The Instagram Hoax Celebrities Are Falling For
No, Instagram isn't about to steal your photos -- but someone should tell Rob Lowe, Usher and Adriana Lima, who are among the celebs to fall for an old social media hoax.
A number of famous faces have posted some variation of a graphic you may have seen before -- a block of text claiming the platform is changing their privacy or photo rules, and saying that the user does not give permission for their content or information to be used.
It's the type of graphic that gets shared around Facebook a lot, but has no basis in fact or law. It's often shared by inexperienced Facebook users who are worried about their photos being used.
But now it has popped up on Instagram, and despite it being a hoax of a well-known type, a number of mega-famous people have done their bit to share it around anyway.
As of time of writing, the likes of actor Rob Lowe, r'n'b star Usher, model Adriana Lima and actress Taraji P. Henson have the graphic image posted to their Instagram pages. The text claims that "the new Instagram rule where they can use your photos" is imminent, and that private messages will become public.
Other celebrities including Julia Roberts, Debra Messing and Scooter Braun -- Justin Bieber's manager -- reportedly posted similar images, but seem to have since deleted them.
"I do not give Instagram or any entities associated with Instagram permission to use my pictures, information, messages or posts, both past and future," the post reads. It makes reference to "the Rome Statute" -- a treaty which established the International Criminal Court, and has nothing to do with social media companies using your photos.
"If you do not publish a statement at least once it will be tacitly allowing the use of your photos," the graphic claims, adding "better be safe than sorry" in encouraging people to copy and paste the statement to their own profile.
However, it is exactly the sort of hoax often shared on Facebook. Indeed, the graphics shared by the celebrities appear to have had the word 'Facebook' clumsily erased and replaced with 'Instagram' in a different font, in an amateur editing job.
"Better safe than sorry," Usher wrote in the caption accompanying his post of the photo.
"For the record!" Henson wrote on hers.
Comedian Trevor Noah, host of The Daily Show, didn't fall for the hoax himself but posted a dig at those who did -- sharing his own post calling Instagram "a bad boy" and saying "the Instagram demon is dead".
10 daily has reached out to Facebook and Instagram for a comment on the claims, but some American media outlets have quoted Facebook as telling them "there is no truth to this post."