It's a hoax that makes the rounds on social media every few months and right now it's back with vengeance. Thousands have shared a status declaring Facebook content is their own private property. Others saw through the hoax and take real precautions to make sure their Facebook account is secure.
Professionally, local business owner Matt Marsiglia, owner of NoLa Brew Bus, is all for a public social media presence.
"Right now my business is 100 percent Facebook, that's my number one strategy,” Marsiglia said. “Because Facebook advertising is very powerful and that's kind the new wave of the internet is social media and the content you put on Facebook so for my business it's very powerful."
Personally, he likes to keep his Facebook page a little more guarded.
"I try to make it to where you can only see one picture in my profile and that's it,” Marsiglia said.
So he takes proper precautions to make sure his content is secure. Others think the answer is to post the status. It's a hoax that never seems to go away. Anna Whitlow with Be Nimble Public Relations thinks the resilience of this hoax stems from concern that nothing is private online.
"People feel like their information is being spread all over the place they want to make sure they own it and have their own information,” Whitlow said.
Unfortunately, Whitlow says posting a status to protect yourself doesn't actually do anything.
"It's similar to when Michael Scott from The Office goes in and declares bankruptcy,” Whitlow said. "They can't just declare that their stuff is private. People are just trying to cover their bases but it doesn't really work that way unfortunately."
The good news is it's very easy to make sure your Facebook is secure.
"You would just go to your own Facebook settings and go down to the settings area,” Whitlow said. "The privacy tab is what you really want to see and it's very user friendly and it says who can see my stuff who can contact me and who can look me up."
It's a tool Marsiglia has been using on his personal Facebook since he created his account back in 2007.
"You can gather so much information about yourself on there and they know everything about you just like Google does. I try to be more careful about that,” Marsiglia said. But for his business Facebook page, he's ready for the world to see it.
Facebook has addressed the hoax in the past stating “Anyone who uses Facebook owns and controls the content and information they post, as stated in our terms. That is our policy, and it always has been.”
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