Every time one of these Facebook privacy hoaxes starts making the rounds, I don't want to write anything about it. It's like beating a dead horse.
But it's not really a dead horse. It's a zombie horse. And when I see dozens of people on my feed posting the same bullshit statuses, I feel compelled.
Facebook is never going to charge you and posting a status will never legally prohibit Facebook from using your content.
There are actually two versions of the same privacy hoax message going around – both of which have a similar thread running through them. Basically, the gist of the copypasta statuses is that Facebook is going to turn all of your private posts public.
The first hoax claims that Facebook will begin to charge you for its services. This particular hoax has been around for years, oftentimes presenting itself as "Facebook Gold" or something similar.
Now it's official! It has been published in the media. Facebook has just released the entry price: $5.99 to keep the subscription of your status to be set to 'private.' If you paste this message on your page, it will be offered free (paste not share) if not tomorrow, all your posts can become public. Even the messages that have been deleted or the photos not allowed. After all, it does not cost anything for a simple copy and paste.
The other form of the hoax is legal mumbo jumbo that is supposed to bar Facebook from using your content in any way. It's usually preceded by the phrase "better safe than sorry."
Better safe than sorry. As of September 28th, 2015 at 5:00pm, Eastern standard time, I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, or posts, both past and future. By this statement, I give notice to Facebook it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action against me based on this profile and/or its contents. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute). NOTE: Facebook is now a public entity. All members must post a note like this. If you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once it will be tactically allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates. DO NOT SHARE. You MUST copy and paste.
Facebook will never charge you to use the service. That would be counterproductive. It already makes plenty of money off you. You are the product.
Also, Facebook is allowed to use your likeness, photos, videos, statuses, likes, and check-ins in order to target ads and promote other content. It's in the terms of service, and you agree to it when you sign up. Posting some legalese status will never change that.
Please do your part and notify anyone posting these statuses that they should not post these statuses, as they are dumb and pointless.
Image via Ksayer1, Flickr Creative Commons