Instagram Hoax Dupes Rob Lowe, Usher With Bogus Warning

“Everything you’ve ever posted becomes public from today,” the viral hoax cautioned

Last Updated: August 21, 2019 @ 9:06 AM

Instagram users, including Usher, Rob Lowe and Julia Roberts, shared a chain message warning their followers that the app was changing its privacy policy on Wednesday, allowing it to freely use anyone’s pictures and messages. The only issue: the chain message is a poorly-worded hoax.

Instagram chief Adam Mosseri, after seeing how quickly the hoax spread on Tuesday night, posted a brief notice on his Instagram Story.

“Heads up! If you’re seeing a message claiming Instagram is changing its rules [on Wednesday], it’s not,” he wrote, before sharing a link that debunked the viral post.

Still, a handful of celebrities — and a member of President Trump’s cabinet — were among those who were duped.

The hoax post was a block of text cautioning users that a new Instagram rule gave the Facebook-owned company the ability to use whatever its users post and say on the app — unless they re-shared the message, which blocked Instagram’s right to do so.

“Everything you’ve ever posted becomes public from today,” the post said. “Even messages that have been deleted or the photos not allowed. It costs nothing for a simple copy and paste, better safe than sorry.”

Actor Rob Lowe shared a copy of the hoax message on his Instagram. Some of the wording — including its final all-caps warning “INSTAGRAM DOES NOT HAVE MY PERMISSION TO SHARE PHOTOS OR MESSAGES” — was clipped. (via Instagram)

Not only did Usher, Lowe and Roberts opt to be “safe,” but so did Judd Apatow, Julianne Moore, Megan Rapinoe, Debra Messing and U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Instagram users probably noticed a few of their friends sharing the hoax on Tuesday night, as well.

“With this statement, I give notice to Instagram it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action against me based on this profile and/or its contents,” the message added.

An Instagram rep told CNN “there is no truth” to the message. If this seems familiar, it’s because similar hoaxes have been a staple on Facebook for years.

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