Facebook hoax update: Official statement reassures users 'You're In Control'
Facebook hoax update: Official statement reassures users 'You're In Control'REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Facebook users are being preyed on fears of privacy once again. A new hoax message is being circulated around the world's largest social networking site, asking users to copy and paste a short note of legalese to protect their photos and videos. But updating status will not change the privacy settings of their Facebook accounts any more than what they already are.

The viral hoax note sounds legal and complicated, which is enough to make a normal user fall for it. The post simply states that the privacy and confidentiality of the account will be protected from this time forth. Take a look at the post below, which you may not be seeing for the first time if you constantly check your Facebook wall stories.

"As of September 28th , 2015 at 10:50p.m. Eastern standard time, I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, or posts, both past and future. By this statement, I give notice to Facebook it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action against me based on this profile and/or its contents. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute). NOTE: Facebook is now a public entity. All members must post a note like this. If you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once it will be tactically allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates."

According to CBS News, the false post has been making the rounds since 2012 and Facebook had refuted the rumours then. Referring its users to the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, Facebook stated the rumours are false and "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."

Alongside the legally-binding post, another message is popping up on users' timeline, asking them to subscribe for Facebook's paid model starting at $5.99. However, copying and pasting the post would make the subscription free of cost. The follow-up hoax, which has been around since 2011, is stated below:

"Now it's official! It has been published in the media. Facebook has just released the entry price: $5.99 to keep the subscription of your status to be set to "private." If you paste this message on your page, it will be offered free (I said paste not share) if not tomorrow, all your posts can become public."

The crux of the matter is that Facebook remains free to use for anyone around the world. Updating status to make your photos and videos private are false. If you are concerned about your data being used, the best thing to do is to stay clear of any online media channels or choose the right privacy settings before sharing the content.

"While there may be water on Mars, don't believe everything you read on the Internet today. Facebook is free and it always will be. And the thing about copying and pasting a legal notice is just a hoax. Stay safe out there Earthlings!" Facebook said in a witty post on Tuesday.

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