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A smile costs nothing, but Facebook messages do

Stalkers on Facebook, start saving

If you're tired of receiving spam or 'creepy' messages, you may soon be in luck. If you're the one sending 'creepy' messages, pay up.

April 9, 2013 12:18 by

I’m sick of writing about Facebook. I’m sick of hearing about Facebook. And, most of all, I’m sick of people complaining about Facebook. So, naturally, as I strolled into the office today, the first thing I did is lean against my colleague’s desk and ask him about Facebook. I’m not rude, though, I did wish him a good morning first.

More specifically, I asked him how he felt about Facebook possibly rolling out a worldwide scheme (it’s in testing mode in the US and the UK as we speak) whereby users could message any person they wanted – be it a celebrity or just someone outside of their friend list – for a price.

Currently, in the UK, a select number of users can contact non-friends for about 4 dirhams (71 pence) and celebrities for close to 60 dirhams (10 pounds). Anyone under 18 can neither pay for a message nor receive unsolicited messages. Essentially, what Facebook is doing, is allowing us to bypass people’s privacy settings. Boy, they’ll never hear the end of it.

My colleague’s reaction, like others I’ve asked, was priceless. It was a muddled mixture of bewilderment, amusement and confusion. It would seem that our friend Zuckerberg (CEO and founder of Facebook) has shot himself in the foot with this one, I thought. Having repeatedly said in articles, blogs, interviews and to really anyone who would listen, that ‘Facebook is free and always will be’, he’s created a culture of freedom and connectivity. You can’t take that back Zuckerberg.

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