Over the years, status message hoaxes on the internet have popped up everywhere. Facebook seems to be the latest target of this. What is a status message hoax? It is a message you post on your wall to allegedly stop something from happening, or to gain some sort of advantage. The current wave of these hoaxes mention that Facebook will start charging a monthly fee, and the fee will be waived if you post a message in your status message.
Another popular wall post on is posting in your status that you do not grant Facebook permission to share your posts, messages, or pictures. Typically, these messages are quite complex. The problem is, they are also completely fraudulent. The only result you can expect to happen from posting message like this on your wall, is the loss of time doing more important things.
Messages like this operate on fear. The thought of being charged monthly fee for something that has been free for so long, has the tendency to panic people. Another fear these hoaxes work on, is a violation of privacy. They operate on false assumptions, and take advantage of the fact people do not read or truly understand the terms of service. Additional scams for these types of messages will try to encourage you to divulge personal information to gain a “dislike” button. These particular items have been debunked by the popular debunking website, snopes.com. Users do not have the ability to retroactively negotiate permissions they already agreed to.
This seems to be a modern day version of a chain letter. Chain letters have been around since the ’30s, and were designed initially to scam people out of money. Messages similar to this have appeared on Myspace, as well as messenger services like MSN, Yahoo, and ICQ. There, such messages would offer extra functionality with the way the program worked. They also said their messenger services would no longer be free for you unless you posted the message to your friends.
At the end of the day, if you see one of these messages, do not believe them. They are designed take advantage of the user’s fear,greed, or perhaps only to waste their time. Based on history, you can be sure this will not be the last time we see them surface. If you are in doubt of a message you see like this on a friend’s page, be sure to check it first before continuing the chain.