Facebook security and privacy changes hoax explained
Facebook security and privacy changes hoax explained. Image credit: The Register.

U.S. – There is a status rolling around the Internet warning people about a Facebook privacy change, but it is just a hoax. According to the “warning,” Facebook is going to make all user’s pictures public unless they post a statement.

The Facebook Privacy Notice message urges users to post a legal notice on their Facebook wall to protect the copyrights of their pics and post. It traces back to 2012, according to Snopes website, and goes viral periodically.

The hoax assures Facebook became a public entity and will begin claiming ownership of personal information, photographs, and other material their users are uploading to the social media.

The status cites law “UCC 1-308-1 1 308-103” and the Rome Statute as a defense. However, the Rome Statute is the international law that deals with genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

Facebook privacy change message.
Facebook privacy change message. Image credit: TheUSBPort.

What can Facebook do with a user’s content?

Snopes says the rumor originated in November 2012 when Facebook announced they were considering revoking users’ rights to vote on new policy changes. It sparked the first viral hoax about content going public.

Then, Facebook issued a statement saying the rumors were false, and that their customers own and control the content they post.

Facebook’s privacy policies state the company gets permission from their users to use, distribute and share the things they post, but Facebook does not own anyone’s media.

By posting, users give the social network a non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free, worldwide license to their content.  It means Facebook can do anything on their site, but these IP license ends when the user deletes the picture, for example.

The government already protects IP licenses, so there is no need to make a privacy declaration. Either way, users cannot contradict the Facebook’s terms of service they agreed upon registration.

Lastly, the fact that Facebook is a publicly traded company (meaning is has issued stocks on the open market) has nothing to do with copyright protection.

How can I secure my Facebook account?  

How can I secure my Facebook account
How can I secure my Facebook account? Image credit: 7 Themes.

Users who do not agree with the networks policies may close their accounts, negotiate a new policy with the company through their support channels, or complaint via the Facebook Governance. People can manage the privacy of their Facebook accounts on the settings.

On the website browser, users may head to the top right of the Facebook bar, hit the drop down menu, press settings and then go to privacy.

Privacy options allow users to tweak who sees their post and tags, who contacts them and who can look them up on Facebook or third-party search engines like Google.

Below is the “Timeline and Tagging” option bar to specify who can interact with the user’s timeline and manage tagged photos and tag suggestions.

Lastly, on the Blocking bar members can ban or prevent notifications and messages from users, apps, events, and pages.

Source: Snopes