Facebook Privacy Notice scam is back with a vengeance this year, and the social media site has finally issued a fact-check statement, telling users not to share the message.
The message, which has been copy-pasted by users judiciously, and shared on Facebook, urges their friends to paste the same on their timeline as well. The ‘Privacy’ note claims it will ‘protect’ a user’s content from Facebook, which is now publicly traded company and will thus make all posts from a user public.
Facebook has put out clarification, telling users their privacy settings are still valid, and the legal sounding message won’t really help.
“You may have seen a post telling you to copy and paste a notice to retain control over things you share on Facebook. Don’t believe it. Our terms say clearly: You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it’s shared through your privacy and application settings. That’s how it works, and this hasn’t changed. You can visit Privacy Basics to find out more about who sees what you share on Facebook and other topics. You can also read the Data Policy to find out what information we collect and how it is used and shared. We want you to be informed and in control of your experience on Facebook.”
The hoax has come to light several times in the past couple of years: 2012, 2014, and even 2015.
The notice reads like this, “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 and/or its contents. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute).
NOTE: Facebook is now a public entity. All members must post a note like this. If you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once it will be tactically allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates. DO NOT SHARE. copy and paste.”
The hoax is another example of false messages that seek to exploit user worry about privacy on Facebook. Users can always choose to keep some content public on Facebook, and conversely, there are settings to hide pretty much all content on the site.
In privacy settings, you can choose only me as one of the options for timeline posts, photos, etc and then none of your friends will be able to see what you’ve hidden.
Facebook is not the only social media site where such false messages go viral. On WhatsApp, a common hoax that goes around is one where the user is told WhatsApp has too many users, and will shut down any user account which is inactive.
Users are asked to forward the message to ten friends in order to give proof their account is active. Of course, WhatsApp has no such plans of shutting down accounts of users, and should you get this message, you should probably not go on sharing it.