Is Instagram Making Your Photos and Messages Public? (Hint: No.)
That didn't stop a number of celebrities and US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry (you know, the guy responsible for the nukes) from falling for a years-old hoax that falsely claims Facebook's photo-sharing app will change its rules so that Instagram "can use your photos" starting today.
"Everything you've ever posted becomes public today. Even messages that have been deleted or the photos not allowed," the post reads.
The fake message claims that posts and messages can be used against Instagram users in court. It then encourages users to re-post the same message, which concludes with an all-caps message that says Instagram does not have the user's permission to share photos or messages.
The hoax has been around since at least 2012, according to fact-checking site Snopes.com. But for whatever reason, it emerged again in recent days; actresses including Julia Roberts, Debra Messing, and Taraji P. Henson, in addition to musical artists Usher and T.I., all re-posted the message, according to CNBC. Although Perry has deleted the post, at least a few of the re-postings from other public figures remain online and have received tens of thousands of likes.
Instagram confirmed the post is a hoax. "If you're seeing a meme claiming Instagram is changing its rules tomorrow, it's not true," posted Instagram's head Adam Mosseri.