The big post spreading like wild fire on everyone’s Facebook news feed — which claims that posting a public notice on your Facebook wall will protect your copyright and privacy rights — is false.
The notice that many users are positing opens:
Users are then encouraged to copy and paste the note into their statuses to achieve the same protections.
But, alas, it’s all a sham. Pure and simple, if you use Facebook you abide by their terms and conditions — you cannot opt out because you feel like it.
Facebook responded to this status message via its Facebook and Privacy Page:
We have noticed a recent status update that is being widely shared implying the ownership of your Facebook content has recently changed. This is not true and has never been the case.
Facebook does not own your data and content.
Please see our Terms of Service for more information: https://www.facebook.com/policies
Boom. There you have it.
There's also a viral post going around warning government agents that they do not have permission to use any of the private information on their Facebook profile.
Guess what ... this is also a sham.
According to the myth-debunking website Snopes.com, the claim of protecting your privacy rights on is similar to another claim a few years back that posting a similar notice on a website would protect that site’s operators from prosecution for media piracy.
The first notice started spreading around the Facebook universe a few days after FB posted its new privacy guidelines, announcing it would let users comment on proposed changes to its governing documents … but not vote.
Lies, all lies. You can't keep the door of your profile closed to Facebook.
Facebook privacy is, of course, a hot issue in this new era of mass-social media. Facebook has been criticized in the past for infiltrating the lives on its users. In June Facebook "hijacked" the e-mail addresses of all members, causing a mild uproar. Seemingly in the dead of night, Facebook removed everyone’s e-mail account listed on their profile, replacing it instead with a randomly generated @facebook.com e-mail account.
Critics called foul, but Facebook maintained the changes. It's within their rights to do so.
Ironically, all Facebook users had the ability to vote on these privacy rules up until last Wednesday, when FB yanked the privilege.
The feature, though, wasn't yanked in some wild police-state-esque moment of iron fisted power. No, rather Facebook took the feature away because nobody was using it.
As Mashable reported, so few virtual citizens came out to vote on proposed new privacy changes the last time around that it made the U.S. midterm elections (with their average 40% voter turnout) look like a triumph of participation.
Mashable explains: "In June, the company proposed two alternative versions of its statement of rights and responsibilities, and let users vote on them for a whole week. A mere 342,632 cast their ballots.
"That was roughly 1 in every 2,600 users — or 0.038% of Facebook’s population at the time."
So what should you do if you want complete amnesty from Facebook, full copyright protection for all of your photos, and unconditional privacy?
Simple: Don’t use Facebook.