If you Believe this, I’ve got a Bridge…

Why is it that, when it comes to social media, normally intelligent people are willing to believe anything they read? Not only do they take it at face value, they pass it along, clogging the news feeds of all of their friends and acquaintances. Here is a sample:

My very intelligent friend who is an attorney said to post this. Good enough for me. 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 If you do not publish a statement at least once it will be tacitly understood that you are allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in your profile status updates. I DO NOT GIVE MY PERMISSION. If you prefer, you can copy and paste this version.

Wherever this information came from, it is clearly wishful thinking. This paragraph is just a bunch of legal-sounding mumbo jumbo strung together to make it look official and scary. You agreed to the terms of service when you signed up and, if you could retroactively contradict a legal agreement, that means that contracts would be more useless than they are already. Furthermore, Facebook is willing to help you protect your images and other intellectual property.

How do I know? This is a quote from the Terms of Service. Remember those? You agreed to them when you signed up. Here’s the quote: “We provide you with tools to help you protect your intellectual property rights.” So, if they are going to help yo protect your property rights, why would they want to violate them?

Want more information?

Here are a couple of links to articles you might find useful:

Stop Posting that Idiotic Facebook Privacy Notice — It’s STILL Meaningless!

Snope’s article: Facebook Privacy Notice

Now here’s the thing. I did not write this post to make fun of people who post these notices and pass on other hoax posts. I get it. They read them, become scared, and think that this is the answer. It isn’t. What I’d like to suggest is that, instead of hitting share or simply copying the post to their own timelines, take a few minutes to confirm the truth of what the post says. And then? Only share if it turns out to be true. Yes, sometimes these things can be true but usually? They are started by some attention-seeking ass who just wants to scare people. And who does that remind you of?