There is a new hoax making its way around Facebook, and there is a good chance you have already seen it. The post implores Facebook users to repost it by midnight to avoid Facebook’s new monthly charge. According to the post, Facebook has implemented a new, three-tier pricing structure that will go into effect tomorrow (the date is not relevant, it says tomorrow no matter when it’s posted). The proposed prices range from $9.99 a month for gold to $3.99 a month for bronze. The post makes no mention of what features users supposedly get for these tiers.
The post indicates that Facebook users who post this message will see their icon turn blue, and that Facebook will be free for them. The post even claims it was on the news. It is easy to see how users who do not follow the latest tech news could be tricked into believing a post like this, especially since it is coming from someone on their friends list.
Just remember this is a hoax, and it is not to be believed. Facebook has stated multiple times that it will never charge for their basic service, and that will continue going forward. If you see someone post this on their Facebook, be kind and let them know that it is not true, and there is no need to worry. The only way to stop hoaxes like this from spreading further is by letting people know that it is false, and their Facebook account will continue to be free.
I do not see what anyone has to gain from this. There are no links involved, so it seems as if it was started by someone strictly for a joke. Still, you can help stop the spread of the hoax by telling people not to repost it and by not doing so yourself.
A Great Must Read Article for Boing Boing and Gizmodo about Facebook Privacy.
You already know that Facebook and privacy don’t really get along, but many “improvements” to the service are making it easier and easier to share everything without even knowing. Avi Charkham rounded a bunch of these tricks up over at TechCrunch, and they’re as subtle as they are sketchy.
Some of the changes seem to play on psychology, like swapping out the old pair of “Allow, Don’t Allow” buttons for just one that says “Play game” that you either click, or don’t. Others, are sort of flagrant once you’ve noticed them. One Charkham describes as the “The Tiny Hidden Info Symbol Trick” is of those ones. From TechCrunch:
In the old Design Facebook presented a detailed explanation about the “basic” information you’re about to expose to the apps you’re adding. In the new design they decided to hide that info. If you pay careful attention you’ll see a tiny little “?” symbol and if you hover over it you’ll discover that this app is about to gain access to your name, profile pic, Facebook user ID, gender, networks, list of friends and any piece of info you’ve made public on Facebook. Quite a lot of info for a 20×10 pixel tiny hidden info symbol don’t you think?!
Facebook is a free service so you are the product; none of this should really come as a surprise. Still, its interesting—if also a bit scary—to see the design choices intended to make you part with your personal information. [TechCrunch via Boing Boing]
My favorite website, Demonoid, had been under attack for the past few days.
(via ZDNet) Demonoid has been hit by a massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, bringing down the famous BitTorrent tracker to its knees. The torrent website has been inaccessible to its millions of users for more than a day and is expected to remain offline for quite some time.
I said this attack was “massive” because it has resulted in a series of problems that may take a while to address. Over the years, Demonoid has been down many times, sometimes disappearing for months.
“It started as a DDoS but then it caused a series of problems,” Demonoid’s admin told TorrentFreak. “These problems need to be fixed before the site can go back up, and it’s a complicated fix this time. There might have been an attack from another angle, an exploit of sorts, but it’s hard to tell right now without a full check of everything. Our human resources became limited in the last few months. All tech issues are handled just by me now and there is no one else to take the job. I’ll fix the site as soon as possible, but it might be a while this time.”
It’s currently unclear whether or not the attack against Demonoid was anti-piracy related. Either way, Demonoid’s users have to find an alternative for their downloading needs while they wait for its return. (By Emil Protalinski )
After an updated version of the Video Privacy Protection Act passed in the House last month, it’s being debated in the Senate. Depending on what it decides this could changes plans for Netflix‘s future integration with Facebook.
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