In October 2022, Facebook users copied and pasted posts that claimed, "Facebook will start charging this summer." The copy-and-paste posts, which we refer to as copypasta, claimed that the news was "official" and that the posts had been "signed" by the users, a word that was sometimes misspelled as "signal." The posts claimed the news had even been broadcast "on TV." However, this was nothing more than a repeated iteration of a long-running Facebook hoax.
To be clear, Meta has never announced any plans to charge Facebook users money in order for them to be able to use the platform.
We found no shortage of these posts being copied and pasted in mid-October. A search for "Facebook will start charging this summer" returned a seemingly endless number of results.
The copy-and-paste post usually read something like this, with the time changed in some posts depending upon when the user shared the text:
It's official Signed at 10:33. It's even passed on TV. Facebook will start charging this summer. If you copy this to your wall your icon will turn blue and your Facebook will be free for you. Please pass this message, if not your icon will be deleted.
P.S. this is serious, the icon will turn blue
(Copy and paste to your wall)
Mine really turned blue.
After the "Facebook will start charging this summer" text, some of the posts that we found then continued by including words from previous iterations of this same hoax:
Don’t forget tomorrow starts the new Facebook (aka…new name, META) rule where they can use your photos. Don't forget the Deadline is today!!! I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, messages or posts, both past and future. With this statement, I give notice to Facebook it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action against me based on this profile and/or its contents. The information: The violation of privacy can be punished by law NOTE: Facebook is now a public entity. All members must post a note like this.
If you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once it will be tacitly allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates.
DO NOT SHARE. Copy and paste.
Their new algorithm chooses the same few people - about 25 - who will read your posts.
Hold your finger down anywhere in this post and "copy" will pop up. Click "copy". Then go to your page, start a new post and put your finger anywhere in the blank field. "Paste" will pop up and click paste
This will bypass the system.
We previously debunked this rumor in 2009, then published another story about it in 2020. The version of the hoax that uses the words "this summer" had apparently been going around since at least 2011.
Despite being well over a decade old, Facebook users often share various posts that ask others to copy and paste the text, as if doing so would establish precautionary measures against a future development.
However, as Jerry once told Kramer on the "Seinfeld" TV series, "I don't know if what you have here constitutes a legally binding document."
Huberman, Bond. “Is Facebook Charging a User Fee?” Snopes.com, 22 May 2020, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/is-facebook-charging-a-user-fee/.
Huberman, Bond, and David Emery. “Snopestionary: What Is Copypasta?” Snopes.com, 19 Sept. 2021, https://www.snopes.com/articles/369246/what-is-copypasta/.
Mikkelson, David. “Is Facebook Implementing User Fees?” Snopes.com, 31 Dec. 2009, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/facebook-implementing-user-fees/.
---. “Will Posting This Notice Stop Facebook from Making Your Posts Public?” Snopes.com, 4 June 2012, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/facebook-posts-made-public/.
Tim. “Its Official...Signal at 12:20 It Even Passed on Tv. Facebook Will Be Charging This Summer - Viral Hoax!” Facecrooks, 3 July 2011, https://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Its-official-signal-at-1220-it-even-passed-on-tv-Facebook-will-be-charging-this-summer-Viral-Hoax.html.