(WAFF) - Messages floating around Facebook about supposed subscription fees in the works for users of the social media service, as well as posts that will allegedly shield you from Facebook using your personal information, are false.
They have always been false.
They have been false for, in some cases, at least five years. And yet, like an annoying patch of dry skin, they still pop up and generally irritate the rest of the general public.
Snopes.com, the online whistleblower for social media hoaxes, has a long line of these "share-scams," that don't necessarily put you at risk for losing money or actual theft of information, but do cause you a lot of wasted time and effort.
Let's deconstruct the "privacy notice" post - a string of long paragraphs citing legal statutes that supposedly guards you from the use of what you post by Facebook.
It's a solution to a problem that doesn't exist, according to Snopes - Facebook does not and has not attempted to lay claim to the material you post.
In a statement Facebook posted in 2012 to address the rumor, "Anyone who uses Facebook owns and controls the content and information they post, as stated in our terms. They control how that content and information is shared."
The other recurring rumor involves a supposed subscription fee. The amount will usually change, and the post usually cites an unspecific news source. The post says that if you paste the notice you're reading to your own timeline, you will not be charged when the changeover happens "tomorrow" - otherwise you will be prompted for payment information.
This sometimes causes another wave of posts countering the alleged policy change, even setting up groups for you to join. In these cases, you can sometimes be lured to a malicious page that could harm your computer.
Again, not true. Facebook has been quite clear in maintaining they will never charge for the service.
Even if Facebook were to change their terms of service in either of these cases, your choices are either to accept the new terms, or stop using the service and cancel your account. And, in general, when a site makes a change regarding subscriptions and paid services, notice is given far in advance, and usually in the form of an email sent to the address you used to sign up.