A few days ago, something buried in 2012 came back to life! A hoax — that says Instagram has permission to use your photos in court — went viral. But what makes this even funnier is how top celebrity influencers totally believed it.
Instagram denies this once again
“Don’t forget tomorrow starts the new Instagram rule where they can use your photos. Don’t forget Deadline today!!!”, the fake warning starts.
“Everything you’ve ever posted becomes public from today Even messages that have been deleted or the photos not allowed.”
“It costs nothing for a simple copy and paste, better safe than sorry” it continues.
It even has a portion that cites the law (UCC 1-308) and the Rome Statute. However, interestingly, this photo had gone viral once in 2012 — and was debunked by Instagram, which is now owned by Facebook.
So why did it come up again?
No idea although, “some versions of the hoax cited ‘Channel 13 News’ as their source, without any further clarification,” Wired.com wrote. In light of this, Instagram issued a statement denying these claims all over again.
“There’s no truth to this post,” Stephanie Otway, a spokesperson for Facebook, told The Verge.
Yet throughout yesterday, this photo message was being shared on all of social media. And by major celebrities, News Outlets and companies like the US Department of Energy!
Even Rob Lowe, whose son is a lawyer, reposted it
The first person to get fooled was award-winning RnB singer, Usher. He posted the image with the caption “Better safe than sorry”.
Taraji P Henson, Rita Wilson, Julia Roberts and Pink were also victims to the viral hoax. It turns out the head of US Department of Energy, Rick Perry shared the image as well. “Feel free to repost!! #nothanksinstagram,” Perry wrote on his since deleted post.
Instagram is actually allowed to use our photos
Once this post went viral, it became essential to take another look at Instagram’s Terms & Conditions.
A bolded line reads: “We do not claim ownership of your content, but you grant us a license to use it.” It also says you can end that license at any time “by deleting your content or account.”
Furthermore, the legal citations in the hoax are even a mismatch to the issue.
The UCC, which stands for Uniform Commercial Code, is a broad set of US commercial laws, while the Rome Statute established the International Criminal Court, which handles crimes like genocide.
The take-home lesson is that you don’t fully control anything you share online — because it is on a public platform.