No one with a social media account — in particular, Facebook — could escape the attack of the “Facebook goes paid” hoax on Monday, Sept. 28.
It’s not the first time many with Facebook accounts have fallen for the viral hoax, copying and pasting statements saying things such as, “as of (said date), I do not give Facebook authority to use my personal pictures and content,” a unilateral declaration with no legal weight behind it. Facebook’s terms of service is a contract between the user and the social network. Your personal Facebook status is not.
A related hoax holds that posting a few magic words of legalese will keep your Facebook account free.
No matter how much you post and declare your content is yours and private, it means nothing. The terms you agreed to remain in force. Facebook remains free. It’s just a waste of time and energy.
If you looked clearly in the particular post circulating Monday, the alleged amount that would be charged was not even calculated in American currency. That should have been a red flag, but it wasn’t.
Finally, the creators spoke out, saying, ” 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. And the thing about copying and pasting a legal notice is just a hoax. Stay safe out there, Earthlings!”
But this isn’t the only hoax on social media, and it seems once one pops up, others follow. Beware of the copycats.
Many have joked about wishing there was a dislike button. When the creators announced they would be adding a new button, it was automatically assumed that’s what it would be.
Scammers are taking advantage of this and are asking users to click on a link to install the button. Do not do so. It will take you to a third party-site, which will gather all of your information.
Also, do not click on videos or pictures that may seem a little too “adult” for the average Facebook user. By clicking on these pictures and videos, you open your computer or mobile phone to viruses that will wipe out your system or, again, take your information.
As the old saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, more than likely it is — especially in social media.
Maria D. Grandy is The Cheraw Chronicle’s staff writer, photographer, community news editor and Jill of all journalistic trades. Reach her at 843-537-5261 and firstname.lastname@example.org.