No, a legal notice won’t protect you from Facebook — so stop posting them

Here we go again — Facebook users want to ward off Mark Zuckerberg and his friends by posting random legal mumbo jumbo on their profile. This is ridiculous. Stop it.

In case you missed it, an old hoax has resurfaced that suggests Facebook (s fb) users can tell the company what to do by publishing a rambling notice. This means that people’s Facebook feeds are once again being sprayed by items like this one:

It’s a nice idea that stems from a growing frustration at the power companies like Facebook have over our personal information. The desire for user empowerment is understandable. But it doesn’t change the fact that you sign a contract with Facebook when you sign up to use its service. It’s the same with Google(s goog), Apple(s aapl), Pinterest and many other sites.

These contracts let the companies do what they want with your data subject to applicable laws. As for your copyrights, they belong to you not Facebook — but you give the company a license to use them:

You can tell Facebook how it is all you like — and even demand Mark Zuckerberg give you his firstborn child if he doesn’t obey your demands. But that doesn’t mean your claims have any legal effect.

(Image by Anneka via Shutterstock)