream back, yes I do. :P

  13. Victoria · 1025 days ago

    People need to remember that if a user agreement gets changed in that way it has to be announced by the company, in this case facebook.
    they would need to inform every user individually and give them enough time (if i recall correctly it's at least 3month) before the changes actually take place, to allow the users to either agree with the new UA or to delete their account.

    • Jenuwin · 1023 days ago

      Victoria, you have just stated one of the most intelligent threads on this post. and like Vadrian said, "They make millions for it being free, why charge and loose?"
      I concur with you both.

      • Willard Ferguson · 941 days ago

        According to one source which I consider very reliable, if you copy and post any of those messages, you are downloading and passing on a trojan. So beware. I know it got mine because I clicked on it to read all of it. I did not post it however. It took almost a week to get rid of the trojan. You can forget about it if you are using Microsoft's security software. It will not pick it up.

  14. Lord Gaga · 1024 days ago

    My friend just posted this c**p and immediately I called bulls**t on it.
    Lol, ridiculous.

    • Lea · 1022 days ago

      LOL. Seriously I saw it at least 3 times, and bit my tongue all 3 times to say something to the people posting it how stupid they are for reposting it....

  15. Pamela · 1024 days ago

    I saw that a friend of mine had it posted on her status, so I thought I would search the net to see if there was any truth to it. Glad I did!

  16. Shana · 1024 days ago

    Angela, I for one, reveal as little personal info as possible. Think of all that you reveal on FB with hometown, dob, high school, etc. then think of your password reminders and a lot of these are the same questions. There is a lot to be said for FB privacy issues, spoken by no other than Mark Zuckerberg himself. Watch The Facebook Obsession on MSNBC and the humor with which he says something along the lines of, "you'd be surprised at how much information people trust you with".
    I may come across as paranoid, but that's ok.

  17. cindy · 1024 days ago

    I believe it was a joke....read the whole thing....it said the icon would turn blue....IT"S ALREADY BLUE. It's so funny people took it seriously. :)

    • GREG · 1024 days ago

      i think everyone on this page is right thats crappy telling people that stuff ....HEY MAN ITS TIME TO GROW UP!

  18. bobbiejo bouley · 1024 days ago

    this is so much not right! we pay for internet service which i think is enough $. evrything today is about money then people wounder why there is so much crime. what happened to the saying do for the people. this is america doesn't seem to free anymore. come on facebook give us a break.

    • Carsten · 1023 days ago

      First of all, I can't really understand what you are saying (proper grammar would come in handy). Second, Why does Facebook need to "give us a break"? They are NOT charging... in case you didn't actually read the article.

    • Duncan · 1021 days ago

      In other words, you demand a service (Facebook, that is?) for free, and then you complain that everything today is about money? Sounds like you're talking about yourself there. I've noticed that the people who fall for scams like this are people about my age (I'm 60), except that they are also right-wing, often Republicans, often Tea Party types who complain about everything but their own greed.

      The kind of freedom that America is about isn't stuff that you get without paying for it, but I think it's very revealing that you seem to think it is. Why are you saying "come on facebook give us a break" when Facebook isn't charging you and isn't going to charge you for membership? You're already getting a break.

      That said, I probably wouldn't use Facebook if they started charging for basic service, though I wouldn't complain if they did. But there's no reason to think that they will.

    • Jennifer · 1014 days ago

      Read up on things first before jumping to thinking all things are 100% true people! Plus if this was true... Think about it , we all lived without F.B and cell phones in the 80's... Will we all die if the power goes out? lol

  19. Kevin Gillespie · 1024 days ago

    Bloody Hoaxers, GRRRRR

  20. Lance Collins · 1024 days ago

    I am new 2 computers so ty.

  21. carol · 1024 days ago

    identity theft? Most of what u could get from fb can be found by googling a name. Spend a few bucks and u can get all kinds of info.

    • Desi · 1018 days ago

      You might as well put a sign on your back: easy pickings, come rob me!

      The easier you make it for thieves to steal your stuff, the more likely you will be found an attractive target by cheap thieves, and as long as there are prospective victims like you in large numbers, frugal thieves will be drawn to plunder you before paying fees to plunder someone more careful than you. Leave your house and car unlocked too. That's actually safer than leaving personal information exposed online, given the number of thieves trolling the net using automated applications to "try every door" and "open every window" they can find. My son who works in data security told me that personal sites get hits by visiting trolls several times an hour and, for some more attractive sites, several times a minute.

  22. Anna Redlich · 1024 days ago

    Have to be careful too. Alot of viruses and trojans can be attached to stuff that you have to repost. that is how they attack peoples computers. http://www.snopes.com also tells you that it is a hoax.

  23. Victor · 1024 days ago

    what is more ironic... most of the people who are commenting here, are either, guilty of posting it and realizing it didn't work. or, just simply... they wanted to double check before they went and re-posted that stupid link (just like i did... on the latter)

    • KRod919 · 1022 days ago

      Negative. I actually ended up here to shut a friend of mine up because she was literally on the brink of having a Goddamn panic attack about it.

      It's a friggen social network! What's the big deal?!

  24. Robin · 1024 days ago

    Facebook would lose too many people who actually buy the game cards to play their games. They are not stupid, and they are a business just like any other. Keep the customer happy and they will stay.

  25. ANDI · 1024 days ago

    Saw this post from a FB friend too. I posted to see if she had really sent it to me ....didn't hear back but still didn't fall for it. JUST LET YOUR FRIENDS KNOW, HELP SPREAD THE WORD!

  26. cheryl · 1024 days ago

    thats messed up

  27. YungnWitGray · 1024 days ago

    I thought it was 2 funny.....I gt home n my mom made me copy n post it 2 her's....I was about 2 do da same until I actually read da damn thing n I jus laughed....turn wat blue....the whole site is damn near blue

  28. This just in, THE SKY IS FALLING!

  29. lauralis · 1023 days ago

    i totally fell for it... lol, but hey to be fair, i was wanting to see the icon turn blue... lol

  30. What diffrence does it make anyway?Better safe than sorry....What if it were true and it saved you 29.99 a month?Who would be stupid then?

  31. Victor · 1023 days ago

    VERIFIED---On December 25th, 2013 Facebook will start charging you for your account... To avoid this, you must get naked, stand on your dining room table , do the Macarena, all while singing ''I Will Survive''..... Then and only then will Mark Zuckerberg come down your chimney to tell you that your account will stay free..... Paste this to your Walls or you will be transformed into a Goblin......

  32. Wow! Didn't realize the subject was so abstract. Interesting comments. Thanks from an "old lady" who really doesn't know squat about these things. However, I was skeptical about "reposting" and did not repost. Ya for the "old lady!!"

  33. Darren · 1022 days ago

    The registration form says "It's free and it always will be". Facebook is already a multi-billion dollar company. It will not suddenly say it will charge $20 a month and take a chance of losing 400 million users and then become a multi-million dollar company. It's simple business. Come on!

  34. yodeet · 1022 days ago

    Did anyone notice...the incorrect spelling of "Account"...lol...your count...lol

  35. kim · 1022 days ago

    Now that's not nice to call people stupid or fools...I reposted it. Thought perhaps it wasn't true, mostly because of the punctuation, but I did it anyway. I didn't hurt anyone, and just wanted to make sure that if it was true I was covered. I mean honestly, who cares? Just glad there wasn't a virus attached to it. :)

  36. Elisa · 1022 days ago

    Lol I know that it was hoax.

  37. maudie · 1022 days ago

    The red flag to me was the spelling on account to read "count"?? But I do not think the people that thought it was possible and did repost were stupid. What did they hurt? Don't throw stones when you live in a glass house.

  38. johnsweeney09 · 1021 days ago

    LOL I know and I am still getting tons of hits on an April fool joke I did about this and the games charging I think it is funny. http://fbzyngablog.wordpress.com/2011/04/01/break...

  39. Jessica · 1021 days ago

    A whole bunch of people kept putting it as their status -_- .

  40. ThatOneGuy · 1021 days ago

    On December 25th, 2013 Facebook will start charging you for your account. To avoid this, you must get naked, stand on your dining room table, do the Macarena, all while singing "I Will Survive". Then and only then will Mark Zuckerberg come down your chimney to tell you that your account will stay free. Post this to your wall or you will be transformed into a banana. Pass the word along ya'll :)

  41. Cherry Bloom · 1021 days ago

    sigh.

    I can't afford to pay the upcoming facebook membership fee. I'm already removing my account and everything.

    Question. Does anyone know how many slips of latinum Facebook intends to charge?

  42. Anyone notice the inherent logic flaw in the message? If you post the message, Facebook will be free for you; if you don't, you will be deleted ..... if that were true, there would be NO ONE LEFT FOR FACEBOOK TO CHARGE.

