Facebook is seeing users post a status update which declares their content is officially copyrighted. This is part of a hoax that has surfaced more than a few times in the past. Most recently, it was started when an email was sent out to all users about removing the ability to vote on new changes to the social network.
The concern is that user’s content will be used for nefarious purposes, particularly being sold off to advertisers. Here’s the copyright status that’s being shared:
In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, graphics, comics, paintings, photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention). For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!
(Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook Wall. This will place them under protection of copyright laws. By the present communiqué, I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook’s direction or control. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute).
Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are recommended to publish a notice like this, or if you prefer, you may copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status updates.
Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes was quick to respond to the hoax, claiming they do not own your content, nor will they ever sell it.
Under https://www.facebook.com/legal/terms, whenever you post something, you are simply giving permission to redistribute the content. This policy is standard among social networks.
For example, Facebook displays the content you share in friends or follower’s news feeds. The original copyright owner still holds the copyright. For users worried about their information being used in ads by third parties, there’s an easy way to fix that issue:
- Log-in to your profile and click the drop-down arrow on the top right.
- Click “Account Settings” and you’ll see “Facebook Ads” in the left sidebar.
- After clicking on the ads option you will see “Ads shown by third parties.”
- Click “Edit third party ad settings” and you’ll see a drop-down box.
- Select “No one” and hit “Save Changes.”
Facebook also allows you to opt-out of social ads which allows your friends to see if you have interacted with a page who’s ad is displayed. Going back to the Ads page, click “Edit social ads setting” if you don’t want to display that information to anyone.
At the end of the day, Facebook is a business and needs to make money through advertising. However, your content is still your own and with the above tips, you can decide if you want your personal information displayed in advertising.