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Dear Facebook friends,

Let me share with you a little (well-known) secret: those Facebook privacy notices you may see on several people’s statuses do not work. They simply don’t. You know the statuses I’m talking about: the ones that claim that users are protected from Facebook’s claim to the copyright of their individual posts. It looks a little something like this:

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.) 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).

A big hint that this is basically the equivalent to other chain statuses like “share this post and your crush will like you in an hour OMG!”: the status goes to warn you that by avoiding to publish this statement, you’re giving Facebook the rights to your posts. But here’s a reality check for you guys: you already gave Facebook those rights when you agreed to their terms of service!

Possible Solutions

There are some things you can do to protect yourself, but they might not work for you.

  1. Stop posting stuff.
  2. Delete the stuff you already posted. (But we all know — or should know by now — that you can’t really ever delete something from the internet.)
  3. Object to Section 2.1 of the Facebook ToS to Facebook customer service. (Long shot, but if you’re that concerned with your privacy then maybe it’s worth a try.)

So Facebook friends, this is just a friendly PSA that falling for the privacy notice Facebook statuses won’t do you any good.


A concerned (but not very close) Facebook friend.

Have you seen these Facebook privacy notices flooding your feed?

Featured image via Lifehacker.