Does posting a notice on your Facebook wall protect your rights?

Every time Facebook makes a change to their privacy policies you see hundreds, if not thousands of users posting “legal” notices on their walls, supposedly to protect their copyright or privacy rights.

Do these look familiar?

For those of you that do not understand this posting, Facebook is now a publicly traded entity. Anyone can infringe on your right to privacy once you post on this site. It is recommended that you and other members post a similar notice to this or you may copy and paste this one. Protect yourself, this is now a publicly traded site.

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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, and/or the comments made about my photos or any other “picture” art posted on my profile…[…]

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In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, paintings, writing, publications, photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention).
For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times. (Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook Wall. This will place them under protection of copyright laws.)

I’m sorry to say this, but posting these notices does absolutely nothing, the law doesn’t work that way. I posted a similar noticed once a few years ago because a friend insisted it would protect my rights, but I didn’t even have personal information or photographs, so it didn’t really matter to me.

You can read the whole article on Snopes, but here’s a piece of why these notices do absolutely nothing:

 Facebook users cannot retroactively negate any of the privacy or copyright terms they agreed to when they signed up for their Facebook 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.

What you can do, if you don’t agree with their practices, is to stop uploading personal stuff, or cancel your account. I really doubt you can negotiate their policies with them, but I guess it’s worth a try.

Now that you know, please do your friends a favor and pass this link to every person posting these useless notices on their wall.

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