In addition to Perry's account, Instagram handles for actor Rob Lowe, musician Usher, and U.S. women's soccer star Megan Rapinoe also shared and later deleted the Instagram policy hoax, amplifying the false message to their combined millions of followers.
"There is no truth to this post," an Instagram spokesperson tells Fortune.
Messages designed to trick people into reposting them continue to vex not only Facebook and Instagram, but also the services users. The fake policy posts warn people that they must repost a message, which is often written in legal jargon, by a certain deadline or risk losing the rights to their photos and content.
A similar Facebook post that went viral in 2012 and again in 2015 spread the false rumor that Facebook was making changes to its copyright policy as the result of the Berner Convention, a piece of policy that a simple Google reveals does not exist. Another hoax played to a sense of urgency in 2009 and again in 2015, telling people that Facebook planned to charge its users who don't copy and paste a message by a certain deadline.
Short of those answers, users should remain skeptical of misinformation online and vigilant against spreading it. Any widespread policy changes on social networks should be communicated to users via official alerts or emails. Additionally, both Instagram and Facebook offer various privacy settings where users can opt-in or out of certain services. Reposting an image or text is not a valid way to change a user's privacy preferences.
Facebook has taken steps over the past two years to regain the trust of users, but one thing is for certain: If history is any indication, these posts will go viral again. File them under "fake news" and ignore.
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