On the heels of one of the most annoying viral status updates since the dawn of Facebook, the all caps alert that so many upstanding citizens felt it was their duty to post, sounding the alarm that Facebook would be charging its members a fee, I’m here to say that there is a new one going around that I wholeheartedly support.
For those of you living under a rock, or without internet connection for the last few days, here is the viral hoax that surprisingly so many intelligent, otherwise scam-savvy Facebookers posted:
“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 CHANGES. IF YOU COPY THIS ON YOUR WALL YOUR ICON WILL TURN BLUE AND FACEBOOK WILL BE FREE FOR YOU. PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE ON IF NOT YOUR ACCOUNT WILL BE DELETED IF YOU DO NOT PAY”
Sadly enough, this is just ONE variation of this inane diatribe, but what got me was how many otherwise ‘normal’ people decided cutting and pasting this as their status was the right thing to do. I asked someone about the logic in it, and their reply was “what the heck, better be safe than sorry”. What a depressing social experiment. It sheds light as to why so many people may fall for those fake paypal messages (from e.paypal) asking you to verify your account, or those infamous Nigerian car accidents your uncle the engineer keeps dying in. It truly is fishing in a barrel. Whoever starts these hoaxes must just be cracking themselves up, and its’ precisely why I follow sites like www.Facecrooks.com and www.Snopes.com to keep up to date on all the latest hoaxes, click-jacking scams and other e-nonsense clogging up everyone’s newsfeeds. When it comes to ‘cutting and pasting’ status updates, especially the ones of sick or missing little children, please follow the Digital Golden Rule: Google first. It takes 30 seconds to Google a status that you suspect to be a hoax before you continue to perpetuate fake news ad infinitum.
Now, is there ever a time when such a viral status update spreading wildfire could actually benefit the general social media population? I think so. For the most part, I’m OK with the new changes that Facebook announced this week (link at the end). Timeline is a game changer, with serious implications, but that’s another blog. As much as I love the “Facebook-araderie” I have to admit that now I feel like every move I make is being not only tracked, watched, documented, and archived, but its also being publicized and promoted. All under the guise of ‘Frictionless Sharing”. My FB comments are now so well thought out and premeditated, that I’ve begun to sterilize myself to the point that I simply don’t post as much as I used to (I know it’s hard to believe). Honestly, the old carpenter’s adage comes to mind: “Measure twice, cut once”. Now its type a comment or consider a “Like” think about it showing up in everyone’s news ticker, Google it, think about it showing up in everyone’s news ticker, reconsider, and delete. I wish this news ticker feature had been an Opt-In instead of a manual Opt-Out. I get how it works with Spotify, (I just figured out how to disable my song sharing, not that I listen to any music that I’m ashamed or don’t want to share like Christopher Cross or anything), music sharing is one thing, sharing about what comments or statuses you like is a bit much. I don’t need to know Every. Single. Thing. that is going on in Facebook. What’s next, are we going to have a ticker that shows everyone’s blood sugar, heart beat rate or blood pressure at any given time? (There’s probably an app for that). So what can we do to show our disdain for the news ticker. Do we start a revolution?
Well here is the viral status that is going around, albeit at a snail’s pace:
Do me a favour: please hover over my name here, wait for the box to load and then hover over the "Subscribe" link. Then uncheck the "Comments and likes" choice. I would rather my comments on friends' posts not be made public. Thanks** Then repost if you don't want your EVERY MOVE posted on the right [on the news ticker].
This actually works, but its time consuming, especially if you’ve got 4,000+ FB friends, you have to do this 4,000+ times. I recently posted a link to a site that shows you how to disable the news ticker in Google Chrome, but unfortunately, it doesn’t mean that your ninja FB moves are being posted on someone elses news ticker. http://www.buzzom.com/2011/09/how-to-disable-facebook-news-ticker/
Here is another link about Facebook’s New Features and Privacy:
Obviously, Facebook is not encouraging that you disable the news ticker, or modify your privacy settings from their default settings, but what’s amazing to me is how something that is a hoax can spread like wildfire, but a true, relatively simple method of disabling the dreaded invasive, pervasive and annoying news ticker comes around, and not many people are doing it. Go figure. Maybe we like being each other’s Big Brother after all.
All of the new Facebook Changes reviewed here: