I’ve noticed the privacy message over the week-end, but I didn’t think much about it until it started to show up in more and more feeds. Basically, the idea was that by posting a simple message prohibiting the use of your information, you would be protected from what many see as invasion of their privacy, even if the Facebook terms of use say otherwise. Of course, posting such a message has no legal consequences. It reads like this:“In response to the new Facebook guidelines, I hereby declare 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.

(Those reading this may copy and paste this text on their Facebook walls. This will place them under protection of copyright laws. By the present communiqué, I hereby notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents, and/or any staff under Facebook’s direction or control. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punishable by law (UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute).


Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are recommended to publish a notice like this, or if you prefer, then you may copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be allowing tacitly the use of elements such as your photos, as well as the information contained in your profile status updates”

Both Snopes and HoaxSlayer have taken a good look at it and confirmed that the message is pointless when it comes to limiting the usage of your data as defined in the Facebook terms of use.

I’m not sure if this is a “hoax” in the sense that it was intentionally written to be misleading, or if it is just a mistake that has gone viral, but in the end, it just doesn’t help and simply clutters your friends’ news feed.

Since then, Facebook has issued a statement:

“We have noticed a recent status update that is being widely shared implying the ownership of your Facebook content has recently changed. This is not true and has never been the case. Facebook does not own your data and content. Please see our Terms of Service for more information”

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