A lengthy and rambling Instagram note shared by several celebrities saying that users' posts can be used against them in court due to a change in the company's rules is a hoax, Instagram said.
The post went viral this week after it was shared by a host of stars and public figures, including Usher, Julia Roberts, Josh Brolin, Taraji P. Henson and even U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry. A few deleted it after learning it was bogus.
"If you’re seeing a meme claiming Instagram is changing its rules tomorrow, it’s not true," Instagram chief Adam Mosseri tweeted on Tuesday.
The message, filled with grammatical errors and randomly bolded text, said that anything users have posted on Instagram, including deleted photos and messages, was "now public" and "can be used in court cases in litigation against you."
The note urged users to copy and paste "a note like this" as legal protection.
"There’s no truth to this post," an Instagram spokesperson told Market Watch.
Actor Rob Lowe's sons had some fun with his gullibility, joking that the former "West Wing" star should have known the "cut and paste" defense probably wouldn't hold up in court.
"You literally have a son who went to Law School,'' Johnny Lowe wrote under his dad's post. "@matthewedwardlowe come get him."
"The Daily Show" host Trevor Noah shared his own parody version of the message with broken grammar, poor spelling and random bolding.
"Don't forget today start the new day of a hoax people fall for in the internet,'' he wrote. "A new rule from Instagram that is also old rule and no rule is happening tomorrow where Instagram can use your picture and message for make money and also court case."
A similar hoax made the rounds on Facebook in 2015.