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Facebook users fooled by copyright hoax

27 Nov 2012

Facebook has rebuffed a bogus report which claimed the firm had changed its privacy policy so that it owned all the content posted by its users.

The chain letter recently began spreading across the network which called upon users to re-post a message if they wanted to prevent Facebook from owning their content. Facebook quickly dismissed the letter with a blog posting.

"There is a rumour circulating that Facebook is making a change related to ownership of users' information or the content they post to the site. This is false," Facebook said in its note to users.

"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."

The bogus chain letter stated that Facebook had changed its privacy policy so that it owned any user-generated content featured on its site. According to the letter, the only way to prevent Facebook from owning a users messages, photos, or postings, was to repost the chain letter to their profile.

"In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, graphics, comics, paintings, photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention)," read the chain letter.

"For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!"

Facebook's fake privacy policy update comes following a real update made last week. The social media firm recently removed the ability for users to vote on Facebook's privacy policy decisions.

The move angered many Facebook users who feared that Facebook would create unfair policies that would hurt their social media privacy.

This isn't the first time Facebook has had to fight off a bogus chain letter. Last June, the same post began surfacing across the social network.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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