Both groups collectively have nearly 200,000 members and believe that the site will soon begin charging somewhere in the region of £14.99 for use of the social network.
The more popular group, entitled: “We will not pay to use Facebook – we are gone if this happens”, now has over 140,000 members and aims to get 300,000 members to sign its petition.
Iran elections: Guardian Council says there will be no rerun
Iran election: contenders challenged by Supreme Leader on day of mourning
Iran bans Facebook ahead of election
Social networks can fall out of favour like the latest fashion accessory
Trichet is bounced into defence of the euro
Yahoo! sales forecast disappoints Wall Street
“This is a petition to stop Facebook from charging £/$14.99 a month starting from July 2010.
“Because of Facebook’s huge popularity, Mark Zuckerberg [founder and chief]is getting a lot of offers from people wanting to buy Facebook – people who WILL turn it into a paysite.
“Let’s all stick together on this one and let them know that we will leave Facebook if they decide to charge us to use it,” says the group’s manifesto.
However, Facebook flat out deny the claims. A spokesman for the company said: “We have no plans to charge users for Facebook’s basic services. Facebook is a free service for its 350 million users.”
Some smaller groups dedicated to spreading the message that Facebook will not begin charging from the beginning in July 2010 have also sprung up.
Last week The Telegraphreported that more than 420,000 people had joined a Facebook group called ”Save Top Gear” after fears emerged online that the popular BBC Two show might be axed. This was despite the BBC confirming that a new series will be made and that “Top Gear will be around for a long time yet”.
The programme’s long-time producer, Andy Wilman, began the controversy with a blog post looking at the recently completed Series 14, and conceding that previous runs had been more consistently entertaining.
The rumour about Facebook charging for its content appears to have come from a hoax email circulated on the site.