Look Out For These 'Copypasta' Messages on Facebook

Not only is Facebook the source of many copy-and-pasted texts but the subject, as well. Here are some we've fact-checked.

Published Feb 23, 2023

The Facebook login screen is seen in this photo illustration on March 13, 2019 in Warsaw, Poland. (Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images) (Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
The Facebook login screen is seen in this photo illustration on March 13, 2019 in Warsaw, Poland. (Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

"Copypasta" is internet slang for rumors that users spread by copying posts and pasting them on their own accounts, which then get shared over and over. Not only is Facebook home to a lot of such material but often is the subject of those copypasta posts. 

Case in point: Over the years, we've fact-checked several claims about how to prevent Facebook from using your posts or pictures. Posting copypasta to your account does not allow you to get around the platform's term of service agreement, for example. You have to accept the agreement before you can even create an account. 

Here are some of the fact checks we've written about copypasta on Facebook. We'll update this list if we write more.

Copypasta is behind a false viral claim that Facebook could use your photographs, even ones you deleted.
Text, Label, Paper

In June 2022, a copypasta on Facebook went viral that claimed, "Don’t forget tomorrow starts the new Facebook rule where they can use your photos." We traced this copypasta back to at least 2012. You can't get around parent company Meta's company policies just by posting a statement to your profile. (You can read the full fact-check here.)

A copypasta would not stop Facebook or Instagram from making users' posts public.
A phone shows Facebook's login page in front of a backdrop that says Facebook on it in blue.

For years on Facebook, posts have spread on the platform that claim you can protect your copyright or privacy rights by posting a legal notice. We found claims about it happening in both 2019 and 2021. Despite how often the claim goes around, it isn't true. Facebook isn't claiming copyright to the posts. Any such notice also doesn't cancel or go around Facebook's own legal policies you have to accept when first making your account. (You can read the full fact-check here.)

No, a copypasta would not stop Facebook from using a person's pictures without permission.
facebook meta

In November 2021, a claim went around Facebook that a new "Facebook/Meta rule" would allow the platform to use people's pictures without permission. The only way to prevent it was posting a copypasta to your account. It was false. The platform had not put in place any new rules that changed how it used people's content. (You can read the full fact-check here.)

It's rare for entire Facebook accounts to be copypastas.

We've also seen claims that entire Facebook accounts were being copied and pasted, not just individual posts. Since December 2012, we've found warnings about Facebook "pirates" doing just that. While it has happened on the platform, it doesn't happen often. (You can read the full fact-check here.)

Copypasta was behind a false claim that Facebook would start charging users "this summer" to use the platform.
Meta did not announce plans that they will soon begin charging people this summer to use Facebook.

In October 2022, a copypasta spread on Facebook that claimed, "Facebook will start charging this summer." It was false. The rumor is over a decade old; we previously debunked it in 2009.

(Meta has since launched its paid verification service, Meta Verified. It would charge users $12 per month for a verification badge and for more protection against impersonating accounts. You can read the full fact-check here.)

Copypasta didn't allow Facebook users to regain friends or get rid of ads.
A Facebook hoax claimed that to regain friends in your news feed and get rid of ads, copy and paste some text into a post to upgrade the system, then say hello new and old friends.

We received reader mail in October 2022 that asked if copying and pasting text from a Facebook post would help show more posts from friends while getting less ads. When we looked into the claim, we found it came from a copypasta that began, "To regain friends in your news feed and get rid of ads - Hold your finger anywhere in this post and click 'copy.'" The post turned out to be a hoax. (You can read the full fact-check here.)

A copypasta falsely had people worried about a Facebook hack that would "hurt and offend" friends.
In sum, security-conscious users need not worry about a

In 2014 and 2015, claims spread that a "new hack on Facebook" aimed to "hurt and offend" friends. We found the claim to be false. "Hackers" can't suddenly seize control of people's accounts. (You can read the full fact-check here.)

Izz Scott LaMagdeleine is a fact-checker for Snopes.

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