A Facebook post claims that you must publicly post a statement disallowing public use of your photos and information on Facebook.
Let’s take a look at the original version of the rumor.
It should be noted that two Uniform Commercial Codes (UCC) are included, probably to make the post look more official. If you take a look at the actual UCC codes, however, you’ll find they have nothing to do with this matter.
§ 1-103. Construction of [Uniform Commercial Code] to Promote its Purposes and Policies: Applicability of Supplemental Principles of Law.
(a) [The Uniform Commercial Code] must be liberally construed and applied to promote its underlying purposes and policies, which are: (1) to simplify, clarify, and modernize the law governing commercial transactions; (2) to permit the continued expansion of commercial practices through custom, usage, and agreement of the parties; and (3) to make uniform the law among the various jurisdictions.
(b) Unless displaced by the particular provisions of [the Uniform Commercial Code], the principles of law and equity, including the law merchant and the law relative to capacity to contract, principal and agent, estoppel, fraud, misrepresentation, duress, coercion, mistake, bankruptcy, and other validating or invalidating cause supplement its provisions.
The commercial codes further state:
§ 1-108. Relation to Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act.
This article modifies, limits, and supersedes the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, 15 U.S.C. Section 7001 et seq., except that nothing in this article modifies, limits, or supersedes Section 7001(c) of that Act or authorizes electronic delivery of any of the notices described in Section 7003(b) of that Act.
The original version of this pointless notice circulated in mid-2012, right after Facebook became a publicly-traded company. That notice included the same UCC codes and much of the same verbiage is borrowed here, including the note that “Facebook is now a public entity.” See Rumor: “Public Statement” to Protect Facebook Privacy.
One can only surmise why the pointless post resurfaces, but in 2014 the notice likely came on the heels of rumors about the new Facebook messenger, which has had its share of detractors. It is possible that this notice resurfaced in a futile attempt to offset any privacy concerns Facebook users may have about the new messenger.
Due to the fact that Facebook has chosen to involve software that will allow the theft of my personal information, I state: at this date of November 29, 2014, in response to the new guidelines of Facebook, pursuant to articles L.111, 112 and 113 of the code of intellectual property, I declare that my rights are attached to all my personal data drawings, paintings, photos, video, texts etc…. published on my profile and my page. For commercial use of the foregoing my written consent is required at all times.
Those who read this text can do a copy/paste on their Facebook wall. This will allow them to place themselves under the protection of copyright. By this statement, I tell Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, broadcast, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and or its content. The actions mentioned above also apply to employees, students, agents and or other personnel under the direction of Facebook.
The content of my profile contains private information. The violation of my privacy is punishable by law (UCC 1-308 1-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute).
Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are invited to publish a notice of this kind, or if they prefer, you can copy and paste this version.
If you have not published this statement at least once, you tacitly allow the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in the profile update.
In late September 2015 the useless status began circulating in earnest, with no apparent cause behind the resurgence.
This “public statement” does absolutely nothing. Users cannot agree to Facebook’s terms and then post on Facebook that they want to override the requirements for using the site. If you don’t want your posts to be used by Facebook, do not post them there. If you choose to post pictures on Facebook, consider putting your privacy settings as high as you can, and choose your friends wisely.
The post also does nothing to protect against concerns about privacy in relation to the new Facebook messenger.
- Uniform Commercial Code (Cornell University Law School)
Updated September 28, 2015
Originally posted October 2013