The NewYear has barely begun and already there’s a new hoax gone viral about copyright protections on Facebook. Never mind the fact that once your stuff is on the Internet it’s OUT THERE, so the horse left the barn a long time ago and making a big deal about closing the door now is completely ridiculous; let’s talk about the fact that this is not our first go ‘round with this type of thing. For some reason, no matter how often they’re proven to be hoaxes, some people continuously fall for (and share) these four types of posts. Are you one of them?
The Satire That Sounds So Real Post
Contrary to popular believe, satire doesn’t HAVE to be funny. But when it is, it’s much easier to spot than when it’s not. Sites like The Onion are well-known to be spoofing the news, but there are many other satire sites that have cropped up in recent years, and they’re a lot sneakier about it. Some of them even HOPE you’ll fall for their posts, claiming that if you embarrass yourself in front of your friends you deserve it for being so stupid. A few sites that are just pulling your leg? Empire News, The Daily Currant, and a list of others here.
The Unbelievable Headline You Can’t Resist Post
Some of these are so ludicrous (like the mermaid eaten by a shark) it’s hard to imagine anyone actually clicking through, but some, like the Robin Williams Says Goodbye post, hit just the right button with many readers. Unfortunately, their curiosity was rewarded with malware and spyware. Resist the temptation. Or ask the person who posted it if they actually CLICKED it themselves (bet they didn’t!), versus trusting them at face value.
The Dead Celebrity Post
Okay, these are harder to suss out. I mean, it’s SOOOOO much effort to go to Google and see if there’s any confirmation from a bona-fide news source before sharing along with your own RIP message (as much effort as it would take anyone I live with to put a roll of toilet paper onto the actual spindle, which has never happened). No one could possibly be expected to double-check something like Angelina Jolie’s DEATH before spreading it all over the Internet, could they? People die. And it’s shocking and sad. I get it. You want to pay tribute. Just make sure they’re really dead first, okay?
The Copyright/Privacy Disclaimer Post
Oh, Facebook users… how do you keep falling for this one (some version of which has been around for at least three years)? It has YET to be true in any of its many incarnations. The latest is:
Here’s the thing – if this was all it took to secure copyright, there wouldn’t need to be copyright lawyers. Also, you already own everything you post and share, BUT posting and sharing it publicly on the Internet means you will not be able to control it. The Internet is forever and there is no privacy. AND every time your picture goes from your hard drive to your friend’s wall, you’re giving Facebook permission to distribute it. Facebook IS the means of distribution! So the whole disclaimer doesn’t even make sense!
Okay, I’m calming down now. I know that this will continue to happen, but if this post can help even one person think twice before sharing something completely false, I’ll feel like I’ve succeeded. Vow to be that one. Your friends will thank you.
Have you fallen for any of the posts above? Does it make you crazy when others fall for things you know are false? Share your stories with me!
IMAGE CREDIT: BRANDON GRASLEY