Your Custom Copyright Post on Facebook Does Literally Nothing

And no, your “lawyer friend” didn’t write it.

After seeing the 852nd post from someone on Facebook posting their statement of individual copyright rules on their timeline, I can’t just sit here anymore. This hoax goes around every few years, and every time people fall for it.

So here’s the bottom line. Share with someone who could use it.

Facebook currently has 1.71B (billion) active monthly users. This user base is their greatest asset. It’s a tremendous audience to market to, and Facebook makes untold fortunes charging businesses for ad creation and deployment to market to this user base.

With Facebook, YOU are the product. Your life, your opinions, your photos, your data. By enjoying the finely-tuned clickbait that’s forever being thrown your way, curated by algorithmic scientists who know more about what you like that you do, you are telling Facebook everything about yourself. You are opting-in to one of the biggest marketing and demographic information collection platforms in the history of mankind. Literally. There is no exaggeration here.

Not only that, but because of what you volunteer to Facebook, it knows more about you than any ad-centric business has ever known about its customers. The ads you see are very specifically curated to your interests, hobbies and click history. There are re-marketing subsystems in place to show you ads on Facebook for things that you just looked up on Google or Amazon. I’ve created ads on Facebook — the targeting options are endless. I can fine-tune ads to reach exactly who I want, when I want, where I want, and be assured the whole time I know their hobbies, interests, purchasing patterns, and favorite movies. I can even narrow by political affiliation, favorite places to shop, preferred media, and if one spends more time on his phone vs his computer.

YOU are the product here. YOU.

So, posting on your wall a block of legal-ese text that supposedly prevents Facebook from using your data, or that limits Facebook’s rights to do what they will with your data, is the very definition of ineffective. Do you really think Facebook created a platform worth $368B only to realize, “Oh shit you guys, we totally forgot to put a Terms of Service in place that defines what we can do with all this data we’re getting? How could we be so stupid!” as they walked around Facebook HQ punching themselves in the head?

No, they did not.

If you use Facebook services, you implicitly agree to its Terms of Service. Nothing you post on your wall supersedes this. Nothing.

Again: If you use Facebook services, you implicitly agree to its Terms of Service.

If you don’t like this, there is an easy solution: delete your Facebook account and never open another one. The only way to win the privacy game is not to play.

Oh, and right after you do that, delete your Google account too. Google is arguably the only company in the world who knows more about you than Facebook. Why? Because you are their product, too. Say it with me:

I AM THE PRODUCT.

Your blurb of pseudo-legal BS does not invalidate the strategic business model of two of the most prominent tech giants on the planet.

Sorry.

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