Facebook ‘copy & paste privacy notice’ is making you look stupid

Like some kind of seasonal influenza, the latest strain of the ‘Facebook privacy hoax’ does the rounds, making us all look more than a little silly.

Facebook copy and paste privacy hoax

Here’s one of the many variations doing the rounds: Does this look familiar to you?

Facebook copy and paste hoax

Let us help you: It’s all complete bullshit.

With some variations in dates and irrelevant statutes – it’s all one big mean hoax that’s making you look a tad stupid.

I mean, come on – what did you really think?


Did you think Facebook employees are scrolling through news feeds with a list, checking off those that ‘opted out’?

Facebook privacy

“Inform Mr. Zuckerberg that Michael Stevens from Hull has opted out”

No, they don’t. The only privacy options that apply are those that you specify in your settings and those that you agreed to when you signed up.


Did you bother checking what “UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103” or the “Rome Statute” actually are?

Rome Statute

It’s about war crimes.

Even the most basic bit of Googling will show that the Rome Statute is a treaty that was established by the International Criminal Court. This isn’t about your Facebook privacy, it’s somebody using official sounding names to con you. If you’ve shared this, you’ve likely been added to a list of people magic bean salesman are going to contact.


Did you actually think your Facebook status is going to stand up in a court of law?

Court of Law

“I would like to submit the status for evidence. The one below the motivational quote”

Did you imagine flashes of you on television in the courtroom? Zuckerberg siting in the corner sweating, surrounded by lawyers as you play your ace in-the-hole – that Facebook status. Companies to have hire teams of people and spend thousands of pounds to try and ensure signed contracts are legally binding. This means you unfortunately can’t alter any aspect of the Facebook agreement (which you’ve already entered into) by posting a status.

Mark Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg. Pictured while shaking in his boots.


The problem doesn’t even exists in the first place

The whole thing is a lie built on a lie. Facebook are not even claiming copyright to your personal information, photographs or other materials you are posting. When the rumours started in 2012, Facebook actually released a statement saying:

“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. Click here to learn more: www.facebook.com/policies.”


Even if it did – your status will do jackshit about it

Once you’ve signed up for your account, you can’t retroactively alter or negate any privacy or copyright terms you’ve agreed to – nor can you alter or contradict any new privacy or copyright terms instituted by Facebook.

When you sign up for an account you accept Facebook’s legal terms, which includes a privacy policy and terms and policies.

If you don’t like it, your options are:

  1. Don’t sign up for a Facebook account
  2.  Bilaterally negotiate new terms with Facebook (good luck with that)
  3. Lobby Facebook to change policies
  4. Cancel your Faecbook account – even doing this you cannot reclaim some rights you have given up by creating an account.


Add this to the list of bullshit you need to stop sharing.

You didn’t share that thing about the refugees, did you?