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Facebook tells gullible users to stop sharing that phony privacy hoax

September 29, 2015
Aaron Polmeer

By Jordan Valinsky

Even Facebook has had enough of that viral privacy hoax.

In a rare move, Facebook publicly acknowledged false news circulating about upcoming changes to its privacy laws. The claim: That Facebook will soon own the copyright to users’ posts and photos on their profiles.

“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,” the sentient social network wrote. “Stay safe out there Earthlings!”

Spooky! The response came as a rebuttal to various messages popping up across Facebook that prompt (gullible) people to copy and paste the “news” to their own walls if they want to be placed “under protection of copyright laws.”

If they don’t, according to the post, Facebook will own their content and can do whatever it wants with it. Here’s one of the variation of messages going around, spotted by Tech Insider:

As of September 28th , 2015 at 01:52 p.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 If you do not publish a statement atleast once it will be tactically allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates

Problem is, none of it is true. Besides the phony timestamp and the misspellings, the Rome Statute referenced in the rambling message refers to real crimes like genocide, not the crime of your annoying childhood friend posting quasi-racist memes.

The hoax has been around before; the earliest known sighting being in 2012. It uses a phony “Channel 13 News’” as a source to add alleged credibility, leaving the poor social media editors who work at real News 13 outlets to distance themselves from it.

Also, Facebook doesn’t “own” people’s posts. “You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook,” according to its own Terms of Service.

So, relax, Facebook isn’t selling your posts or pictures. It’s just collecting data on everything you do.

The post Facebook tells gullible users to stop sharing that phony privacy hoax appeared first on Digiday.

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