REMINDER: The Facebook privacy hoax is still a hoax

Privacy

This is probably the best explanation you’re ever going to see of the Facebook privacy hoax that has been going on for YEARS now, annoying millions of people who know better.

Last Week Tonight‘s host John Oliver ends this solid debunking of the hoax by insisting that the only way to actually ensure that you still own all the content you post on Facebook is to post the video above on your Facebook wall. This is sort of true. If you do that you will own all the content you post on Facebook.

But it won’t stop take away the agreement you made with Facebook to give it “a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License).”

You don’t remember making any such agreement?! Of course not because it’s in the terms and conditions of the site, which no one ever reads.

You can limit how Facebook uses your content with your privacy settings. Specifically you can tell the site not to use your image or names in its paid advertising by going to your Settings.

Next to “Ads based on my use of websites and apps” click “Edit” and select “No”.

Next to “Ads with my social actions” click “Edit” and select “No one”.

(While you’re there, you can go into “Your Ad Preferences” and clear it out if you’re interested in getting fewer targeted ads.)

But this won’t change the reality that you own any content you own and post to Facebook and then Facebook can use that content in any way it deems appropriate according to the agreement you made with the site, which is continually updated with changes you probably never read.

Snopes.com — which does an excellent job debunking this and other hoaxes while bombarding you with ads — offers these options if you don’t like the idea of Facebook using your content:

* Decline to sign up for a Facebook account.
* Bilaterally negotiate a modified policy with Facebook.
* Lobby for Facebook to amend its policies through its Facebook Site Governance section.
* Cancel your Facebook account.

Those are your only options because anything you post to your Facebook wall isn’t going to change the reality that Facebook can you use your stuff because you use Facebook. This is the price of its “free” service.

And before you share anything that sounds too outrageous to be true on Facebook, do a quick search perhaps including the term “hoax.”

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