Facebook-owned app Instagram has a viral hoax message problem, which has spread rapidly on the platform. The message, which is a tweaked version of an old Facebook hoax, claims that Instagram is changing its rules and that the company can now use your photos for any purposes and basically owns all your content. A similar form of this hoax has been around on Facebook also for some years now. Facebook had previously issued a fact-check saying such messages were untrue.
The message has forced Instagram head Adam Mosseri to tweet saying there were no changes to the app’s privacy and copyright rules. He wrote, “If you’re seeing a meme claiming Instagram is changing its rules tomorrow, it’s not true,” with a link to an article debunking the hoax.
The message also claims that if you do not post and share this notice, you are in effect giving Instagram tacit approval to use your photos for whatever purpose they seek fit. It also talks about the Rome Statute, which a simple Google search will reveal helped form the International Criminal Court at Hague, and does nothing for anyone’s privacy.
The original Facebook hoax message had also mentioned the Rome Statute. Clearly whoever started the hoax has just decided to modify the original Facebook message and tweaked it for Instagram.
For those who are not aware, the Instagram hoax message reads as follows:
The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 130811308103 and the Rome Statute. NOTE: Instagram 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 If you do not publish a statement at least once it will be tacitly allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status update). INSTRAGRAM DOES NOT HAVE MY PERMISSION TO SHARE PHOTOS OR MESSAGES.
Check out Adam Mosseri’s tweet below
If you’re seeing a meme claiming Instagram is changing its rules tomorrow, it’s not true – learn more here: https://t.co/Qy102zMQCm
— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) August 21, 2019
What was the Facebook hoax?
Back in 2016, a similar form of the message had done viral on Facebook. As we had noted at the time, the message was clearly a hoax given the claims it made. Facebook had then issued a fact-check stating that the copy paste notice was not true and that the company did not have ownership over user content.
Facebook in its fact-check had said, “You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it’s shared through your privacy and application settings. That’s how it works, and this hasn’t changed.”
The message also claimed that given Facebook was a public entity, all members had to copy paste the message in order to ensure that their photos and information contained in the profile status updates were not available for public use.