Fact Check: Old Hoax Message Resurfaces As Meta Changing Facebook’s Privacy Policy

Facebook announced that it has changed its company name to Meta on October 28, 2021. According to reports, the name change, which was announced at the Facebook Connect augmented and virtual reality conference, reflects the company’s growing ambitions beyond social media. 

Against this backdrop, a message is being increasingly shared on social media claiming that along with the name change, Meta is changing Facebook’s privacy policies to allow it to use photos and other personal information (even deleted messages) of users. The message also encourages users to copy-paste a “privacy notice” that declares that they do not consent to their data being used by the corporation as a precautionary step. 

The entire text reads, “MY PERSONAL META ANNOUNCEMENT ON FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM !! The new Facebook/Meta rule starts tomorrow where they can use your photos. Don’t forget the deadline is today! This could be used in lawsuits against you. Everything you’ve ever posted is posted today – even messages that have been deleted. It doesn’t cost anything, just copy and post, better than regretting later. Under UCC Law Sections 1-207, 1-308… I am imposing my Reservation of Rights… I DO NOT ALLOW Facebook/Meta or any other Facebook/Meta related person to use my photos, information, messages or messages, both in the past and in the future. In this statement, I inform Facebook/Meta that it is strictly prohibited to disclose, copy, distribute or take any other action against me based on this account and/or its contents. This account content is private and confidential information. Violation of my personal life may be punished by law. NOTE: Facebook/Meta is now a public organization. All participants should post a note like this. If you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you don’t publish a discharge at least once, you’ll automatically allow the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in your account status updates. NOT” share but ” copy + pastel!”

Here’s the link to the above post. Check similar posts here, here and here

The message has gone viral on Facebook

FACT CHECK 

NewsMobile fact-checked the above claim and found it to be FALSE.

Starting with our investigation, we searched the internet for any news related to Facebook/Meta’s “New Privacy Policy” but could not find any credible media report corroborating the viral claim. 

We then checked Facebook’s data policy page where it was clearly stated that even though the company changed its name, there is no change in the company’s privacy policy. The policy reads, “The Facebook company is now Meta. While our company name is changing, we are continuing to offer the same products, including the Facebook app from Meta. Our Data Policy and Terms of Service remain in effect, and this name change does not affect how we use or share data,” 

Searching further, we found a news report published by Fox8 News on November 15, 2021, that stated, “Don’t be fooled by viral Facebook post saying company is going to ‘use your photos”. A representative of Facebook clarified in a mail to Fox8 stating, “People can continue to control their privacy preferences using the many user-friendly self-serve tools we provide on Facebook, such as Privacy Checkup, and learn more about how we use and protect data in our Data Policy.” Check a similar news report here

NewsMobile had debunked a similar message in 2019 where it was falsely claimed that Facebook is making every user’s photo public. 

Facebook is not making all photos public; don’t fall for the hoax!

Thus, it is evident from the above information that an old hoax message has now resurfaced and made viral to suggest that Meta changing its privacy policy. 

 

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