Recently, you might have noticed some posts on Facebook that look like this:
Here’s what the text says:
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 If you do not publish a statement atleast once it will be tactically allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates
There are several variations of this kind of message making the rounds. Some even say there’s a paid version of Facebook that keeps your photos and posts private for $US5.99 a month. Others mention a likely made-up news report from the vague-sounding “Channel 13 News.”
Since the posts are copied-and-pasted rather than disseminated through the “share” button, it’s impossible to estimate how many times they have been shared. But if you’re a regular Facebook user, you’ve probably seen them making the rounds.
Messages like these seem to circulate on the platform periodically, going back as early as 2012. The posts usually say that Facebook’s privacy policies have changed to allow the company to own the rights to people’s posts and photos. Re-posting this exact block of text, the post explains, will notify Facebook that you don’t give them permission to use your photos.
The only issue: the whole thing is bogus.
As Snopes.com reports, posts like the one above are not legally binding — posting a statement on your profile has absolutely no bearing on how your content will be affected by copyright law.
Furthermore, Facebook doesn’t even purport to own the rights to your content, and whether or not they can share it depends on your own privacy controls — not some arbitrary post on your wall. From ABC News:
We’ve reached out to Facebook for comment and will update this post when they get back to us.
Meanwhile, other users are taking a more lighthearted approach.