Instagram app on a mobile phone.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Instagram has been hit by a hoax that falsely claims the Facebook-owned social media site is making major changes to its terms of service.
The hoax post went viral earlier this week, with Energy Secretary Rick Perry sharing the post on his Instagram and Twitter accounts. He later deleted the Instagram post after acknowledging in a comment that the image was fake.
The fake post continues to be shared by numerous celebrities and high-profile influencers, however, including actresses Julia Roberts, Debra Messing, and Taraji P. Henson, movie producer Judd Apatow, as well as musicians Pink, T.I., and Usher.
Instagram flatly denied the hoax, which has been circulated in similar forms on Facebook over the past several years.
“There’s no truth in this post,” said Facebook spokesperson Stephanie Otway.
Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, also called foul on the hoax in a post on his Instagram Stories.
“If you’re seeing a meme claiming Instagram is changing its rules tomorrow, it’s not true,” he said.
In 2015, Facebook was forced to address a similar “privacy notice” scam making the rounds on its site. Like the Instagram hoax, the scam urged users to repost the photo to prevent Facebook from distributing users’ photos, information or posts without their permission.
Facebook responded to the hoax in a 2012 post, saying: “There is a rumor circulating that Facebook is making a change related to ownership of users’ information or the content they post to the site. This is false.”