Srinagar, August 20, 2023: Once again, an old and debunked rumor has resurfaced on the internet in Kashmir, claiming that posting a legal message on your Facebook wall can prevent the social media giant from using your photos and status updates. However, just as it was nearly 12 years ago, this message is entirely false and misleading.
The misleading message that is circulating states:
“Just in case Notice: An attorney advised us to post this. The violation of privacy can be punished by law. NOTE: Facebook Meta is now a public entity. All members must post a note like this. If you do not publish a statement at least once, it will be technically understood that you are allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in your profile status updates. I HEREBY STATE THAT I DO NOT GIVE FACEBOOK META MY PERMISSION TO USE ANY OF MY PERSONAL DATA OR PHOTOS.”
While this might sound concerning, it’s important to note that this is nothing but a hoax. Those who are sharing this message are not aware that these type of posts been proven false multiple times in the past. (here, here, here and here)
Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes had clarified this matter in 2012 when a similar message gained popularity, stating, “We have noticed some statements that suggest otherwise and we wanted to take a moment to remind you of the facts — when you post things like photos to Facebook, we do not own them. Under our terms, you grant Facebook permission to use, distribute, and share the things you post, subject to the terms and applicable privacy settings.”
This hoax first appeared in November 2012 during the time when Facebook started trading publicly. The message might have been slightly tweaked, but its essence remains unchanged: Post this message or else Facebook gains control of your content.
Facebook addressed these rumors years ago in a fact-checking blog post, asserting that users retain ownership and control over the content and information they post on the platform. Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities further confirms that content set to “Public” allows access to everyone, while “Private” settings have different rules.
It’s crucial to be cautious about the information shared online and to verify the authenticity of such messages, especially in Kashmir, where instances of sharing news without proper verification have been observed historically.