If you’ve been on Facebook in the past few days, chances are you’ve seen a bunch of your friends and family posting something really stupid. No, I’m not talking about their political rants. I’m talking about a fishy status update about a Facebook copyright notice that won’t seem to die no matter how many times it gets debunked.
There are a few variations of the message, but most of them invoke either scares about paid subscriptions or strong words about copyrighted material. The one thing they all have in common is that they encourage people to copy and repost the message in order to secure their “intellectual property” from theft by the Facebook Gods. One of the most popular shares looks something like this:
Despite the fact that this is obviously a load of bullshit, people insist on continuing to share it. It even says in Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities that “anyone who uses Facebook owns and controls the content and information they post and how that content and information is shared.” Has that stopped any of these dedicated hoax-spreaders? Nope.
If you want to get rid of the fake copyright notices, the best way to do it is to click the arrow in the top right corner of the post and hide it. Once you’ve hidden a post, Facebook will ask why and you can select “this is false news,” because that’s exactly what it is. Facebook is not charging. Random text does not create a magical force-field around all of your data. And, no, Mark Zuckerberg is not sitting in his mansion personally digging through each Facebook page to determine who put the proper copyright laws on their Throwback Thursday photos.
There’s no telling why these obnoxious hoaxes go viral, but at least we can say some good has come out of this one. Facebook users have had a field day coming up with their own hilarious versions of these privacy notices. They’ve name-dropped everyone from Santa Claus to unicorns to the CIA and promised dire consequences if you don’t share the posts with your friends. Here are some of our favorites:
Hide your panties, hide your socks.
That escalated quickly.
Not the plants!
Pull yourself together, Robin.
Bottom line: anything on Facebook that threatens a usage fee or implores you to copy, paste, and share it with all your friends in order to prevent something bad from happening is probably a load of garbage. Google things before you share them and stop torturing your friends and loved ones with this insanity.
Also, please immediately share this post with everyone you know, otherwise an actual Scary Mommy will appear in your house, drink all your wine, and say “fuck” in front of your children. You’ve been warned.