Thousands of Facebook users in Bhutan have fallen prey to a hoax message on Facebook that asks users to post a notice on their page informing Facebook to keep their profile private and not use their content.
The terms stated in the hoax message warn users that if they don’t post the notice, the company will have the right to interrupt the privacy of users account to post the users photos, content or information without user’s permission.
The hoax states, “Facebook has just released the entry price: £5.99 to keep the subscription of your status to be set to “private”. If you paste this message on your page, it will be offered free (I said paste not share) if not tomorrow, all your posts can become public.”
However, a clarification from Facebook says that it is not planning to make its users pay £5.99 to keep their status updates private.
It states that Facebook’s privacy settings remain unaltered, as posts and accounts can be kept private by using the drop-down menu while publishing them, or the general-settings menu.
From January 2015 the company announced that it was circulating in news feeds to crack down on false and misleading stories.
According to its research, Facebook is coming up with the new feature to tackle such hoax messages. The new feature is based on another recent addition to Facebook, the ability to report any post as being a “false news story”. Those reports will now be taken into account by Facebook’s news feed algorithm as it determines which posts are displayed on users’ news feeds.
Facebook says it is trying to combat such practice but in the meantime many users in Bhutan continue to post the hoax message on their walls assuming it to be real.