Facebook hoax: No, you don't need to post either of these fake statuses to protect your profile or pictures

Two privacy hoaxes that have been circulating for years on Facebook resurfaced this week

Alexandra Sims
Tuesday 29 September 2015 09:09 BST
The company stresses that all users control the information they share
The company stresses that all users control the information they share (Getty)

Thousands of Facebook users are sharing two privacy warnings, painting a bleak picture of the future of the social network, in which it will use your photos for marketing purposes and charge you for keeping your profile private.

There's only one catch – they're both hoaxes.

One message purports that users can purchase a monthly subscription to ensure their Facebook posts stay private:

“Now it's official! It has been published in the media. Facebook has just released the entry price: £5.99 ($9.10) to keep the subscription of your status to be set to “private.” If you paste this message on your page, it will be offered free (I said paste not share) if not tomorrow, all your posts can become public. Even the messages that have been deleted or the photos not allowed. After all, it does not cost anything for a simple copy and paste.”

Another claims to be a legal contract, which if posted protects Facebook photos and profile information from copyright infringement:

"As of September 28th , 2015 at 10:50p.m. Eastern standard time, 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 If you do not publish a statement at least once it will be tactically allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates."

A major problem with both of these messages is that Facebook does not own the copyright to users posts.

According to the company’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities Facebook only have the power to distribute information posted by users according to their privacy settings: “You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings.”

The claim that Facebook will begin charging £5.99 to keep users' information private, appears to have been circulating since 2013, according to Tech Insider, and there is still no indication the social media giant will begin charging people, a move which would only serve to alienate users.

Facebook addressed the rumours when they first went viral two years ago on its fact-check blog saying: “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.”

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