Social media can be a fantastic tool to connect friends and family with everything from their own stories to news around the globe. Unfortunately some people abuse this incredible tool for fear mongering. The latest hoax you have probably seen shared by one of your friends or family members is actually nothing new. First spotted in 2012, this hoax advises Facebook users that their privacy will be invaded unless they post a special message to their wall. The hoax looks like this:
This hoax is not true. Even if it were true, all Facebook users made a legal agreement concerning privacy policies when they set up their Facebook accounts. Simply posting a contrary agreement on your Facebook page does not change the original agreement in any way. If any Facebook user has a problem with the policy they have already agreed to they really only have two options, either cancel their Facebook account or re-negotiate a separate agreement between themselves and Facebook, which is highly unrealistic.
Facebook released a statement debunking the hoax when it first appeared in 2012 saying,
“There is a rumor circulating that Facebook is making a change related to ownership of users’ information or the content they post to the site. This is false. 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.”
That being said, any post visible to the public can be viewed and shared by literally anyone. The best course of action Facebook users can take to protect their privacy is to review their privacy and post settings and choose the most restricted settings.