  43. Gayle · 1021 days ago

    Even if they do charge a small amt evenually, who cares!! Ya either stay or delete. Pretty easy I would say. If you have read anything on this subject " They are thinking about doing this ", but haven't as yet. Thinking is still free. I THINK !!!!!

  44. Matt · 1020 days ago

    all i can say is LOL! people have been spreading these sorts of lies about free services FOREVER. first it was IRC, but that failed, because all the nerds on there knew it to be false, then it was aol messenger, and yahoo, and msn, and all the others... this simple little lie has been around since the birth of chat, and will likely be still around long after chat has evolved to something far beyond our imaginations.

  45. Wayne · 1013 days ago

    Facebook could never charge for their site.If they did then they would lose almost everyone and they would be forced to close.I know I would never pay for Facebook.Its cool but not something I can't live without.

  46. Tito · 1009 days ago

    Oh be for real our icons are already blue duh it's a hoax

  47. Carys · 1001 days ago

    If fb do start charging then they will have to change the motto (it's free and always will be) and there might not be so many people going on there because then you will have to go through all the hassle of refunding your account every month, half a year or year and not so many people will want to pay just to speak to other friends online and poke people (e.c.t) and hasn't the person who runs fb got enough money already??

  48. Blake · 943 days ago

    Just Thought I would let you know....ANOTHER CHANGE IS COMING...On September 31st, 2011 Facebook will start charging you for your account. To avoid this, you MUST get NAKED, stand on your dining room table and do the Macarena, all the while singing ”I Will Survive”. After filming and posting it to your Facebook wall and YouTube, then, and only then, will Mark Zuckerberg come down your chimney to tell you that your account will stay free. Pass it on. :)

  49. JZGURLL · 943 days ago

    Basically, I did NOT believe this, but it really wouldn't hurt to see if it actually worked. So i reposted it, then checked if my account became blue. No it didn't, and so i deleted the post.

    The End.

  50. Backyard · 943 days ago

    CHARGING? wait what Facebook does human can't live with? i tell you this-NOTHING! facebook only have games to spent time with and update from other people were you can see whats going on 24/7 facebook is just essential to your time if you get bored nothing else to do then you might wanna check your facebook to know whats going on to get connected to that person thats all nothing less...

    seriously im not fan of facebook but people are just messing around with facebook cause they just probably an another social network that slowly getting bankrupt cause facebook is taking over as the world number 1 socializing.

    and if facebook going to CHARGE us then WHO CARES! i rather spend it to my Dog food for all i care..

  51. chainmailskeptic · 942 days ago

    It's posted on their sign-up page.

    "It's free and always will be."

  52. Lee · 941 days ago

    Let's be honest. Zuckerberg became one of the youngest billionaires in history by NOT CHARGING. Why would he charge us now? DUH.

  53. ben · 941 days ago

    its a multi billion dollar enterprise, why would they try to piss all their users off?

  54. Simon Hayes-Howson · 941 days ago

    Its a joke surly 99.9 percent of people just post it for a laugh if anyone actually thought it was true must be a right muppet lmfao stop the moaning like we would pay for facebook lmfao

  55. Trisha · 941 days ago

    I like facebook the way it is. I don't think there needs to be a charge because there's already enough stuff people are charging for. Facebook is a good way to hook up with old friends and stay intouch without paying a boat load of money,,,such as cell phones and home phones rates. We need it to atay the way it is. They do charge enough for the applications anyway. So the way I see it. It's all good. I just wish they wouldn't keep changing the format so much. That part is annoying.

  56. Michael · 941 days ago

    thx alot for this .... when i 1st read it it sounds.. fishy ....so research and there it goes lies...

  57. jonathan · 940 days ago

    other go but other come... like friendster and facebook, right? let's wait and see what gonna happen next year if it's really true but hoping it will gonna happen that facebook will charge in using their site...

  58. Kimberly Kjellberg · 569 days ago

    "this is serious the icon turns blue" Eh, what? The icons is always blue!
    This rumour has been around so many times that Facebook even feel the need to tell on their frontpage that they won't charge.

    I might have belived it when I first started to use the net, not because it makes much sense but because I just couldn't believe that people would make things like this up.

    Now I know that they do, next mission is to figure why they do it,

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About the author

Graham Cluley is an award-winning security blogger, and veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.