Facebook privacy hoax goes viral duping thousands of users

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By Jacob Maslow


A fake copyright message claiming to protect the content of users on Facebook has resurfaced on the popular social media site.

The message claims to offer copyright protection on any content users may share to their timeline after they post the message as an update.

The latest Facebook privacy hoax reads:

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

Here is the problem: according to Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, the company doesn’t own users posts anyway, and only has a right to share and distribute user content, subject to the individual users privacy settings on their account.

That’s not all: the Facebook privacy hoax also makes another glaring error in its claims, as there’s actually no such thing as the Berner Convention.

There is the Berne Convention, which whoever wrote the hoax was probably meaning to refer to as this is an international agreement relating to copyright protection of artistic and literary work.

This is not the first time Facebook users have been duped by fake messages relating to copyright or privacy infringement.

In November 2012, the hoax below went viral after it was posted and shared by hundreds and thousands of users.

Facebook hoax
Screenshot of a Facebook hoax that went viral in 2012.

Regarding the latest hoax, a spokesperson for Facebook confirmed that the company does not own the copyright of users content.

This latest hoax reinforces the fact that many users of Facebook are still unsure with regards to privacy when using the site, despite the company’s efforts for transparency.

Users who are unsure should check the privacy settings of their individual Facebook account. If you still question Facebook’s policies with regards to privacy then the only real option left for you is to cancel your Facebook account.



Images Courtesy of DepositPhotos

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