Facebook is not suddenly sharing private posts

12 November 2021
What was claimed

All posts on Facebook are about to be made public.

Our verdict

This is not true. It is an old rumour that has been spread many times before.

Facebook users are sharing a false rumour that all posts and photos on the platform are about to be made public. The posts include a formal statement saying that the author does not authorise this.

This is a version of common rumour that has spread online for years and been reported on many times.

The new version of the rumour says: “Do not forget Tomorrow begins the new Facebook / Meta rule where your photos can be used. Do not forget that the deadline is today !!! It can be used in litigation against you. Everything you post will be made public from today—including messages.”

This is not true. Nor was it true in 2012, when the US fact checking site Snopes first published an article debunking similar posts. We’ve fact checked claims like this before about Instagram.

Who owns your Facebook posts?

Facebook says: “You have control over who sees what you share on Facebook.”

When you post something on Facebook, you continue to own the intellectual property rights for any content that you create and share. However, by agreeing to the terms of service and creating a Facebook account, you grant the company a licence to use what you post in specific ways, depending on your privacy settings.

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false because Facebook is not about to publish private posts.

Full Fact fights bad information

Bad information ruins lives. It promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy. You deserve better.