This facebook post has gone viral among my friends

PRIVACY NOTICE: Warning - any person and/or institution and/or Agent and/or Agency of any governmental structure including but not limited to the United States Federal Government also using or monitoring/using this website or any of its associated websites, you do NOT have my permission to utilize any of my profile information nor any of the content contained herein including, but not limited to my photos & videos, and/or the comments made about my photos, videos or any other "picture" art posted on my profile.

You are hereby notified that you are strictly prohibited from disclosing, copying, distributing, disseminating, or taking any other action against me with regard to this profile and the contents herein. The foregoing prohibitions also apply to your employee, agent, student or any personnel under your direction or control.

The contents of this profile are private and legally privileged and confidential information, and the violation of my personal privacy is punishable by law. UCC 1-103 1-308 ALL RIGHTS

One of whom gave this justification

For those of you who do not understand the reasoning behind this posting, Facebook is now a publicly traded entity. Unless you state otherwise, anyone can infringe on your right to privacy once you post to this site. It is recommended that you and other members post a similar notice as this, or you may copy and paste this version. If you do not po...st such a statement once, then you are indirectly allowing public use of items such as your photos and the information contained in your status updates.

I am not a lawyer, and have no understanding of these things.

My question is two fold, is this necessary? and even if it is necessary, will it have the desired effect?

I know it's similar to Do Facebook or its third-party partners use my photos in ads?, but maybe different because the game has changed now that FB is a public traded entity.

  • 2
    What does being publicly traded company have to do with users' privacy??
    – vartec
    Jun 5, 2012 at 13:15
  • 4
    My guess is that these people thinks that since you are giving some rights to Facebook over your content (in the ToS), those rights are also transfered to the owners of Facebook. Facebook is a ublicly traded company so anyone can become an owner. This reasoning, if I understand it correctly, is flawed. You are giving such rights to Facebook as an entity only, not to the owners of Facebook. Jun 5, 2012 at 13:19
  • btw. I really doubt that commercial code has any effect on federal law enforcement agencies.
    – vartec
    Jun 5, 2012 at 14:18

1 Answer 1


This question has already been addressed by:

[the claim is] erroneous, an expression of the mistaken belief that the use of some simple legal talisman — knowing enough to ask the right question or post a pertinent disclaimer — will immunize one from some undesirable legal consequence. The law just doesn't work that way.


the basic premise of this item is false: The fact that Facebook is now a publicly traded company (i.e., a company that has issued stocks which are traded on the open market) has nothing to do with privacy rights.

Unfortunately taking control of your online identity is not as simple as making a declaration on your Facebook wall. Using any website to store content or personal details requires compliance with the site's Terms of Service.

These messages are simply another chain letter type hoax pinned upon wishful thinking.

Neither site offer rigorous legal references to support their point-of-view, but it seems to be pretty basic contract law.

They got a response from Facebook along the same lines:

“We have noticed this recent status update that is being widely shared implying the ownership of your Facebook content has recently changed,” Alex Kirschner, a member of Facebook’s PR team, told me. “This is not true and has never been the case.”

They also point out that the two US statutes referenced (UCC 1-103 & 1-308) are "completely unrelated to privacy or social networking, making its inclusion irrelevant".

  • 1
    Note that naked security is not really a reputable source (full disclaimer: I used to work at that company).
    – Sklivvz
    Jun 5, 2012 at 13:28
  • 3
    @Sklivvz: Yeah, I can't say I am 100% happy with the quality of the sources here, but I can't see how to do better, and this is one of the hot trends we should capitalize on. Legals myths always seem to be the trickiest, because lawyers always seem leery of giving out free advice that could bite them back.
    – Oddthinking
    Jun 5, 2012 at 13:32
  • I personally diagree with that post...
    – Sklivvz
    Jun 5, 2012 at 13:45
  • 1
    I meant hot trends :-)
    – Sklivvz
    Jun 5, 2012 at 15:10
  • 5
    @Sklivvz: Added a reference to the Slate article, which goes to FB and the relevant laws, which is a step up.
    – Oddthinking
    Jun 5, 2012 at 17:53

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