So many of us have seen it all day. "Copy & paste" this post if you don't want to have your pictures stolen. "Copy & paste" this post if you don't want to pay to use Facebook. I'm not kidding when I say I seriously considered a social media hiatus when they started populating my newsfeed faster than the weeds in my badly overgrown garden.

Some of the messages we see can be extremely intimidating. We also need to remember that all of these social media sites are, in fact, commercial. They are a business and, like any other business, they are looking to make a profit. How they make that profit is the question. The majority of them do it through advertising or targeted marketing, not through subscriptions or charging the basic user a fee.

First, let's address the question of whether Facebook will start charging users. That particular rumor post in some various form has been circulating since 2009. Facebook doesn't make its profit off of its BASIC users. You can see the evolution of the post at

The second post making the rounds today has been the one about Facebook using photos and other information without "written consent" of the user. This one, too, has had many lives. In an online article by CBS News, the author notes that the owners of the content on a Facebook page controls the use of that content through their privacy settings. However, they also remind that particular user that:

Facebook users can't alter the terms they agreed to by signing up simply by posting a message -- let alone one with no legal bearing.

All Facebook users need to remember to read the fine print. We are all using something that is owned by a company that is not owned by us.

So check your settings if you don't want anyone outside your "circle of friends" to have access to your information or photos. Remember that the corporation that is Facebook owns Facebook. And keep handy to check on those "copy & paste" posts before you copy & paste unnecessarily. Pictures of your sweet children, funny jokes or your dog doing funny dog things are much more interesting.