That Facebook 'privacy/copyright' message is a complete hoax

That Facebook 'privacy/copyright' message is a complete hoax

Menlo Park : CA : USA | Nov 26, 2012 at 2:01 PM PST
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Your Facebook feed may be on fire today with a wordy and widely viral post, one that you can copy and paste to supposedly solve all your Facebook privacy and copyright concerns. You may have seen or even reposted this three-paragraph disclaimer beginning with, "I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details..." Reposting this incredibly lengthy legal-jargon disclaimer will not make for interesting online conversation, nor will it amuse anyone interested in your thoughts on zombie-related TV shows or the Elmo scandal.

More important, it will not affect your Facebook copyright or privacy rights in any way whatosever. It's a total hoax. people. You absolutely cannot change your Facebook privacy settings or copyright privileges by posting something in your status.

Nonetheless, Facebook users are posting this viral message repeatedly, unaware that the Facebook privacy and copyright notice is a hoax. It's basically a chain letter in Facebook form, claiming that "My copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, graphics, comics, paintings, photos, and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention). For any and all commercial use of the above my written consent is required in every instance."

The mythbusters at have also poked holes in this Facebook copyright and privacy message hoax, noting that the "Berner Convention" referenced does not actually exist. (It's actually called the Berne Convention, a copyright law dating back to the 19th Century.)

Even Facebook themseleves are jumping on debunking this rumor. "There is a rumor circulating that Facebook is making a change related to ownership of users' information or the content they post to the site. This is false," Facebook said in a statement. "Anyone who uses Facebook owns and controls the content and information they post, as stated in our terms."

This piece of misinformation has actually popped up before, way back in May, shortly after Facebook went public. The rumor has been resurrected for another tour of duty, presumably because Facebook is contemplating a change in how they determine privacy policy.

But just for kicks, I am going to hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, photos and videos, etc. See? Nothing happened, and I was granted no additional copyright protections of privacy rights.

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From: Sean MacEntee
Joe Kukura is based in San Francisco, California, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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