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Facebook’s ‘Privacy Warning’ Hoax Is Going Viral Again

‘Posting an ineffective legal notice on your Facebook page is pointless’

via Twitter

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:

Deadline tomorrow !!! Everything you’ve ever posted becomes public from tomorrow. Even messages that have been deleted or the photos not allowed. It costs nothing for a simple copy and paste, better safe than sorry. Channel 13 News talked about the change in Facebook’s privacy policy. I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, messages or posts, both past and future. With 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 If you do not publish a statement at least once it will be tactically allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates.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.

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.”