What happens when you combine a popular social networking site, untrustworthy third-party add-ons to this site, a mass of ignorant people, and one person with miserable reading comprehension?
A group called "They are trying to make us pay for facebook - Petition to keep it free
"Laura LaForge," a member of Facebook, stumbled across two articles
published on Wednesday reporting that Facebook will soon begin charging application developers an optional "verification" fee. Applications submitted with this fee will be evaluated for security by Facebook, and if they pass, will be given an official Facebook seal of approval, as well as a little more visibility on the site than non-verified applications.
As it happened, however, Laura LaForge saw the words "Facebook" and "fee" in something close to context, and immediately jumped to the conclusion that Facebook was going to start charging a subscription fee.
If it was one misguided idiot, it'd be funny. But then LaForge created a group on Facebook that was bleeding with a sense of sensationalist urgency.
"December 31st, 2008 will be the last free day on facebook.
"As stated in the media, FACEBOOK designers are intending to make the access to the website charged. Indeed, advertisement revenues they get do not meet the firm's needs in terms of bandwidth allocations and programmation costs which are increasing steadily since the financial crisis.
"Registration fees expected are 3,99$.
"This group aims to rally so that FACEBOOK remains free.
"Invite all your friends to join before it is too late."
Threatened with the idea of paying $400 to access their beloved social networking tool, almost 100,000 Facebook users flocked to the group. Comments such as "absolutly disgusting," "we could all just move to another is this goes," and "they are a small WANNABEE "Microsoft" or "ENRON"" filled the group's discussion board.
Some members have suggested that this is a hoax group. If it is, it's a damn clever one. But even as a hoax, this group has demonstrated how remarkably easy it is to convince masses of people today-- all because nobody
is bothering to think for themselves anymore.