Friday, November 19, 2021

The New Facebook/Meta Rule That Doesn’t Exist

Perhaps you’ve seen a recent Facebook post that starts: 

The new Facebook/Meta rule starts tomorrow where they can use your photos. Don't forget the deadline is today! This could be used in lawsuits against you. Everything you've ever posted is posted today - even messages that have been deleted. It doesn't cost anything, just copy and post, better than regretting later. 

You are urged to: 

Hold your finger anywhere in this post and a copy will appear. Click on Copy. Then go to your page, start a new post and place your finger in an empty field. ′′ Insert ′′ will appear and you will click on it. This will pass the system.

I'm not giving Facebook/Meta permission to share my information posted on their website. PHOTOS, CURRENT or PAST, PUBLICATION, PHONE NUMBER OR POST... Absolutely nothing can be used in any form without my written permission. 

The post sounds scary but it is basically a rehash of unnerving posts that have been appearing sporadically for years. However, the “facts” are wrong and the advice is useless.  The reason is basic contract law. 

When you sign up for Facebook, you are essentially entering into a contract with them. In exchange for using this social media platform, you are agreeing to the dreaded “terms and conditions.” As with any contract, one person may not simply decide to ignore or change the terms of the agreement without getting the consent of the other party. This is what you are being urged to do by the post. 

If you are concerned with how Facebook uses your personal information or shares your posts, there are a number of privacy options you may select in your profile. If you do not like any of those options, your remedy is to decline to participate. 

Many people have raised legitimate concerns about the Facebook/Meta and other social media platforms and how they accumulate and share information. My intention is not to diminish those misgivings. Some are truly serious. 

The point is simply this: take whatever action you deem appropriate, but you accomplish absolutely nothing by posting a privacy declaration.

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