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Facebook's Paid Membership Hoax

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Facebook's Paid Membership Hoax

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Many Facebook users probably found at least one of their Facebook friends posting a message this weekend about how the social network will now start charging a monthly fee.

FACEBOOK JUST RELEASED THEIR PRICE GRID FOR MEMBERSHIP. $9.99 PER MONTH FOR GOLD MEMBER SERVICES, $6.99 PER MONTH FOR SILVER MEMBER SERVICES, $3.99 PER MONTH FOR BRONZE MEMBER SERVICES, FREE IF YOU COPY AND PASTE THIS MESSAGE BEFORE MIDNIGHT TONIGHT. WHEN YOU SIGN ON TOMORROW MORNING YOU WILL BE… PROMPTED FOR PAYMENT INFO...IT IS OFFICIAL IT WAS EVEN ON THE NEWS. FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING DUE TO THE NEW PROFILE.

As always, you should be suspicious of any warning written in all caps. We also turned to Snopes.com, a well-known debunker of Internet hoaxes, and looked for verification. Turns out the Facebook charging hoax has been swirling on the social network since December 2009, but was reignited in the last few days because of the recent Facebook changes to its layout.

ZDNet attempted to point users to the Facebook login page, which states, "It's free and always will be." Even the Better Business Bureau felt it had to weigh in on its blog about the Facebook monthly payment fee hoax. 

It only takes a minute of thinking critically to understand that the hoax can't be true by questioning why would pasting a status message make anything free? And why would Facebook, which makes its money on advertising, suddenly start charging users?

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