No, a legal notice won’t protect you from Facebook — so stop posting them


Here we go again — Facebook users want to ward off Mark Zuckerberg and his friends by posting random legal mumbo jumbo on their profile. This is ridiculous. Stop it.

In case you missed it, an old hoax has resurfaced that suggests Facebook (s fb) users can tell the company what to do by publishing a rambling notice. This means that people’s Facebook feeds are once again being sprayed by items like this one:

It’s a nice idea that stems from a growing frustration at the power companies like Facebook have over our personal information. The desire for user empowerment is understandable. But it doesn’t change the fact that you sign a contract with Facebook when you sign up to use its service. It’s the same with Google(s goog), Apple(s aapl), Pinterest and many other sites.

These contracts let the companies do what they want with your data subject to applicable laws. As for your copyrights, they belong to you not Facebook — but you give the company a license to use them:

You can tell Facebook how it is all you like — and even demand Mark Zuckerberg give you his firstborn child if he doesn’t obey your demands. But that doesn’t mean your claims have any legal effect.

(Image by Anneka via Shutterstock)


Nirmala Rao

Any social network for that matter should be bound morally in this regard whatever the terms and conditions that the people have agreed to when they sign up for use. this is what makes any like FB people friendly and stand up to its reputation. Of course no amount of disclaimers put up will matter to FB or anyone misusing content. All the same we should be bound by our own limitations as to what can be put up there for public view. A filter is very mush required!!

Happy human

I’m not using facebook at all and I’m still alive, have a family, friends all over the place (maybe the real once) and I’m happy, too … :-)

James Brown

If you don’t want facebook to use your info don’t use Facebook! Simples!!

James Brown

If you don’t want Facebook to use your info don’t use Facebook it’s simple!!


Yep – that’s the rule: If you’re not paying for it, you are the product being sold.

I laugh at how many people just can’t grasp that the way we pay for free things like FB and Twitter (etc) is with our data. How naive do you have to be to think that you can get all this stuff you want with no repercussions?


You have a right under European Data Protection to ask Facebook to furnish you with all the data it has on you.

Nancy Beotch Grace

Why do I feel like a chicken trying to influence what flavor of chicken nugget gets created out of my hide. This is reason number 954,594,937 NOT to be on fake book.


Your all the guilty idiots who thought posting private personal data on a website was a good idea. Your all mindless drones following the clueless!

Jamen Dean Drogé

As if anyone cares what you post, other than your friends. I don’t see what all the fuss is about.


This is just a very good example of the craziness of the Facebook community. I know the person who wrote the original post–it was a joke. You could tell it was a joke if you read to the end of the post–which isn’t included on any of the repostings, of course. It was a joke. Here’s the funniest part–that ANY of this is newsworthy. Slow day?

Brian Rock

It started as a joke, but like you said, the end isn’t included in the repostings. And that’s when it stopped being a joke. People think that “legal notice” has some kind of real impact. That’s a sad indictment of what the average citizen knows about intellectual property rights.

That is something newsworthy, and something we should do a better job of educating people about. Or we could ignore it, and just accept ignorance as the status quo.

John Atkinson

It is cute how some people think they can copy and paste so utter drivel and that will protect them from a multi-billion dollar behemoth.

Nabil Stendardo

I personally think that contract law is starting to get out of control. At the time of the printing press, when you bought a book, you didn’t have to open a seal with the message “By breaking this seal you hereby agree to the following conditions…”. You had copyright law (which was not a contract in that it just prohibited you from making copies, you didn’t “agree” to anything) and that’s it. And this is still the case when you buy a book in a store. Not for digital products. In order to be able to get a digital “good” (considered as a service as it’s immaterial, but it’s an antiquated definition issue – I would call it information in some cases), you need to agree to so much stuff (and I won’t be surprised if a judge declares these terms invalid since most people who agree to them are not in the capacity to understand them). If you do something not allowed in the EULA of a software (such as reverse-engineer it), it’s not copyright infringement, it’s the failure to abide by a contract (call it a “copyright license”, it’s still a contract). It can be seen as debatable as to if copying a software while expressely prohibited in the EULA is copyright infringement, breach of contract or both (IANAL BTW).

To return to website ToU-type contracts, in the past people were always agreeing to stuff without signing anything or even saying “I agree”. These implicit agreements (such as walking into a shop and paying for bought goods) were mutually understood, but were not drafted by the shop owner in his or her favour (and certainly did not include an “and anything else I might want to add in the future”-clause).


Not only that..folks who use Facebook as “Customer” make note of this statement–
Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer said as much in a comment to Forbes magazine about the new rules:
“Everything you do and say on Facebook can be used to serve you a
ds. Our policy says that we can advertise services to you off of Facebook based on data we have on Facebook.”

Helping Folks make intelligent use of technology (aka IT)…adding value in people’s life dreams & goals of–KP (Co-CEO)


That’s your theory…this is not about protecting privacy – its about exploiting what I may post. All a contract does is provide SOME guidance. EVERYTHING is contestable. Don’t be such a lemming, stand up for yourself.


The fact that this even needs to be explained is disheartening. Are people really this stupid?

Sharon Wainscott

the internet is forever….watch what you put on facebook, and you dont have to put a legal notice :)

Mamatha Pits

Why this is such an issue. Everyone knows that Facebook controls all your personal information etc. If you don’t like it, don’t use it..


I had a bit irritating experience with fb, they sent me an email listing some people and asking if I know them. I clicked on the link and viola, my fb account was active once again after I deleted it over 3 years ago. The next option was close and logoff. Funny after several million people on fb, they still want to use these viagra/cialis/pill selling tactics. After these issues, am wondering are they morally worth those billions of dollars they claim.
Am glad am not a member there anymore.

Forest Yule

If you arent paying for it, then you arent a customer, you are the product.


but what will I do without Facebook? What about all my ‘friends’?!?!

I got news for you…they’re not your friends. LOL


If you don’t like it, just deactivate your account. That’s the only way to have any impact. They don’t care if you post anything as long as you’ve still got an account.

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