The Wired Mom: Facebook and Privacy

by , under Geek, The Wired Mom

Yet again, on Facebook, there’s a slew of copy/paste statuses claiming to protect your privacy. It seems to happen about once a year, and out of the 300+ people I follow, I wind up seeing a fair amount of these.

This time, this is the post that’s going around:

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!

(Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook Wall. This will place them under protection of copyright laws. 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. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished 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, you may copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status updates

Is it true? NO. Just by searching Snopes.com for Facebook privacy copyright brings up a definitive no.

Essentially, when you signed up for Facebook you agree to their Terms of Service, which includes the assignment of IP and privacy. While Facebook does keep adjusting their terms (and they do! Most sites do, though they typically warn you of it), there’s nothing you can do to to say you don’t approve of the changes after initially accepting their terms. Well, you can always delete your Facebook account.

If you see a copy/paste message pop up on Facebook, please do yourself, your friends and your family a favor before you copy/paste it. Google the text of the message with the word hoax. Odds are, that will lead you to some news posts or a Snopes story indicating whether it’s real or it isn’t. Taking that 5 minutes (at most) is all it takes to save you from spreading misinformation.

And if you don’t want to listen to me, listen to Boromir:

And now I wish I had a Ned Stark “Brace yourself” meme for this, too.

  • Carey Jensen

    Well there is one very clear thing you can do if you don’t agree to their terms of service or privacy policy, but a majority of people don’t want to do it: Leave Facebook.

  • http://www.whitneydrake.com/ Whitney Drake

    Yeah. But I know how that goes. Someone gets outraged that FB is collecting their data or changing their TOS/privacy policy… and when you tell them they can quit, they treat you like you’re the crazy one.

  • Carey Jensen

    I don’t see how facebook could be of any use to anyone if they didn’t collect data :)

  • http://www.whitneydrake.com/ Whitney Drake

    Well, that’s because you know that free’s free for a reason. Most don’t understand that.

  • Carey Jensen

    I meant it in the more technical sense. If they don’t collect any data, there would be nothing on your wall for your friends to see. I’m just being nerdy and difficult.

  • http://www.whitneydrake.com/ Whitney Drake

    I see it now! And well played. It’s true, the entire internet would be useless if they didn’t collect data.