Facebook finally provides us answers on lately viral Instagram hoax

Usher fell for it. So did Julia Roberts, Rob Lowe and Rick Perry, aka the guy responsible of overseeing America’s nuclear arsenal.


The downside, of course: It’s not true.


Claims that Facebook, or Instagram (which is owned by Facebook), is changing its terms of service and will create everything public unless users repost some poorly worded legalese are fully bogus ― and continually have been.


One such message went viral earlier in the week, garnering millions of impressions due to the many celebrities and secretary of energy who reposted the message.


“There’s no truth to the current post,” said Facebook representative Stephanie Otway in an emailed statement.


As for the origins of the hoax, Otway didn’t have the foremost definitive answer, pointing to a Snopes item from 2012 instead.


Facebook created some tweaks to its privacy policy in 2012, and in November of that year, it revoked users’ ability to vote on planned changes to its policies and terms of service. Before long afterward, a rumor concerning copyrighted material on the site went viral, prompting Facebook to issue an announcement dismissing it as untrue:


There is a rumor circulating that Facebook is creating a modification associated with possession of users’ data or the content they post to the site. This is false. Anyone who uses Facebook owns and controls the content and data they post, as stated in our terms. They manage how that content and data is shared. That’s our policy, and it always has been.


Users who sign up for Facebook, Instagram or the other website governed by terms of service conform to be bound by those terms once they sign up. Any commit to renegotiate those terms after the actual fact by posting legal gibberish carries just as much legal weight as posting this: