I told an online contact of mine that her latest status update on Facebook was a silly hoax. The one that claims Facebook are going to start charging their users to use their site.
She responded by saying that since I couldn’t provide definitive proof that it wasn’t true then I shouldn’t state that it was a hoax, ergo she was justified to post the message to her online Facebook friends, “just in case” it were true.
So I decided to write a post concisely explaining why she is -forgive my French- a fucking moron.
The problem my contact has is because I was not able to provide any direct statement from Facebook specifically refuting the precise message she posted this means it cannot be definitively proven that what she posted was indeed a hoax. My friends, this is called twisted logic. Twisted so tight in the futile hope it may come round 360 degrees and actually make sense. With this special brand of rationality I also cannot prove to her that the moon’s surface is not made from cheese, because I could not find any report from NASA specifically mentioning that there is no cheese on the moon’s surface. Therefore we should tell our Facebook friends the moon’s surface is made from cheese. You know, “just in case”.
Luckily, most of us, or at least some of us, have common sense.
You see, I could have shown her I was correct using common sense and basic logic.
I could have explained that, as everyone knows, Facebook makes its money by exposing its epic membership base to third party advertisers, who are the people who pay Facebook the big bucks.
I could have detailed how Facebook relies on the information its users share to create targeted traffic with those third party advertisers.
I could have detailed how much of an utter disaster it would be if Facebook were to lose a substantial portion of its user membership (which obviously they would if they started charging) because those third party advertisers would then not be willing to pay Facebook nearly as much.
I could have even explained to her what an Initial Public Offering was, that Facebook just had theirs and that it required Facebook to provide a detailed look into their company before they started selling their stocks to the public, and that it made no mention of a proposed charge, at a time where any and every alteration they make is under close scrutiny.
I could have explained to her that this hoax has been circulating for years targeting many different free services.
But then I thought fuck it, and showed her the “It’s free and always will be” message on their homepage instead.