Don’t waste your time cutting and pasting Facebook privacy/copyright statements

Today Facebook issued an email about the next steps in its Global Site Governance review, and there’s been a resurgence of the ‘protect your privacy by pasting this message’ hoax.

To cut to the chase, if you are sent a message about cutting and pasting a Facebook copyright or privacy statement, don’t do it and don’t share it. It’s totally irrelevant. If you want to know more about this, read on.

The Facebook Global Site Governance Vote email

An email from Facebook arrived in my in-box today:

Facebook Our Global Site Governance Vote email

Facebook Our Global Site Governance Vote email

The mail links to a series of documents describing the process and the changes. Here is the key paragraph:

Ownership of your content. A number of the comments suggested that we were changing ownership of your content on Facebook. We’re not. This is not true and has never been the case. Anyone who uses Facebook owns and controls the content and information they post, as stated in our SRR. They control how that content and information is shared. That is our policy, and it always has been. We’re not proposing to change this key aspect of how Facebook works.”

As you can see nothing is changing. You can read the full Explanation of Changes document on Facebook

Facebook Hoax

Facebook User Response

I’m not sure that these people really deserve having their anonymity preserved

It didn’t take long for some wag (or misguided user) to start circulating another Hoax ‘cut and paste this privacy statement’ message. The text goes along the lines of:

“In response to the new Facebook guidelines, I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, status updates, messages, photos, videos, and all other personal content that I post online (as a result of the Berne Convention) on my personal profile page, anyone else’s page, or any business page. For commercial use of the above, my written consent is needed at all times.”

There’s another version around with a mis-spelling of Berne.

Why it is pointless

Firstly, Facebook already acknowledges that your content is yours. Secondly by using the Facebook service you are implicitly agreeing to the terms and conditions they set. You can’t selectively ignore parts of the agreement just by saying you don’t like it. That’s it, Period.

So don’t waste your time by doing this, and don’t waste other people’s time by forwarding any messages you might get. If you don’t like Facebook’s Terms and conditions, then you should have already joined in the debate on the Facebook Site Governance page or you can vote with you feet and close your Facebook account.

By the way

Anyone who knows me might ask why it is that I put copyright statements on the photographs I post to Facebook. It’s simple, I don’t want other Facebook users stealing my pictures. It’s got nothing to do with Facebook.

And you think it doesn’t happen?

South Parade Sunset on Facebook

Gotcha! South Parade Sunset on Facebook