Facebook scam hits again

“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.”

If you’ve been on Facebook at all this week, you’ve probably seen this statement or something similar in your news feed, most likely more than once. It’s like a virus that just doesn’t stop spreading.

This attempt at sounding official is nothing more than a hoax perpetuated in 2009 and has miraculously been reignited each year since. Either the same people are consistently just not “getting it” or new Facebook users crop up year after year and are somehow left out of the loop when it comes to what Facebook can and cannot do with your posts.

We don’t expect anyone to actually be reading the terms and conditions of Facebook…but for your convenience, we took the liberty of doing so.

This is what it says about sharing your content and information: “For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License).”

Facebook uses your information for ad-use. That’s why if you like “The Avengers” you’ll see exuberant amount of ads for super-hero merchandise. Posting a status is not going to change that. Mark Zuckerberg is not sitting in his office, getting thousands of notifications from users posting this status and saying to himself, “golly, they found a loop hole.”

It is understandable for people to be skeptical and paranoid when it comes to privacy. We live in a digital age where people can steal your identity with a click of a mouse.  Just this semester, we’ve been faced with a tremendous phishing scam. However, even if Facebook did have a diabolical plan to steal your information and share it with the world (which you already do anyway), posting a fake legal notice is not going to stop that.

This is not a statement trying to embarrass a specific group of online users. The majority of us have probably done something annoying or otherwise regretful on a social network. However, this is a call to end the Facebook privacy hoax once and for all. Permission is hereby granted.