Two Facebook Hoaxes Do The Rounds Again

Two Facebook hoaxes are doing the rounds again, and nobody really knows why. The messages started appearing after the social networking site went down twice within a week, making many wonder whether something was changing for the worse.

The two hoaxes have done the rounds in the past. The first encourages users to display their status to warn others of a charge that Facebook is going to impose. Amounts have varied over the years, with 5.99 (regardless of currency) being the most recent one. The message warns that those who do not display the status will end up being charged for their profile.

Two Old Facebook Hoaxes Are Spreading Again
Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Facebook's second hoax encourages members to display a privacy status. It tells the social media site that all photos are theirs and cannot be reused without permission. In the message, there is a warning that those who fail to display this will find they lose the copyright to their images. This goes against Facebook's own terms of service.

CNN reports that it is at least the third time the hoaxes have been spread. Each time it is unclear why users start it or what the endgame is. There have been variations in 2012 and 2009, when it allegedly started.

Regardless of a status update, the Telegraph reports that Facebook does not own content posted on the site but does have permission to using the content. The terms of use state that users give intellectual properties rights of videos, photos, and anything else posted on the site. This is non-exclusive, royalty-free, and covered by a worldwide license. The only way to revoke this right is by deleting the account, which is why it is important to think before posting. The copyright will always remain with the owner of the photo or video etc.

It is possible to control how the information is shared. Those who set their profiles to private and only available to friends or themselves will mean their photos cannot be shared elsewhere by Facebook. Those who allow their photos to be public are granting the permission for the social networking giant to use them in the future.

To help clear matters, Facebook released its own status update to inform people about the two hoaxes. It made it clear that the service will always remain free of charge, something that was shared the last time the hoaxes did the rounds. It also made it clear that the terms of use still stand, regardless of the status update.

Considering the news of water being found on Mars, the social media site used that as a way to break the ice.

The update read, "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!"

Facebook Users Fall For Hoaxes Again
Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Some people who have started hoaxes have shared why they did it in the past. In some cases, it is just to see how many likes or shares they can receive. This is mainly done by those who share photos asking for likes and shares. Sometimes, these are also used by businesses to improve reach for free and others want to warn children of the dangers of social media.

There have been a small number of cases where it has all been a psychological experiment. People want to see just how many will fall for a hoax, rather than do their own research.

Since the Facebook hoaxes, there have been others sharing variations of the updates for fun. In one case, there was the warning that the Loch Ness Monster would attack. Others have warned people about Facebook stealing underwear at midnight.

[Feature Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images]