“Oh my God have you seen the news? Facebook is going to start charging a monthly fee!” 

This is how my mother started off the weekend at home, status updates plastered all over Facebook stating that claimed there was going to be a monthly fee from Facebook in order to keep your data private. So you all better be prepared to pay up then because if it is in your News Feed then it is bound to be true.

Of course its not true, its a hoax and the truth is that the social media giant is doing nothing of the sort but that doesn’t stop the masses from panicking and as a consequence copying and pasting stupid status updates all over the network. If you are a longtime Facebook user then you will know that the network is no stranger to this kind of thing.

Another status began circulating the other day urging people to get ahead of the supposed changes by copying and pasting a declaration on their Facebook which would prevent their private content from being made public. It looks something like this:

As of September 28 2015 8:50 pm Eastern standard time, I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, or posts, both past and future. By 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 1 308-1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute).

This is a variation on similar notices we have seen over the past number of years on Facebook when users start to hear about privacy issues and get jumpy. What I personally love in particular about this status update you see flying around is the reference to the Rome Statute, here is a very brief history lesson on it.

The Rome Statute is the treaty that established the International Criminal Court in 1998, it then entered into force in 2002. The Rome Statute deals with the following, genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression. It has nothing to do with petty Facebook squabbles which are in fact hoaxes and not true.

Furthermore, how many people have stopped to read Facebook’s terms of service before copying and pasting this status update?

Because it states quite clearly in the terms of service that: “You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings.”

Facebook even had to jump into this one themselves to try and stamp out the rumours of a paid service being introduced.

Please people, this needs to end. Lets get a bit more real about this shall we? Facebook is not some evil social media God trying to steal your data. We dance this same dance at least once a year now on a large scale and nothing seems to sink in. How about sharing this post instead of that silly status update?

Even better, bookmark this post for the next time you see something similar along these lines spreading all over your feed.

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