Facebook 'copyrighting' trend: Fact or fiction?

Here we go again.

Another viral hoax is circulating around Facebook, where many users are claiming to "copyright" their material. The long, rambling status update you may have seen goes like this: "I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, etc."

But is this status update necessary? Not at all, according to one local media expert and several other official news sources. Facebook itself issued an official statement, calling it a rumor that it owns anything you post.

Benjamin Diggles, an executive at Webtrends, a digital marketing company in Portland, said it's true that Facebook can use a photo or video you post to direct better ads your way or promote Facebook.

"But they're not really looking to take a photo you take on Mount Hood and go sell it," Diggles said. "No, absolutely not. I'd be shocked. Do they have time for that? No way."

Digital marketing experts say Facebook's focus is selling ads. They may track your photo captions and other information to somehow direct the right companies to create specific ads for you, but that's about it.

So the fear that social media accounts will take your photos and sell them, or give them to police or your boss - that scare is unfounded, Diggles said.

"I think people fantasize about what can be collected about them, and how it can be used against them," he said.