Facebook privacy message is a hoax


A Facebook status message that claims to give you protection against Facebook using your posts, pictures or any other data has been found to be a hoax.

The status that states words along the lines of: "As of Jan. 5, 2015 at 10:50 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 is private and confidential information. The violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308-11 308-103 and Rome statute)."

The Rome Statute established the International Criminal Court and states that crimes relating to genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression should be investigated and prosecuted by the court if member states are unable to do so themselves - a far cry from protecting any kind of copyright. Variations of the same message mention the Berner convention is a fictional law, although the Berne convention does protect copyright.

Under Facebook's terms and conditions, which you opt in for when signing up to the service, state that the company can share and distribute your information as it sees fit, but you can decide to prevent the social network from doing this from your privacy settings. If you don't agree to Facebook having the right to share your content, you should avoid accepting the terms and conditions on sign-up, which means you are unable to open an account.

Facebook's spokesperson said: "We wanted to take a moment to remind you of the facts - when you post things like photos to Facebook, we do not own them."

The act of posting such messages on Facebook timelines has been doing the rounds for some time (the first were seen back in 2012) and each time, it has been proven to be a hoax.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.