Social Media Matters: Fake copyright notice takes Facebook by storm

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, Nov. 30, 2012
Metro section

Fake copyright notice takes Facebook by storm

On Monday, a new version of an old hoax took Facebook by storm.

The well-known copyright hoax lures Facebook users into a false sense of security by urging them to post it to their profiles in order to supposedly protect their private information. Unfortunately for them, posting the “warning” is pointless and means absolutely nothing other than wasting space. The only things that can prevent your privacy on Facebook are your privacy settings — or not being on Facebook at all.

In part, the fake copyright notice reads: “In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention). For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!”

If you spend any time on Facebook, you’ve likely seen this or versions of it circulate from time to time. I have to admit that it’s well written and looks official. It even cites a bunch of official-sounding laws and documents. Because of this, some very smart people are being taken in by it and assuming it’s real.

Again, if you’re ever curious about what’s real or not, just cut and paste the first sentence or two of warnings such as this into Google. If it’s fake, it will usually show up at the top of the search results. The version out earlier this week was so new, though, that it hadn’t made it onto the hoax sites until several hours after it started to spread, leading some to believe it was authentic when it didn’t show up as a hoax in searches.

Twitter account makes fun of rednecks

If you spend any time online, you’ve probably seen photos posted of people protesting against immigrants to the U.S., people who speak Spanish instead of English, etc. Many times, there are spelling mistakes on their signs for which they are mocked by those spreading the photos online. The point is to shame them for urging others to “speak English” in the U.S., yet they can’t even properly spell in English themselves.

An anonymous Twitter account poking fun at anti-immigrant or anti-Latino tweets was created a week ago and had already amassed more than 12,000 followers by Nov. 27. Specifically, the Twitter account @yourinamerica seeks to shame those who make fun of non-English speakers but who also don’t know the difference between “you’re” and “your”.

The creator of the account searches for the term “your in America” and then proceeds to correct each Twitter user on the proper spelling, especially if their tweet bears hints of (or even overt) racism or intolerance. Some examples include:

1) It’s “you’re.” Also, we speak English. RT @TestCase2Try Your in America, so your supposed to speak American people;

2) I think you mean “you’re” in America. That’s embarrassing. RT @JOJO__circus: Speak english your in america omg;

3) “You’re” in America. Please spell properly. RT @MeggWeezie: Your in America please speak English;

4) That makes no sense but it’s “you’re.” RT @Dyllanboo If your in America and can’t speak English then you shouldn’t own a donut shop.

These are hilarious, actually, and point out the hypocrisy of these tweeters who criticize non-English speakers but who can’t even spell correctly themselves. Not sure if shaming them will teach them a lesson, but @yourinamerica is trying!

Justin Bieber loses YouTube crown

Canadian pop superstar Justin Bieber has lost his crown as the King of YouTube videos. Until just a few days ago, Bieber’s YouTube video of “Baby (featuring Ludacris)” was the most-watched video on YouTube with more than 800 million views. Then along came South Korean pop star PSY with “Gangnam Style.”

Bieber’s video was uploaded on Feb. 19, 2010, and currently has about 806 million views, while PSY’s video was only uploaded on July 15, 2012, and already has about 836 million views. At its current rate, the “Gangnam Style” phenomenon will most likely become the first video on YouTube to read the one-billion views mark!

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Every week, I feature YouTube channels for you to check out. Statistics are current to Nov. 27. Have a favourite YouTube channel? Let me know and I may feature it here.

1) Dumb Ways to Die (37,815 subscribers): There are only two videos on this channel, including the namesake song, “Dumb Ways to Die.” At first, you think it’s just a novelty song with cute cartoon characters dying in terrible ways, but it’s actually a public service announcement for Metro Trains, the rail transportation system in Melbourne, Australia. Uploaded on Nov. 14, the ditty already has more than 27 million views, while the companion karaoke version has approximately 30,000 views. Created to raise awareness on train safety, the song went viral and spread very quickly. (Most popular video: Dumb Ways to Die – 27,038,447 views.)

2) The Canadian Beaver Band (317,214 subscribers): According to its channel description, “This is the official YouTube channel of The Beaver Party of Canada, featuring The Canadian Beaver Band, Canada’s most popular political satire band.” The channel’s 31 videos have a total of 317,214 views. Be sure to check out the very funny “Justin Trudeau Song,” too! (Most popular video: I Didn’t Do It (The F-35 Song) by The Canadian Beaver Band – 103,660 views.)

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