Facebook’s New Privacy Chain Letter A Bogus

If you’ve been on Facebook this week, you may have seen a status update now making the rounds that purports to explain how to safeguard your privacy on the service. Which sounds great, but for one thing: It’s pretty much bogus.

The gist of this chain message is unless you post a disclaimer specifying that you forbid organizations and other people from using your Facebook updates, pictures and comments for — well, for whatever — you’ll lose rights to your own data. This is supposedly a consequence of the fact that Facebook is now a public company. Pretty much everything about the message is inaccurate or misleading.


First off, the fact that Facebook is publicly traded now doesn’t change the rights users have over their data. As Facebook says in a recent post on its “Facebook and Privacy” account page:

We have noticed a recent status update that is being widely shared implying the ownership of your Facebook content has recently changed. This is not true and has never been the case. Facebook does not own your data and content.

Also, Facebook users — like those of any other site — can’t simply override the site’s Terms of Use agreement with an after-the-fact disclaimer like this one. Once you’ve agreed to a site’s terms of use, you’re bound to those terms whether you like it or not. If you don’t, stop using the service.

Finally, the disclaimer cites the U.S. Uniform Commercial Code, which has nothing to do with privacy. Instead, people should understand that everything they post to Facebook will be treated as public data unless they take actions with their settings to make it otherwise.

Do you easily fall for these chain letter gimmicks online? Tell us what you think of this made-up disclaimer status!

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Better Business Bureau

Why You Should Steer Clear Of Socialcam On Facebook

Socialcam is a feed of user-generated videos.  Just by clicking on a Socialcam link in Facebook and accepting their app, every Socialcam video you watch from then on is shared to your Facebook friends automatically. The content is questionable, the titles of the videos are often salacious, and the images it posts in your timeline can be downright embarrassing.

Many of the videos are what the industry refers to as click-bait or link-bait: outrageously titled pieces that don’t exactly deliver what the titles imply.  To capture users’ interest, the videos are titled in a seriously provocative manner, like: “Officer vs. Gangsta Thug in Brawl,”  ”How to Steal 23 MacBook Pros, 14 iPhones, and 9 iPods In 31 Seconds,” and “Toyota Supra Drifting Unbuttons A Girl’s Shirt.”


So please, turn off social for Socialcam or choose what you share. Here’s how:

Go to Facebook and on the left hand column under apps double-click Socialcam. Once in the Socialcam app itself, in the upper right hand corner, choose Settings. Then in Settings, scroll down to “Auto Sharing” and unclick both the Facebook options. Scroll down again and hit SAVE.

One thing that troubled me about this app was that when I turned off public sharing in Socialcam on my computer but then watched a video on my mobile device, the settings reverted to make all my activity public. My workaround: go the app section of Facebook , choose settings for Socialcam and where is asks “who can see this activity” choose “Only Me”

I say watch whatever you want, but choose how you share that information — and pick apps that empower you to take control of your privacy, not those that are playing fast and loose with your reputation.

Are you a Socialcam user? Tell us what you think of this app!

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Insider