Like the seasons, some of these internet hoaxes predictably come back around, no matter how many times they have already been debunked.
It is a hoax. There is no need to panic or share the post that has been popping up since 2012.
Celebrities including Martha Stewart, Usher, Pink, and politicians like Rick Perry, shared posts warning of an alleged upcoming change to Instagram or Facebook's terms of service. The companies are not given broad permissions to use your pictures, messages, and other information, but they do have fine print that you should know about. The company’s trove of data collected from users includes device attributes ranging from their Bluetooth signal strength and device battery level to movements within the app itself.
"We use location-related information-such as your current location, where you live, the places you like to go, and the businesses and people you're near-to provide, personalize and improve our Products, including ads, for you and others."
Among the language in this week’s viral post is a line forbidding Instagram from doing anything with the photos you share: “With this statement, I give notice to Instagram it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action against me based on this profile and/or its contents.”
By opening an Instagram account and posting content there, users are giving the company certain permissions to distribute their photos, videos and so on.
“Instead, when you share, post, or upload content that is covered by intellectual property rights (like photos or videos) on or in connection with our Service, you hereby grant to us a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to host, use, distribute, modify, run, copy, publicly perform or display, translate, and create derivative works of your content (consistent with your privacy and application settings).”