By now you’ve probably seen an article or five taking down the viral Facebook “notice” appearing in people’s feeds, which purports to revoke rights from Facebook regarding one’s Facebook feed content and data (e.g., Jeff John Roberts here, or Caitlin Dewey here). This hoax reappears on Facebook with the regularity of some astronomical phenomenon, and is regularly debunked. But like a horror movie villain, it keeps coming back.
It is one thing to understand that this notice is ineffective. However, it it worth having a clear explanation why such unilateral proclamations aren’t enforceable for when this thing comes back again in six months dressed up with even more preposterous legal incantations citing the Rule Against Perpetuities.
More to the point, the fact that such a declaration is irrelevant actually turns out to be a pretty good thing for Internet users.