Instagram Chief Debunks Copyright Apocalypse Hoax As Spread Reaches Top Levels Of Government

Screenshot: Usher, Instagram

If you follow a boomer on Instagram you’ve probably seen the latest viral hoax going around warning about the incoming copyright apocalypse.

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Pink, Julia Roberts, Julianne Moore, and Rob Lowe are just a few of the prominent people who spread the message to their millions of followers.

The meme is a screenshot of a warning about Instagram changing its privacy policy. “Don’t forget tomorrow starts the new Instagram rule where they can use your photos. Don’t forget Deadline today!!!” the phony alert states. “It can be used in litigation against you. Everything you’ve ever posted becomes public from today...”

According to the poorly written notice, All you have to do to save yourself is post this note, which tells Instagram that “it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute or take any other action against me.”

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#word

A post shared by Rob Lowe (@robloweofficial) on

It’s the same sort of hoax that has circulated on Facebook many times before. Previous iterations have also referenced a nonexistent “Channel 13 News” report.

After the meme spread rapidly this week, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri tried to reassure people who were tricked.

“Heads up!” Mosseri posted in his Instagram story “If you’re seeing a meme claiming that Instagram is changing its rules tomorrow, it’s not true.”

“There’s no truth to this post,” Facebook spokesperson Stephanie Otway told Gizmodo.

Actually, there is a nugget of truth to the post. Instagram’s terms of use state that the company doesn’t have ownership of users’ content, but when people post on Instagram they give the company “a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide licence to host, use, distribute, modify, run, copy, publicly perform or display, translate, and create derivative works of your content”

That legalese means Instagram can pretty much use your content as it wants, without seeking permission. It just doesn’t have full ownership over your work.

BuzzFeed and Huffington Post called out Rick Perry specifically for being easily bamboozled when he is in control of the nation’s nukes.

It’s discomforting, for sure, but pales in comparison to the U.S. President using social media to share racist misleading videos and conspiracy theories.

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