What is the claim?
Some Facebook users have been spreading a rumor that the social media platform will start charging $4.99 per month to use the site. The claim usually comes with a message that says users can opt out of the fee by copying and pasting a notice on their profiles that states they do not give permission to Facebook to charge them or use their photos.
Where did it come from?
The origin of this hoax is unclear, but it has been circulating on Facebook since early 2023. Some posts claim that they saw the news on Channel 13, but there is no evidence that any such report was aired. The hoax may have been inspired by Meta’s announcement in February 2023 that it would offer a verified subscription service for Facebook and Instagram users who want to pay for a verification badge on their profiles.
Is it true?
No, it is not true that Facebook will charge users $4.99 per month to use the site. A spokesperson for Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, confirmed to various media outlets that the company has no plans to charge for the use of its platforms. Facebook’s Help Center also states that it does not charge people to use Facebook and instead makes money from advertisers who show ads on its sites.
The claim that users can opt out of the fee by posting a notice on their profiles is also false. Such notices have no legal effect and do not prevent Facebook from using users’ content in accordance with its terms of service. Moreover, copying and pasting such messages may expose users to spam or phishing attempts by malicious actors who may use them to collect personal information or spread malware.
How to spot and stop the hoax?
Users who encounter posts claiming that Facebook will charge $4.99 per month should ignore them and not share them further. They can also report them as false news by clicking on the three dots icon in the top right corner of the post and selecting “Find support or report post” and then “False News”. Users can also check the facts before believing or sharing any information they see online by using reliable sources such as Snopes.com, FactCheck.org, or Verify.com.
The rumor that Facebook will charge $4.99 per month to use the site is a hoax that has been debunked by Meta and various fact-checkers. Users should not fall for this scam and should be careful about what they post and share on social media.