Facebook debunks viral hoax that it owns users’ content


Following a hoax post that went viral, Facebook has reassured its users that they, not the company, own the copyright to the content they post on the social network.

This weekend, a number of users on the site began re-posting the viral status update proclaiming that users, not Facebook, own the copyrights to their content. The viral post implies that Facebook owns the copyright.

“In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details,” the viral post says. “For commercial use of the above, my written consent is needed at all times!”


The post is very similar to those that have floated around in the past, particularly earlier this year after Facebook became a public company. What appears to have set off the latest viral post was an announcement by Facebook last week that it was proposing to amend and alter parts of its privacy policy.

But the policy change involves users’ Facebook voting rights, not the copyright of their content.

Facebook’s copyright terms remain the same as those on the terms of service that users agree to when they join the site. Those terms say users own the copyright to their content but license it to Facebook so that the social network can share it with your friends.

“If you upload a photo and share it with your friends, we’ll make that photo available and distribute it to your friends,” a spokesman for the company told The Times on Monday in an email. “And, when you delete a photo, we delete it too.”

Facebook recommends that users consult a fact check on their policies.

For detailed information, you can read more about Facebook’s copyright terms (in the second section of the webpage).


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