Facebook copyright hoax goes viral

KNOXVILLE (ABC) – Watch out Facebook users, the copyright message hoax is making its rounds once again.

Many Facebook users have been noticing a fake copyright message appearing on their newsfeed, according to ABC News. The message claims to put copyright protections on users’ posts if they share the message.

Photo credit: ABC News
Photo credit: ABC News

The fake message typically 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!”

There are two notable factual errors with this authoritarian, faux Facebook pledge. Facebook doesn’t actually own its users’ posts. The social network has the right to distribute and share things a user posts depending on what that user’s particular privacy settings are. Also, there is no such thing as the Berner Convention. There is however a Berne Convention, which is an international agreement governing copyright which was first accepted in Berne, Switzerland in 1886.

So nothing to fear, Facebook users. You can learn more and adjust your privacy settings by clicking the lock icon in the upper-right corner of their page.

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