Over the past months, a hoax has been making the rounds on Facebook, urging users to post a copyright notice on their timelines in order to protect the content they publish.
The pranksters claim that the new Facebook guidelines allow anyone to use the content they post without their authorization, unless they publish a notice on their profiles.
Here’s one example of the hoax:
“PRIVACY NOTICE: Warning - any person and/or institution and/or Agent and/or Agency of any governmental structure including but not limited to the United States Federal Government also using or monitoring/using this website or any of its associated websites.
You do NOT have my permission to utilize any of my profile information nor any of the content contained herein including, but not limited to my photos, and/or the comments made about my photos or any other "picture" art posted on my profile.”
Another one reads:
“By the present communiqué, I 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.”
Facebook has become aware of these scams. They’ve even published a short “fact check” in their newsroom.
“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,” the company states.
“They control how that content and information is shared. That is our policy, and it always has been.”
Experts advise users to stop spamming the social media website with such groundless claims. Also, remember that cybercriminals often leverage such messages to convince users to install all sorts of rogue applications.