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At least once a year, some kind of hoax makes its way around Facebook. The general premise is that you need to copy and paste some gigantic nonsense clause, otherwise Facebook will start using all of your pictures and making all your business public.

Now is that time of year (or season, depending on how often people fall for it). You may have seen people posting statuses like this recently:

Everything you’ve ever posted becomes public from today. Even messages that have been deleted or the photos not allowed. It costs nothing for a simple copy and paste, better safe than sorry. Channel 13 News talked about the change in Facebook’s privacy policy. I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, messages or posts, both past and future. With 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. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute). NOTE: Facebook is now a public entity. All members must post a note like this. If you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once it will be tactically allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates. DO NOT SHARE. Copy and paste.

This is not now, nor has it ever been, true. Other versions say that you will need to pay to keep your Facebook profile private — unless, of course, you copy and paste (but do not share!) some enormous chunks of text.

Stop and ask yourself: how would these logistics even work? Let’s say Facebook really did decide to make everyone’s profiles public with no means of changing it. It’s not true, but let’s say that it was. What would happen? You’d post this, and then what? You’d share 752 cat memes and because they can’t see it at the top of your page, they make it public anyway? Or do they go back and look for it? How would they know if you published it or not? Are they really going to invest that kind of time in it? Furthermore, what is the purpose of sharing it more than once? (And you know there are people who share this every single time it surfaces.) Wouldn’t once suffice? Also (and this is the one I’m really dying to know), what if you don’t have news on your channel 13!? Who was talking about it!?

But I digress.

So it doesn’t really add up.

Also, no one seems to be able to find any instance of Facebook saying that they own the copyright to all of your photos, video, information, etc. That’s because Facebook has never said that. But they do say this on their legal terms page:

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Just a little bit of research will then disprove the need to post one of these copy-and-pasted statuses.

If you want to learn more about the ways that Facebook suggests you keep your account secure, they have a whole page for that. You can also read about privacy policy here. It just doesn’t say that they own you or your Facebook footprint.

Part of Facebook’s terms, to which users agree when they set up an account, state that the site does have a right to use your content, depending on how you have your privacy settings set up. What does that mean? Well, if you make a public post, you’re saying that it’s okay for Facebook to use that content. If you don’t want that. brush up on your knowledge of privacy settings and make sure you’re keeping your content locked down.

But whatever you do, don’t spread the hoax that Facebook owns all of your content or that they’re making it all public. It’s simply not true.

Sources: Mashable, Snopes

Image: Pixabay