It’s about that time again. Time that the Facebook privacy hoaxes get circulated once more.
There have been two specific hoaxes annoying Facebook workers for years now. Unfortunately for them, one of the old dupes has re-emerged this week.
The two main rumors started in 2011 and 2012. The 2011 hoax claimed that they would have to pay a monthly fee in order to have their posts remain private. It looked like some variation of this:
“Now it’s official! It has been published in the media. Facebook has just released the entry price: £5.99 ($9.10) to keep the subscription of your status to be set to ‘private.’ If you paste this message on your page, it will be offered free (I said paste not share) if not tomorrow, all your posts can become public. Even the messages that have been deleted or the photos not allowed. After all, it does not cost anything for a simple copy and paste.”
The 2012 rumor is the main post that keeps coming back up. It was seen in January this year and is being circulated again now. It essentially claims that by posting a specific paragraph, the user will be protected from Facebook using their photos and profile information. If Facebook still “used” their photos they would be guilty of copyright infringement. It was something along these lines:
“As of September 28th , 2015 at 10:50p.m. Eastern standard time, I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, or posts, both past and future. By this statement, I give notice to Facebook it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action against me based on this profile and/or its contents. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute). NOTE: Facebook is now a public entity. All members must post a note like this. If you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once it will be tactically allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates.”
Years ago when these statuses first started appearing, Facebook addressed the rumors. They wrote a statement that read:
“This is false. Anyone who uses Facebook owns and controls the content and information they post, as stated in our terms. They control how that content and information is shared. That is our policy, and it always has been.”
“You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings. For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License).”
Despite having addressed these rumors before, Facebook decided to remind people on Monday that they shouldn’t believe everything they read online. They posted:
“There is a rumor circulating that Facebook is making a change related to ownership of users’ information or the content they post to the site. This is false. Anyone who uses Facebook owns and controls the content and information they post, as stated in our terms. (…) While there may be water on Mars, don’t believe everything you read on the Internet today. Facebook is free and it always will be. And the thing about copying and pasting a legal notice is just a hoax. Stay safe out there Earthlings!”
Just to drive the message home, Andrew Noyes, a Facebook spokesman made a statement that read:
“We have noticed some statements that suggest otherwise and we wanted to take a moment to remind you of the facts — when you post things like photos to Facebook, we do not own them. Under our terms, you grant Facebook permission to use, distribute, and share the things you post, subject to the terms and applicable privacy settings.”
So if you see these paragraphs urging you to “copy and paste” for the sake of your privacy…just keep on scrolling.