Stop the pointless Facebook privacy posts

by Kenneth Leonard

Confused Facebook users have been posting a viral status update, which supposedly exempts them from Facebook’s terms of service. One can only assume these are the same users who thought “liking” the “Kony 2012” video would end genocide in Africa. Don’t bother posting it, my fellow Aztecs. The whole thing is a hoax.
Social media guru Robert Scoble summed up the whole phenomena perfectly when he told his 435,007 Facebook subscribers, “If you are posting about copyright on Facebook and you haven’t done your research, you are an idiot.”
The most common “privacy notice” reads: “In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berne Convention). For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!”

Kaiem Majed, Production Designer

Oh, Facebook user. Do you actually think people are dying to use all of the insightful and original content on your page for “commercial” purposes?
The meme goes on to explain how posting will “place them (the user) under protection of copyright laws. By the present communiqué, I notify Facebook that it is strictly for

bidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents.”
Now, I’m not a contract attorney, but when I saw this popping up on my newsfeed, the whole thing looked a little suspicious to me. My suspicions were confirmed by, which said, “Facebook users cannot retroactively negate any of the privacy or copyright terms they agreed to when they signed up for their accounts, nor can they unilaterally alter or contradict any new privacy or copyright terms instituted by Facebook simply by posting a contrary legal notice on their Facebook walls.”

New privacy or copyright terms? What are these new privacy terms people are so concerned with? The conclusion of the “privacy notice” status update makes a point of referring to Facebook as an “open capital entity.” Facebook’s status as a publicly traded company has absolutely nothing to do with the privacy rights of its users, as a quick Google search reveals. So, why are people reposting this status update?

This may shock you, dear reader, but the proliferation of the bogus privacy notice is a direct result of people being lazy and dumb. I mean really dumb. See, I’m dumb enough to know I don’t have any idea what the Berne Convention is or how it relates to international or online copyright laws, so I immediately run to Google so I can “un-dumb” myself.

The folks who reposted the privacy notice are too dumb to know how dumb they are. They sat at their computers, read the notice, had no idea what it meant, furrowed their brows, silently nodded their heads and thought to themselves, “Yeah, that sounds pretty legit” as they took the time to copy and paste a thick layer of erroneous protection onto their Facebook walls.

Do yourself a favor and don’t be one of these people. It literally took me less than a minute to do the necessary research to debunk the claims made by the privacy notice. It is just way too easy to check the accuracy of these types of memes before posting them to allow yourself to join the masses who take the time to actually post their ignorance and laziness in the form of a status update.
If you are truly concerned about your privacy on Facebook, you’re in luck. Facebook provides a host of privacy options for their users that allow them to be very selective about where and how their status updates, photos and posts are shared. Facebook offers customizable settings to control who can view

your personal information, send you friend requests or messages, post on your timeline, view posts on your timeline, tag you in posts and view posts you’ve been tagged in. So before freaking out about privacy rights, make sure you’ve done the necessary homework to understand what options Facebook already offers.

If you’re still concerned about privacy and you don’t feel like Facebook has done all it can to preserve yours, there is one surefire way to withdraw your consent from Facebook when it comes to your profile: deactivate your account. It’s that easy. Opt out of Facebook and all of your Facebook problems will disappear.