Don’t Bother Posting the “Better safe than sorry” That’s Spreading Around Facebook

Facebook better safe athan sorry

A fake Facebook copyright message claiming to protect users’ media has once again been making the rounds on the social network.

Have you posted the notice to your Facebook timeline to proclaim your copyright ownership of all content? Have you seen others from your social network posting such a notice? If you haven’t already, don’t bother. It’s a hoax.

There’s a Facebook status update that’s going viral right now that begins with the phrase “Channel 13 News was just talking about this…” or “Better safe than sorry”

Since late last month, Facebook users have been posting a legal-sounding “privacy notice.” By putting the notice on their timelines, they hope, they will become exempt from the terms and conditions of Facebook’s “Data Use Policy,” which users agree to upon initially signing up.

Unfortunately, that couldn’t be further from the truth. As the urban-legend-debunking site Snopes explains, “The basic premise is false.”

“We have noticed this recent status update that is being widely shared implying the ownership of your Facebook content has recently changed,” Alex Kirschner, a member of Faceook’s PR team, told me. “This is not true and has never been the case.”

It’s not even a new hoax. It’s a resurgence of an old hoax that many users fell for earlier this year when Facebook became a publicly-traded company. The previous hoax implied that the change from a private company to a public one somehow changed the rules of the privacy agreement and put your posts and photos at risk unless you posted a copy and paste of a disclaimer establishing your copyright ownership.

While there are some variations, most of the warnings look like this:

Better safe than sorry right. Channel 13 news was just talking about this change in facebooks privacy policy. Better safe than sorry. As of January 3rd, 2015 at 11:43am Easter standard time. 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 it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute or take any other action against me based on this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308-11 308-103 and Rome statute). NOTE: Facebook is now a public entity. All members must post a note like this. If you prefer, you can copy and past this version. If you do not publish this statement at least once it will be tactically allowing the use of your photos, as well as information contained in the profile status updates. DO NOT SHARE you MUST copy and paste to make this I will leave a comment so it will be easier to copy and paste!

There are a number of inaccuracies here. Facebook became a publicly traded company last month, but that change has no bearing on how the social network treats user information. Facebook is still bound to the terms and conditions signed by users, even if the actual contents of the contract are usually left unread. The company is also required to provide notification regarding any significant changes to this agreement.

The absolute best way to know Facebook’s official policies are to read up on the area you’d like more information.  Experts suggest going into your accounts privacy settings and select the level of sharing you allow with your Facebook content. Do your homework before posting

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