It’s that time of the year again – the time when everybody and their dog put legal-sounding disclaimers on their Facebook feed to “prevent” Facebook from making their private posts public. For some reason this hoax is going around again, and for the benefit of people blissfully unaware that it’s a hoax, we’re making a quick and dirty PSA: it’s a hoax.
The new hoax that is spreading on Facebook as always, includes a legal-sounding notice that disallows Facebook and other entities to use their pictures, information, messages or posts. Here’s a screenshot:
Again, it’s a hoax, because Facebook is already doing just that, and you agreed to it when you joined.
Here’s the thing: Facebook isn’t free, at least not in the traditional sense. Yes, the site will charge you approximately 0 pesos to keep using it, but like many other tech companies in the US, they need to make a living to survive. And how do they make that living? By selling ads. Lots of them.
Facebook works by taking your information and targeting you with ads. The information that they cull to target you with those ads are taken from everything you post on the site – that includes posts on your profile, what you like, what you friends like and other pieces of your personal information.
As an example, when I got engaged, I suddenly saw a lot more wedding related stuff on the ads on my feed, much more than the interests I usually enjoy, which are usually guns, gadgets and other type of geekery.
As alluring as the notion of a legalese post on your feed is, it absolutely does nothing and as an added bonus tells your friends that you’re the type of person that just posts things on your wall without verification. You’re no different from the grandma that keeps sending her grandkids chain emails, or the people who post pictures of unfortunate children with the caption 1 like, 1 prayer.
So don’t be caught up in this hoax. Share this post instead. Because if you don’t want companies using your personal information to get rich, you should stop using nearly everything connected to the internet right now.
If something is free, you are the product