Facebook privacy and copyright hoaxes
You might have noticed an uptick in the legalese on your Facebook feed of late. Something about “the Berner Convention” and “UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103.” No, it’s not your friends embracing an as of yet undiscovered passion for pre-law. Rather, they’re declaring themselves to be under the protection of copyright laws with a lengthy notice they’ve copied and pasted from other people’s statuses. The kicker? It’s a hoax, Slate reports.
Alas, that Elle Woods-worthy regurgitation is nothing more than empty words. Share it all you want, you’ve already sold your soul to Facebook (as detailed in its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities) and there’s not a thing you can do about it. And you know what’s really sad? This isn’t even the first time this has happened. In fact, it’s not even the first time this year. Back in June, the same legal mumbo-jumbo was shared by countless users after the company went public. The message was discredited then and people still shared it a second time around only months later. So in honor of this latest of Facebook hoaxes, we commemorate our five favorites and hope to keep you from falling prey to any of these offenders ever again.
5. Hover over my name: Much like the copyright hoax, this status update asks you to “hover over my name” and uncheck comments and likes. In so doing, you’ll prevent hackers from invading your profile. After all, any hacker is thwarted by a good hover. That makes complete sense. But don’t take my word for it — listen to this guy explain it.
4. Facebook is removing idle accounts: Honestly, if this were really happening, do you think Facebook would communicate it via status update?
3. Facebook is charging its users: Again, if this were true, you’d find out through a source more reputable than a status update. Also, Facebook’s entire business model rests on the fact that it’s free. Not the best idea to start charging people, then.
2. Superstorm Sandy demolishes the Statue of Liberty: Or a twister descends on New York City. Or a shark swims down the streets of New Jersey. These were all photos shared on Facebook during Hurricane Sandy — some by reputable news outlets — and not one of them was real. Next time a storm hits, look out the window before sharing that image of a tidal wave washing Lady Liberty away.
1. See who viewed your profile: I understand the desire to know if your high school (or college or work) crush has been illicitly creeping on you, but it’s not going to happen. Similarly, should the urge to stalk strike, there’s no way for you to view private profiles either. Any software that claims to do so is a fake. A general tip-off? When “Private Poolicy Statement” is spelled with twos o’s.
Did you fall prey to any of these hoaxes?