Posters who shared the message believed that they were telling Instagram that they would not give the company permission to "use my pictures, information, messages, or posts, both past and future." Adding to the incredulity of the whole situation, the original doctored post insisted that the text must be copied and pasted for sharing for it to be "valid." At the time of publication, many of the celebrity posts had been deleted.
If this message looks awfully familiar, it's because versions of it have been circling the internet the past few years on Instagram's parent company, Facebook. While a Snopes fact check confirmed that it was indeed fake back in 2012, Facebook itself was forced to share a message in its help center debunking the hoax after it resurfaced in 2016.
On Wednesday, Aug. 21, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed to Elite Daily that the latest iteration is no different, saying, "There is no truth to this post."
While quite a few people did fall for the hoax, others — including Trevor Noah and John Mayer — took to Twitter and Instagram to wonder how anyone could have thought it was real with their own doctored versions of the hoax. People were seriously wondering: how could anyone think this is real?
Noah and Mayer took to Instagram to poke fun at the hoax with their own memes that shed light on the ridiculousness of a copy-and-pasted post that looks straight from the AOL-era being a legally binding document.
Now that this hoax has happened once again and we're hopefully all the wiser now, I'd probably try to alert friends and family who've fallen for the hoax and have yet to take down their posts.