Instagram officials: No truth to viral post about privacy changes causing panic among users

Fake privacy change leaves many users concerned

Photo does not have a caption

DETROIT – A viral Instagram post warning users of a big change coming to the social media site's terms of service has many people, including celebrities and politicians, concerned about privacy.

The post essentially states that Instagram now owns everything users post, from pictures to private messages, unless the pictures are reposted.

Instagram officials said there's no truth to the post, but many people are concerned. From Rob Lowe to Rita Wilson, even U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry -- the man in charge of overseeing the country's nuclear arsenal -- many people fell for the post.

While Instagram doesn't claim ownership of users' content, when something is posted, users grant the site a license to use that content however it wants. That goes for all social media sites.

The post is a hoax, but there is still a layer of truth, experts said.

Fake posts seem to circulate every few months, causing panic among users. How can you tell if they're fake?

  • Spelling or grammatical errors
  • Inconsistent text
  • Nothing to verify it's an official statement from Instagram

Any official statement would be clearly labeled and wouldn't come through this type of post, officials said.

About the Authors: