Facebook’s ‘Privacy Warning’ Hoax Is Going Viral Again
‘Posting an ineffective legal notice on your Facebook page is pointless’
There are some annoying aspects of Facebook that simply refuse to die: Candy Crush requests, never-ending notifications, and false claims that Mark Zuckerberg is giving away millions to people who “copy and paste this message.” Another hoax that’s been roundly debunked is making its way into everyone’s newsfeed again, the fake privacy warning. This post claims that “Everything you’ve ever posted becomes private tomorrow” unless you “copy and paste this message.”
You’ve probably seen something like this going around:
Don’t bother to copy and paste the privacy warning in your news feed, Facebook has already publicly announced that it’s a hoax. “This is false,” the company wrote in a Facebook Newsroom post. “Anyone who uses Facebook owns and controls the content and information they post, as stated in our terms. They control how that content and information is shared. That is our policy, and it always has been.” The privacy warning was also debunked by Snopes back in 2012 as well. “Facebook is not making all your posts public, so posting an ineffective legal notice on your Facebook page is pointless,” the rumor debunking site said.
Even though the hoax has been proved false time and time again, people will still keep sharing it because it appeals to our inner fears. “People are hardwired to respond to fear,” says Dr. Pamela Rutledge, director of the Media Psychology Research Center. “People feel very vulnerable to Facebook because it’s turning into Google. It’s becoming big and powerful. Facebook is making something that you feel you have to do and people feel powerless—and when they feel powerless, they’re scared. We share these things to get comfort; if we’re in it with others we feel less afraid. It normalizes our experience and we also have the hope of it being wrong.”