Latest Copyright Hoax Hits Facebook

By: Phil White Email
By: Phil White Email

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Monday, November 26, 2012

In the social media world, it does not take long for rumors to spread.

Facebook says that is the case with a viral post that started making the rounds Monday. Many Facebook users posted a statement declaring copyright is attached to everything they post.

The social media network and communications experts say it is a hoax.

"If I'm willing to put it out there in the public domain, who cares," said Amber Teske. "I've chosen to put it out there, so who cares what they do with it."

That is why Teske did not pay much attention when she started seeing a message posted by some Facebook friends declaring their copyright was attached to all of their Facebook-posted content.

"People get so upset or they get so uptight about, 'People are going to use my stuff,' or, 'That's my content,'" she said.

Both Facebook and Lou Heldman, Interim Director of the Elliot School of Communication at Wichita State University, point out that all Facebook users have agreed to let the site use their content. It is in those pages of user agreements most people never read.

Privacy is of greater concern to many Facebook users. Of course, when it comes to privacy on the Internet, if there is something users don't want everybody to see, the only way to make sure that happens is to never post it.

"If you don't want the world to know, don't put it on Facebook," said Samuel Klein. "That's just something I live by."

Klein said he is one of those Facebook users more concerned about security than with copyright.

"Until recently, I never really thought about it," he said. "Then I thought, 'It'd probably be good to block some of the stuff that I post..'"

Alyssa King is another Facebook member who pays more attention to her personal safety than to whether the website can do what it wants with what she posts. She tries not to post information that gives away where she is at, where she is going or where she lives.

"My mom is just always freaking out about me putting too much information like that for people to creep on my profile or something," she said.

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