Matthew Leach | @MatthewLeach13 If self-proclaimed political "experts" weren’t enough during the recent presidential election, you will now notice that many Facebook users are apparently legal specialists in the world of online privacy as well.
Last month, Facebook emailed its many users announcing new “updates to Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.” Despite much debate on the email’s validity, it is not a hoax. The notice is very real and contains important information pertinent to your profile. The two biggest changes are described below:
- In an attempt to improve ads, the new policy will allow Facebook to collect your information from their “affiliates or advertising partners,” those who you have already shared personal information with.
- Facebook plans to revoke your ability to vote on future updates as a result of a continued low turnout on past issues.
In a frenzied response, many panicked users proceeded to post a viral, pre-conceived status stating their “legal” protests to such changes.
As intelligent, and politically correct as this cut-and-paste status may come across, it is entirely ineffective.
As an article from Snopes.com put it best, “Facebook users cannot retroactively negate any of the privacy or copyright terms they agreed to when they signed up for their accounts nor can they unilaterally alter or contradict any new privacy or copyright terms instituted by Facebook simply by posting a contrary legal notice on their Facebook walls.”
In summary, the terms you agreed to upon initially signing up for a Facebook account automatically make any status in protest of Facebook terms invalid. Don’t feel bad if you fell for “the status” this time around. If anything, you’ll now be more aware of the content within any online “terms and agreements” and will choose your social media outlet accordingly.
So now you know- and knowing is half the battle! Spread the message and save your friends from the embarrassment of posting such an ill-informed status.