Facebook Hoax: Privacy Warning No Truer Now Than It Was Last Time

If you’ve been on Facebook for any length of time, you’ve undoubtedly come across at least one almost-believable warning in your news feed. No matter how many times panicked claims such as “Facebook to start charging subscription fees” and earnest posters promising that Mark Zuckerberg will pay millions to random users who copy, paste, and share certain messages are debunked, the same old Facebook hoaxes come around again and again and again.

Most recently, the rehashed Facebook hoax making the rounds pertains to messages and posted images. According to the hoax that first appeared several years ago (and was promptly debunked), “everything you ever posted” will become public at some vaguely defined date unless you immediately copy and paste a timeline message denouncing the public acquisition of your posts, messages and photos by the social media giant.

Scott Dudley of Bug Tussle, Oklahoma is one such user who deemed it wise and necessary to re-post the bogus Facebook warning last July. If you cannot read the text of Dudley’s post, it’s reprinted in its entirety below.


“Deadline today!!!Everything you’ve ever posted becomes public from tomorrow. Even messages that have been deleted or the photos not allowed. It costs nothing for a simple copy and paste, better safe than sorry. Channel 13 News talked about the change in Facebook’s privacy policy.I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, messages or posts, both past and future. With 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 If you do not publish a statement at least once it will be tactically allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates.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. Copy and paste to be safe”

Copy and paste to be safe. Yeah, right. When was the last time copying and pasting a Facebook post protected you or anyone from anything? How about never?

WTF are UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103 the Rome Statute?

The Uniform Commercial Code, or UCC, is not law. It is a model code meant to standardize international commerce and has nothing to do with social media sites such as Facebook. The Rome Statute is an international treaty that was established to deal with war criminals and is in no way relevant to your Facebook user experience.

Ask any legal expert, and they’re bound to tell you that there is absolutely no way to protect your intellectual property by posting a canned notice on Facebook. No way, no how. In fact, attempting to do so is approximately as effective as citing Klingon law in a U.S. courtroom, so says the Watson Law Firm in Birmingham, Alabama.

Same hoax, different day

According to Snopes, the recent bogus Facebook privacy advisory is similar in nature and scope to another hoax that circulated among internet users and on a variety of websites more than a dozen years ago. That claim, which also turned out to be false, purported to protect web users, especially movie and software pirates, from prosecution when they cut, pasted and publicly re-posted the following juju.

“If you are affiliated with any government, anti-piracy group or any other related group, or were formally a worker of one you CANNOT enter this web site, cannot access any of its files and you cannot view any of the HTML files. If you enter this site you are not agreeing to these terms and you are violating code 431.322.12 of the Internet Privacy Act signed by Bill Clinton in 1995 and that means that you CANNOT threaten our ISP(s) or any person(s) or company storing these files, and cannot prosecute any person(s) affiliated with this page which includes family, friends or individuals who run or enter this web site. “

The moral of the story

If you take away anything from this article, let it be with the promise that you will never again pass along internet rumors unless you know that they are, in fact, factual. Stop spreading erroneous information and thereby contributing to the stupefying of America. Thank you.

[Featured Image by Marekuliasz/ThinkStock]

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