The Facebook Copyright Hoax That Just Won’t Die

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January 5, 2015 3:32 p.m.
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You’ve seen it pop up numerous times in your Facebook feed: A status implying that the social networking site is using photos without consent. The status update is supposed to revoke Facebook’s permission to do so.

According to ABC News, it’s something like:

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!

WFSB notes a different but similar version:

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 that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute or take any other action against me based on this profile and/or its contents…The violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308-1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute).

Regardless of their exact content, viral statuses like these have been around for years despite the fact that Facebook doesn’t own user photos. You control how your content is shared through privacy settings. In this case, the “Berner Convention” is non-existent, and UCC 1-308-1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute are unrelated to social networking and privacy.

The most frustrating part of these posts, is that a status update can’t negate a privacy agreement anyway. When you create an account you agree to certain terms of service. So if you worry about Facebook’s access to your information, the best thing to do would be to quit Facebook altogether (although some rights you may never get back).

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