A hoax Facebook status is making the rounds once again.
The viral post claims that the social media company is making changes to its privacy policies. In response, Facebook users are urged to post a statement on their Timeline saying that they do not grant Facebook the right to their posts, pictures, and media.
The post reads as follows:
If the post seems familiar, it’s because this is at least the seventh time Facebook––and news reporters––have had to debunk it. According to David Mikkelson at Snopes, the internet rumor and urban legend reference site, one of the first documentations of a similar hoax dates back to 2009. “In both cases the claims were erroneous, an expression of the mistaken belief the use of some simple legal talisman — knowing enough to ask the right question or post a pertinent disclaimer — will immunize one from some undesirable legal consequence,” Mikkelson wrote. “The law just doesn’t work that way.”
Facebook commented on the hoax in a 2012 post.
The hoax cites law “UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103” and the Rome Statute as defenses to retroactively negate Facebook’s privacy and copyright terms. The former, writes David Mikkelson, “has long been popular among conspiracy buffs who incorrectly maintain that citing it above your signature on an instrument will confer upon you the ability to invoke extraordinary legal rights.” By contrast, the Rome Statute is the treaty that established the International Criminal Court, which deals with genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. “Copyright infringement and privacy concerns are a long way from their concerns,” writes journalist Martin Belam.
Facebook was hit by other scams in recent weeks. News of an upcoming “empathy” button spurred scammers to bait users with early access to the button by sharing a post and clicking onto a survey that installs malware on the user’s computer. Another scam also takes advantage of users’ privacy concerns: It claims Facebook “just released the entry price: $5.99 to keep the subscription of your status to be set to ‘private.'” But the scam promises that the service will be free if users create status updates spreading the word. Facebook issued a statement striking down both claims in response.
About The Author
Alan is a writer and editor who lives in New York City.