Hoax Alert: Facebook to Charge $5.99 to Keep Your Profile Private and “Legal Notices” of Copyright

It happens once or twice a year.  All of your friends post a legalese-looking message that says if you just cut and paste it to your own wall, it will prevent Facebook from claiming all of your posts, photographs, and other content as it’s own intellectual property.  To take it a step further, this year we have posts that are now saying Facebook is about to start charging everyone $5.99 to keep their information private.

Both of these are total hoaxes and not founded in fact whatsoever.

For starters, the silly message that everyone is cutting and pasting into their newsfeeds wouldn’t hold up a second in a court of law, assuming Facebook did pull a fast one on its own terms and conditions (which you claim to have read when you signed up and each time it has changed since).  It’s not that simple to absolve yourself of all responsibility, and it’s not that simple to make another party have to go along with your feelings.  The reality is that Facebook has never tried to take its users posts and content as its own, and the terms and conditions continue to lay that out as of the publication of this article.

As for the $5.99 thing, it’s another hoax that doesn’t even make sense.  If you did pay $5.99 to have Facebook keep your profile private, it would defeat the purpose of having a Facebook profile in the first place.  Having no one able to see your page would make it in effect useless.  What’s more, the idea that $5.99 represents more to Facebook than using your information to sell to other companies in the form of advertisements and your internet habits is ridiculous.  If Facebook did offer a service like that for $5.99, they would be undercutting their entire business model.  And there is one other piece of evidence to consider… you can block anyone from seeing your profile at any time.

Facebook is a very smart company.  Genius, really.  No way they would go for either of these strategies.  And saying “Gotcha” to Facebook does not mean that your content is suddenly copyrighted in the Library of Congress.