What got your favorite celebrities buzzing this week? Well, the buzz started when prominent public figures like Julia Roberts, Rob Lowe and US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry reposted an old meme claiming that Instagram could use your photos against you.
This particular hoax isn’t new. The idea that Instagram or parent company Facebook could use your images however they liked first popped up on Facebook in 2012 and again in 2015. And while most hoaxes fade pretty quickly, no one was able to spot this one quite as fast when their favorite celebrities were reposting in a panic.
Instagram Copyright Hoax
“Don’t forget tomorrow starts the new Instagram rule where they can use your photos. Don’t forget Deadline today!!!” the bogus statement says. “It can be used in litigation against you. Everything you’ve ever posted becomes public from today…” The meme goes on, but you can read the bulk of it above.
According to Gizmodo, Stephanie Otway a spokesperson for Facebook said, “There’s no truth to this post.”
The Hoax Isn’t Technically Wrong
Instagram policies grant it some basic use of your creative content and messages because it needs permission to display them to other users.
A bolded line in the company’s Terms 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.”
Debunked: the Meme Was a Myth
When Instagram chief, Adam Mosseri alerted users that the meme was a myth, celebrities began taking down their warning signs and quietly retreated after being bamboozled. Since the hoax has been debunked, famous-faces like Niall Horan, Usher, and Tom Holland (even Spider-man could be fooled) have removed the notice from their pages.
Some celebrities took a different approach to this viral hoax. Trevor Noah from The Daily Show curated his own version of the notice, which prompted a later response from Mosseri saying, “Thanks?”
These parental controls will make sure you’re not getting fooled.
Instagram Copyright Hoax — Sources
The Verge: A bunch of celebrities posted a copyright hoax to Instagram
Wired: AN OLD INSTAGRAM HOAX FOOLS A BUNCH OF CELEBRITIES
Gizmodo: Instagram Chief Debunks Copyright Apocalypse Hoax as Spread Reaches Top Levels of Government