Some of the stuff people put on Facebook can make you want to quit the platform. While photos of every meal, updates on each gym visit, and the sharing of inspirational quotes are bad enough, possibly the most infuriating posts are hoaxes related to the social media site. Now, one of these old messages has returned.
Should the company violate a user’s privacy, the message threatens Facebook with the law “UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103” and the Rome Statute. The Rome Statute, incidentally, is the legal framework set up by the International Criminal Court that deals with genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. A bit excessive for copyright violations.
The whole thing is, of course, utter garbage, yet there are a stunning number of people on Facebook who fall for it. I’ve seen it on my own feed several times. Publicly stating that you don’t give Facebook permission to use your content won’t affect its T&Cs; it just makes you look like a tool. And, as Snopes points out, the company isn’t claiming copyright to users’ material, nor has it announced that it is making posts public, regardless of users’ privacy settings.
Facebook itself addressed the issue back in 2012, though people don't seem to have noticed – or maybe they just don't believe it. The Fact Check post states: “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. Anyone who uses Facebook owns and controls the content and information they post, as stated in our terms. They control how that content and information is shared. That is our policy, and it always has been.”
Several other fake posts have gone viral in the past; some even predate this one. The message claiming Mark Zuckerberg is giving away $4.5 million to 1000 users has been reposted hundreds of thousands of times. And the hoax that Facebook is about to become a paid-for service has been around since at least 2011.
For the lucky few who haven’t seen it on their feeds, here is the copyright post in full: