Facebook status hoax -- what it means to you

6:04 PM, Nov 26, 2012   |    comments
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PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Last week Facebook notified users that it was making changes to their "data use policy." They asked for feedback from users about the new changes, and out of that, a new fake status started floating around.

If you've been on Facebook sometime in the last 48 hours then there is a good chance you've seen someone post a status update that 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, professional photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention). For commercial use of the above, my written consent is needed at all times!"

It goes on to say a lot more and encourages others to copy and paste this as their status.

The absolute first thing to highlight here is that posting a status like this does not do anything to protect you legally. Also, there is no Berner Convention -- there is a Berne convention, and it is about copyright protection, but citing it in a status message does not protect you.

When you agree to use Facebook, you agree to use it under their terms of use. That long complicated legal document that you have to agree to when you sign up. Posting a status update, does not change their terms of use for you --- or for them.

Facebook has posted this response:

"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." -Facebook

In other words, you own your content.

The confusion grew out of a notice Facebook sent out last week. They are proposing changes to their "Data Use Policy" and their "Statement of Rights and Responsibilities." Which sound pretty complicated.

Broken down:
-The big thing Facebook is changing is the right to vote on potential changes. Instead they are asking for comments and feedback on any proposed changes. They cited that voting can sometimes be skewed.

-Along with that they're trying to do more to inform users of changes, and allow for more chances to have your voice heard.

-They're also going to start giving users new tools for managing your Facebook Messages -- this includes filters for messaging

-They're also trying to again make it clearer as to what is public and what is private. What on your timeline can be seen and what can be hidden. They are proposing better tools to manage your own activity -- including when someone else tags you in a post.

-Under the data use section, the major thing is data Facebook will now get about you from" their advertising partners." This is information that you are already providing another company. If they are a partner with Facebook, they can now have access to that. This is based on the site you've used elsewhere. This basically means more detailed adds based on your interests.

My advice, take the time and read the fine print. It's not fun, none of us love to read deep into these legal documents, but to it's best to better protect yourself with a service like Facebook.

We've provided links to where all the better worded details are.

Over all changes:

Changes broken down: 

Facebook responds:




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