Nonsensical Facebook Chain Letters

Posted on Categories Uncategorized

This is a public service message.

Some texts come back with great regularity every few months to circulate on Facebook, copied & pasted by mindless sheeple, probably the same folks who fifty years ago would have propagated nonsensical chain letters (sorry, folks, see the last paragraph).

Here is the most recent iteration of one of these:

This text claims that “tomorrow” Facebook (or now Meta) will become a “public entity” (whatever that means) and then purports to limit, with generous use of ALL-CAPS, what Facebook/Meta may do with the material a person has posted on the service.

First of all, in view of the fact that this text has re-surfaced and circulated every few months for a number of years, exactly which date does “tomorrow” refer to?

Secondly, I am sorry, but this is all nothing but legal mumbo-jumbo and gobbledigook.

Facebook/Meta may have changed their name but they are still a private company, not a “public entity” — their legal status has not changed. However, they effectively provide a sort of public forum, and it is just a bit ludicrous to claim privacy expectations for stuff you have yourself posted to a public forum.

In any case, what Facebook/Meta may or may not do with stuff you post is determined by their Terms & Conditions (T&C) which you explicitly agreed to when you created your FB acount, and implicitly agree to every time you use their service. A unilateral declaration on your part has absolutely no legal effect; the only thing you can do, if you no longer like their T&C, is to stop using the service.

Recent iterations of this text also claim that Facebook will only show your posts to about 25 people (or will only show you posts from about 25 people) determined by some algorithm, and that posting this text will somehow fool this algorithm. This, too, is nonsense. Posting some random text has absolutely no effect on the algorithm that determines which posts you see or who sees your posts.

Now, if you are offended by my reference to “mindless sheeple”, all I can recommend is that you think very carefully before you copy and paste something simply because some text tells you to. Mindlessly doing what you are told is the very definition of “sheeple”.

I do not permit comments on this blog. The reason for this and further information can be found on the page Privacy Policy.