In September, users of Facebook nearly blew a gasket when rumors -- which turned out to be false -- spread that the social network would begin charging to access the website. Before that, it was a virus called Invitation Facebook -- that if opened -- would wipe your hard drive clean.
Now, a new notice regarding privacy and how to protect it since Facebook went public was virally passed on social media this week, scaring users.
Dubbed the Facebook Privacy Notice, the post warned that Facebook's new status as a publically traded company can infringe privacy for users of the social network ... unless of course they repost the notice. According to the post, there will be no privacy protection for users' content on Facebook.
While there were many versions of the notice circulating the web, here is one of the fake notices originally published on Mashable.
For those of you who do not understand the reasoning behind this posting, Facebook is now a publicly traded entity. Unless you state otherwise, anyone can infringe on your right to privacy once you post to this site. It is recommended that you and other members post a similar notice as this, or you may copy and paste this version. If you do not post such a statement once, then you are indirectly allowing public use of items such as your photos and the information contained in your status updates.
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PRIVACY NOTICE: Warning -- any person and/or institution and/or Agent and/or Agency of any governmental structure including but not limited to the United States Federal Government also using or monitoring/using this website or any of its associated websites, you do NOT have my permission to utilize any of my profile information nor any of the content contained herein including, but not limited to my photos, and/or the comments made about my photos or any other picture art posted on my profile.
You are hereby notified that you are strictly prohibited from disclosing, copying, distributing, disseminating, or taking any other action against me with regard to this profile and the contents herein. The foregoing prohibitions also apply to your employee , agent , student or any personnel under your direction or control.
The contents of this profile are private and legally privileged and confidential information, and the violation of my personal privacy is punishable by law. UCC 1-103 1-308 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED WITHOUT PREJUDICE
According to Mashable, Facebook users are still safe under the same terms and conditions that offer privacy to users, despite the company going public.
Facebook has not addressed the post, but the social media giant has the same legal terms since the beginning, which state that all content posted by users is intellectual property owned by that said user. However, the legal terms add that content uploaded to Facebook, when not set to private, gives 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), which ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it. All content not protected under Facebook privacy terms, however, is by law legal to use by the social network.
Naturally, this isn't the first viral message to spread on Facebook. Back in September, a post informing users that Facebook would begin charging for use spread just after new changes like Timeline were added.
FACEBOOK JUST RELEASED THEIR PRICE GRID FOR MEMBERSHIP, one message read. $9.99 PER MONTH FOR GOLD MEMBER SERVICES, $6.99 PER MONTH FOR SILVER MEMBER SERVICES, $3.99 PER MONTH FOR BRONZE MEMBER SERVICES, FREE IF YOU COPY AND PASTE THIS MESSAGE BEFORE MIDNIGHT TONIGHT. WHEN YOU SIGN ON TOMORROW MORNING YOU WILL BE PROMPTED FOR PAYMENT INFO...IT IS OFFICIAL IT WAS EVEN ON THE NEWS. FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING DUE TO THE NEW PROFILE CHANGES
The post turned out to be false, since Facebook promises It's free and always will be.
In August 2011, a similar viral post circulated warning users not to open a message with an attachment called Invitation Facebook, which was reportedly a virus containing an Olympic torch that burns the whole hard...disc C of your computer, according to Naked Security.