• To prevent the content they post on Facebook from being reused, users of the social network share a status stating: "I declare that I have not given my permission".
  • According to this widely shared channel, this would guarantee the protection of their copyright.
  • However, this status has no legal basis, even though the hoax has been circulating, in various forms, for more than six years.

"I declare that I did not give my permission." In recent weeks, many Facebook users have shared such a status, hoping to protect themselves from any reuse or sharing of content posted on their account.

And to better guarantee this protection, they usually share at the same time a long explanatory text urging his friends to do the same: "Following the new law promulgated on the surveillance of social networks, a lawyer advised us to publish this. Violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308-1, 1-308-3 and the Rome Statute)"

"Facebook is now a public entity. All members must post a note like this. If you have not posted a statement at least once, it will be tacitly understood that you authorize the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in your profile status updates," continues this hoax shared on a cyclical basis since at least 2012. But that doesn't stop it from being just as fake.


The texts referred to in this channel do exist, but they have nothing to do with "invasion of privacy". The first, the Uniform Commercial Code, specific to the United States, aims to harmonize the law of commercial transactions within the different American states. And the Rome Statute defines the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Facebook has also not become "a public entity" – nor has a "social media surveillance law" been enacted – but remains a private company.

From the moment they have created an account, users grant the social network a "non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, free of charge and worldwide license to host, use, distribute, modify, perform, copy, publicly perform or publicly display, translate and create derivative works of your content", as explained in its terms and conditions of use.

No status published on the social network therefore allows you to derogate from it or to assert an alleged right of protection, even if this license raises questions from a legal point of view, as Thibault Douville, co-director of the Master's degree in digital law at the University of Caen Normandy, explains: "In French law, there is no intellectual property on an idea: it is therefore not protected when shared on a social network, contrary to what Facebook suggests. »

"What legislation should be applied to social networks?"

"In the same way, if I publish a copyrighted photo on Facebook, Facebook is supposed to have a license on it, even though it is a counterfeit," he said.

"It's a real problem for lawyers: what legislation should be applied to social networks, which generally refer to American law? In practice, the conditions that apply are related to the protection of personal data, which can be deleted or rectified. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies to all social networks," concludes Thibault Douville.

The only way to prevent any reuse of your content is to "[delete] your content or account," as Facebook says.

>> Would you like the Fake off team to verify a piece of information? Send an email to fakeoff@20minutes.fr.

20 Minutes is partnering with Facebook to fight misinformation. Thanks to this system, users of the social network can report information that they believe to be false.

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