Facebook Inc (FB) Privacy Hoax Returns

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After its 2012 debut, the Facebook copyright “hoax” has returned as strong as ever.

Echoing the sentiments of P.T. Barnum’s opinion that “there is a sucker born ever minute,” the copyright declaration that first encouraged users to copy and paste it into their status box has returned. If you’re a Facebook user, you’ve probably already noticed as 2015 has likely seen a handful of your friends clogging your Newsfeed with this nonsense.

Facebook Inc (FB) Privacy Hoax Returns

Facebook guidelines: The declaration

Most of the time the declaration reads:

“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!”

Firstly, there is no Berner Convention, it just plain doesn’t exist. It’s likely that the original author of the declaration was referring to the Berne Convention Protection of Literary and Artistic Works of 1886, which precedes Facebook by over 100 years and, for that matter, the first computer by a good 50.

Whatever the case, Facebook does not own your posts but does maintain the right to use your posts based on both your privacy settings and the fact that you agreed to its terms of use.

Consider reviewing your privacy settings

While you may get frustrated with the fact that your Newsfeed is full of this declaration, perhaps you should use this frustration to review your personal privacy settings. For all the complaints made about Facebook’s privacy changes and its confusing nature, the company actually made it considerably easier to view and change your settings in 2014.

Simply go to the upper-right corner of your profile and click on the lock icon in order to view and/or change your settings to a desired level of privacy. It takes considerably less time than complaining about Facebook’s ever changing use of material.

Additionally, when future privacy statements appear in the news or your Newsfeed, recheck your settings. It takes mere minutes and could save you hours of future frustration.

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