Lawyer falls for latest Facebook ‘legal contract’ privacy hoax

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By Thomas Connelly on

If in doubt, cite the “Rome Statute”


A lawyer has reportedly fallen for a hoax privacy warning which claims that Facebook can use your photos without permission for marketing purposes.

The hoax — versions of which have circulated Facebook for a number of years — has made an unexplained re-appearance this week, with thousands of users posting the useless status in the belief that they are protecting their content from being ruthlessly exploited by Mark Zuckerberg and pals.

Among the mumbo jumbo contained in the message is a reference to some random law:

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).

A screenshot (pictured below) of the lawyer’s update was uploaded to image sharing site Imgur yesterday. It has received over 13,400 views in less than a day. Fortunately for our social media-unsavvy legal-eagle, the uploader was kind enough to remove their name.


Amusingly, a friend who pointed out that it was all just a hoax received a bizarre justification for the update, with the lawyer explaining:

…some of my attorney friends smarter than me suggested it.

The position surrounding Facebook users’ intellectual property rights isn’t straightfoward — which probably explains why these hoaxes keep appearing. But if our unnamed lawyer had taken a quick glance at Facebook’s terms and conditions, instead of relying on their “smarter” attorney friends, they would have seen that the social media giant does not own the copyright to users’ posts.

However, subject to individual privacy settings, Facebook can do pretty much what it likes with users’ photos under what it terms an “IP License” — and “UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute” can’t do anything about that.