I missed a viral marketing opportunity

In the last couple of days there’s been a Facebook post circulating telling people to re-post the message to protect their privacy. Before we go any further, it’s a hoax.

I’m no longer surprised at how quickly such hoaxes spread. It seems that there are a lot of people out there without critical thinking skills, who’ve never heard of Snopes or Google, and have no inclination to do a little independent research.

What interested me about this particular hoax is how quickly the Facebook community responded with counter hoax picture memes. I saw the memes before I saw a copy of the hoax.

So what viral marketing opportunity did I miss?

I should have taken a few minutes to produce an original picture meme of my own, made sure it included the Davis-Allman logo, web address/Facebook page address and cast it out into the ocean of Facebook. What I actually did was re-post one of the memes I’d been sent with a little explanatory text. Excellent news for the person who created the original post (good for them). Not so good for me.

The lesson. Examine every chance you have to communicate with your market for ways to leverage the opportunity. Especially when there is a chance for your message to go viral.

Facebook privacy hoax memes

Just for fun, here are a few of the counter memes that I saw. The images link to the Facebook pages where I found them. Remember I have no control over the comments and idiocies you might find there!


One does not simply...

If it's private...


Facebook’s Copyright policy

What is Facebook’s stance on copyright? That’s easy to find, click on ‘terms’ at the bottom of any Facebook page and it’ll take you to Facebook’s terms and conditions page – last updated June 8, 2012. Here’s an extract:

“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. In addition:

  1. For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.
  2. When you delete IP content, it is deleted in a manner similar to emptying the recycle bin on a computer. However, you understand that removed content may persist in backup copies for a reasonable period of time (but will not be available to others).
  3. When you use an application, the application may ask for your permission to access your content and information as well as content and information that others have shared with you. We require applications to respect your privacy, and your agreement with that application will control how the application can use, store, and transfer that content and information. (To learn more about Platform, including how you can control what information other people may share with applications, read our Data Use Policy and Platform Page.)
  4. When you publish content or information using the Public setting, it means that you are allowing everyone, including people off of Facebook, to access and use that information, and to associate it with you (i.e., your name and profile picture).
  5. We always appreciate your feedback or other suggestions about Facebook, but you understand that we may use them without any obligation to compensate you for them (just as you have no obligation to offer them).”

Basically, if you keep your content private or friends only it should stay that way. Make it public and all bets are off.

Facebook Privacy Hoax Text

“Facebook is now a publicly traded entity. Unless you state otherwise, anyone can infringe on your right to privacy once you post to this site. It is recommended that you and other members post a similar notice as this, or you may copy and paste this version. If you do not post such a statement once, then you are indirectly allowing public use of items such as your photos and the information contained in your status updates.PRIVACY NOTICE: Warning – any person and/or institution and/or Agent and/or Agency of any governmental structure including but not limited to the United States Federal Government also using or monitoring/using this website or any of its associated websites, you do NOT have my permission to utilize any of my profile information nor any of the content contained herein including, but not limited to my photos, and/or the comments made about my photos or any other “picture” art posted on my profile.You are hereby notified that you are strictly prohibited from disclosing, copying, distributing, disseminating, or taking any other action against me with regard to this profile and the contents herein. The foregoing prohibitions also apply to your employee , agent , student or any personnel under your direction or control.The contents of this profile are private and legally privileged and confidential information, and the violation of my personal privacy is punishable by law. UCC 1-103 1-308 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. (M)”