Rob Lowe, Usher & Other Celebs Fall for Viral Instagram Hoax

Brenda Watkins
August 22, 2019

Stephanie Otway, a spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, told CBS News, "There's no truth to this post". "Even messages that have been deleted or the photos not allowed", the post reads.

Those sharing the fake message included Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, the actors Julianne Moore, Julia Roberts and Rob Lowe, rapper Waka Flocka Flame and singer Usher.

The hoax, which has been shared by several celebrities, requests users to re-share it to stop Instagram from using your content, including deleted messages. Not only is the word "Instagram" in a totally different font to the rest of the post, it gets ominously larger the further down the post you go, as if it is moving ever closer.

A meme was posted to Magasiva's Instagram account that purported to be a message about new rules around Instagram's use of personal information and how users could opt out of it.

Technically, it's not true. The platform still does not claim ownership over your photos.

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It also makes a vague reference to a local news station.

It's a similar hoax that has long made the rounds on Facebook that claims photos and other content will become property of the company unless users repost the message. (Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012).

The clear sign this was a hoax - which millions missed - is that you already surrender your privacy under IG's existing Terms & Conditions. "Users can consider adding a watermark or other physical attribution that could not be easily removed, but this would likely be a problem for aesthetics", he said on email.

Understandably, this frightened many, especially rappers who often post questionable or incriminating stuff that could leave them targeted for probation violation, for example. If you do not publish a statement at least once it will be tacitly allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates.

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