The Latest Facebook Hoax Everyone Is Falling For

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I’m seeing this posted on peoples’ timelines, often from people whom I would have thought knew better.  Here’s one variation:

In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, writings, illustrations, paintings, photos, and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention). My written consent is required at all times for commercial use of the above.

I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook’s direction or control. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute).

Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are recommended to publish a notice like this, or if you prefer, you may copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status updates.

It’s just utter nonsense.

First of all, when you sign up for an account with Facebook, you have agreed to their terms of service.  This is what is called a Contract.  One side cannot unilaterally change the terms of signed contract.  That’s a little something called The Rule of Law.

Second of all, the terms of service of Facebook indicate that you remain the copyright holder of anything you post but that you are granting Facebook a right to use your posts.  You cannot revoke this right.  But you can adjust your privacy settings and account settings to limit or prevent your stuff from being accessed by others.

Finally, yeah, so they’re now a public company.  So what?  True, they’ve got stockholders to answer to and profit/growth targets to reach.  But they’ve always used your likes and posts in their advertising.

If you don’t like it, don’t get an account or delete your account.

If you don’t believe me, check this post on Snopes or this one from GigaOm or this one from Slate.

Snopes:

Facebook users cannot retroactively negate any of the privacy or copyright terms they agreed to when they signed up for their Facebook accounts nor can they unilaterally alter or contradict any new privacy or copyright terms instituted by Facebook simply by posting a contrary legal notice on their Facebook walls.

Slate:

… just to be clear, referencing a bunch of legal hokum on your Facebook profile will have absolutely no effect on what Facebook can and cannot do with your information.

There is a bigger question at play here.  More than a billion people are on Facebook.  And somehow, what might be a significant percentage of those people who use Facebook so distrust it that they are willing to believe whatever anti-Facebook hoo-hah comes their way.  It’s a question for others to resolve.

Facebook, like anything else, is a tool.  Don’t use it, or use it with caution and learn the facts.  Simple as that.

 

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One thought on “The Latest Facebook Hoax Everyone Is Falling For

  1. mumphLT

    I find it weird that people sign up to a social networking site where ‘sharing’ is the whole point & then decide they’ll cut n paste stuff like the above.

    The real issue is that so many people just accept these hoaxes as fact and don’t even do a 6 second Google search to check…

    It’s hardly surprising what other bollocks they’ll believe…

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