Seen this recently?
I’m sure many of you have. Heck, some of you may have shared it. It’s the latest iteration of these declarations that seem to pop up on Facebook every now and again. They stem from a fear that Facebook will take ownership of the things that we post or, at least in this version, that Facebook will take things we share only with our friends under our privacy settings and make them public.
Fear not, friends. This statement is unnecessary and a hoax. Don’t even get me started on how much is wrong with it. For starters, things you post publicly on social media are NOT confidential information. But I’ll tell you about private and confidential information some other day.
(1) You own all the content and information you post to Facebook…
…and you control how it is shared through your privacy settings. BUT you do give Facebook a non-exclusive licence to use your content in connection to Facebook. This licence is necessary for Facebook to function. Without this permission it could not display the content you post to your friends, for example. Facebook is only permitted to display your content in line with the privacy settings that you choose, so if you select ‘friends only’ when you post a status, Facebook cannot share it publicly. The licence ends when you delete your content EXCEPT where others have shared your content on their page, in which case the content continues to be available on their page unless and until they also delete it.
(2) When you sign up to Facebook you agree to use Facebook in a “safe” way…
…which means no bullying or harassment, no hate speech, and nothing unlawful or discriminatory. You also agree not to infringe other people’s copyright. Facebook has the right to remove any content it believes violates these terms.
(Remember – just because you post a picture to Facebook does not make it yours under copyright, unless you created the picture or took the photograph. You might be posting other people’s content, so take care.)
(3) For users outside of the United States…
…you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. (Different rules apply for German citizens). This may affect your privacy interests so far as the U.S. Government (and the NSA) is concerned.