Stop posting that Facebook privacy meme – you’re making yourself look stupid

From George Takei's Facebook
From George Takei’s Facebook

We’ve been seeing a couple of people on our friends list posting a long, slightly legalese statement about their privacy and copyright guidelines. A bunch of you might have read this on your news feed lately:

In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, professional 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 If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status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.

We hate to break it to you guys, but this is all a hoax. The long and short of it is this: your copyright is already attached to whatever you post on your Facebook account, from that seemingly artsy shot of your unremarkable food a few days ago to that drunken binge that you posted with your friends when you weren’t thinking straight. There is no need to declare it, again. Even Facebook tells you this in their TOS: “You retain the copyright to your content. When you upload your content, you grant us a license to use and display that content.”

If you don’t believe us, you can check out this statement that Facebook posted regarding this issue:

There is a rumor circulating that Facebook is making a change related to ownership of users’ information or the content they post to the site. This is false. Anyone who uses Facebook owns and controls the content and information they post, as stated in our terms. They control how that content and information is shared. That is our policy, and it always has been.

TL;DR; Stop posting that status because it makes you look stupid. Instead, post pictures of cats because they are infinitely more adorable.