This morning you were probably wake for about 75 seconds when you saw several Facebook friends with the following Facebook status (or some variation of it):
“As of September 26th , 2015 at 01:16 a.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 If you do not publish a statement at least once it will be tactically allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates. DO NOT SHARE. You MUST copy and paste.”
This status, and it’s multiple variations supposedly act as a binding contract, statute, agreement, covenant — what ever you want to call it — that will supposedly stop Facebook from using, charging, or profiting off any of the information or media you share on your account.
Too bad this is all false.
This hoax is nothing new, and has in fact reared its obnoxious head as recently as last January.
A simialar rumor was spreading around in 2012 that the social network would soon start charging users for their accounts. However in 2012 Facebook addressed the rumor head-on and shared a status debunking it:
What about all your pictures, status updates and videos? Will this super legally binding (it's not) Facebook status prevent them from using any of it without your permission?
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Well...as Gawker wrote in 2012:
"No. You've already agreed to allow Facebook to use your intellectual property in connection with Facebook when you signed up, as outlined in its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities: "[Y]ou 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)." You can't retroactively change that agreement with a status update! That being said: Facebook's license ends when you delete your intellectual property, so they're unlikely to use your photos or status updates without obtaining permission first."
Stay vigilant, internet! The web is dark and full of bullsh--.
Matt Lee is a Web producer for Metro New York. He writes about almost everything and anything. Talk to him (or yell at him) on Twitter so he doesn’t feel lonely@mattlee2669.