Are Facebook Posts Copyrighted?

When you jump onto Facebook to share pictures from your last trip or thoughts about your day, you might not think much about who owns those posts.

But here’s something you might find interesting: every time you share a photo, write a post, or upload a video, you’re actually creating content that could be protected by copyright law.

In this article, I’m going to take a walk through what that means for you and your Facebook content. Are your posts safe from others using them without your say? What do the rules on Facebook actually say about this?

And what can you do if someone else shares your stuff without asking? I’m excited to share with you some simple tips to help keep your creations under your control and understand the legal side of sharing on social media.

So, keep reading to find out more about copyright and your Facebook content.

Your original posts are generally protected as soon as you create them. But it’s important to understand that when you share something on Facebook, you’re agreeing to their rules, and they get to use your content too.

Key Takeaways

  • Copyright is a legal right that protects your original work as soon as it’s created.
  • When you post on Facebook, you own the content, but you also give Facebook permission to use it.
  • Always be careful when sharing or reposting content because it might be protected by copyright.
  • You can take steps to protect your content on Facebook and actions if someone uses it without your consent.
  • Respecting others’ copyrights and understanding the terms of service on social media is important for everyone.

Understanding Copyright

Copyright is kind of like a magic shield that automatically protects the stuff you create from being used by others without your permission. It’s like saying, “Hey, I made this, so I get to decide how it’s used.”

The moment you write a story, snap a picture, or make a video and it’s out of your head and into the world, that shield pops up around it. You don’t even have to put that little “©” symbol on it; the protection is yours automatically.

Now, you might be wondering, what does this have to do with my cat videos on Facebook? Well, it turns out, social media content can also be covered by copyright, which means that meme you made or the heartfelt post you wrote is protected too.

Copyright Laws and Social Media

When it comes to social media, the general rules of copyright still apply. What this means is, if you create something original like a fun drawing or a heartfelt poem and post it on Facebook, you’ve got the same protection as if you published it in a book.

But social media is a bit different because these platforms, like Facebook, have their own rules that you agree to when you sign up and start posting.

These rules are tucked away in the user agreements that most folks don’t take the time to read. They talk about how your content can be shared on the platform and how Facebook can use it.

So, while you do have rights over your work, you also give Facebook some rights to use your content in certain ways when you post it. It’s a bit of give and take when it comes to what happens to your stuff after it goes online.

Ownership of Content on Facebook

Now let’s chat about who owns what on Facebook. When you post a picture of your dog or a sunset, you’re the owner of that photo. But get this, by putting your stuff on Facebook, you’re actually saying to Facebook, “Hey, you can use this too.”

It doesn’t mean they own your photo, but it does mean they can show it to people around the world, maybe even in ads or other ways. It’s kind of like lending a book to a friend; you still own it, but your friend can read it.

This all comes from Facebook’s Terms of Service, which is like a big rule book that you say okay to when you create an account. In there, it says you give them permission to use your content, but it’s still yours.

Always remember, when you say okay to these terms, you’re making a deal about how your stuff can be used.

Sharing and Reposting Content

If you’ve ever wanted to share something cool you found on Facebook or repost a friend’s photo, there’s something you should know.

Just because something is easy to share doesn’t mean it’s okay to do it without thinking. That’s because the original person who made it, whether it’s a drawing, a photo, or a post, might have copyright protection on it.

Facebook knows this, so they’ve built in special buttons like ‘Share’ and ‘Tag’ that allow you to spread content without getting into trouble. But, if you’re thinking of downloading someone else’s photo and then uploading it as your own, that’s where you could step on some toes.

Before you share someone else’s work, it’s a good idea to ask for their permission or at least give them credit to be on the safe side.

Protecting Your Facebook Content

Keeping your Facebook content safe might feel like trying to hold onto a bunch of balloons on a windy day. But don’t worry, there are a few things you can do to keep a good grip on your work.

First, you can fiddle with your privacy settings so you can choose who sees what you post. If you only want your friends to see your photos, you can make that happen.

Second, you can add a watermark to your pictures or write a clear note on your profile saying you don’t want your work shared without permission. But what if someone doesn’t listen and uses your photo or post without asking?

You can report it to Facebook, and they have people who look into these things and can take action to help you out. So, even though you’re sharing in a big online world, you’ve still got ways to keep your content snug and secure.


In conclusion, navigating the world of copyright on Facebook can be a bit like hiking through a new trail – it helps to know the signs and stay on the right path.

Your original posts are generally protected as soon as you create them, which is pretty cool. But it’s also important to understand that when you share something on Facebook, you’re agreeing to their rules, and they get to use your content too.

Remember, when it comes to other people’s work, it’s always best to share with care, and if you’re ever unsure, just ask. Protect your own creations with a few smart steps and know that Facebook is there to help if someone crosses the line with your content.

So go ahead, keep posting and sharing, but just do it with a little know-how in your back pocket.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I use someone else’s Facebook photo for my blog or website? You shouldn’t use someone else’s photo from Facebook on your blog or website without their clear permission. Even though it’s posted online, the person who posted the photo still has rights to it, and using it without asking could get you in trouble.

2. What should I do if I see my photo being used by someone else on Facebook? If your photo is being used by someone else on Facebook without your okay, you can report it to Facebook. They have a way for you to claim your rights and ask for the photo to be removed.

3. Does Facebook own my content once I upload it? No, Facebook doesn’t own your content. You still own what you upload, but you give Facebook permission to use it in various ways once you post it, according to their terms of service.

4. If I delete a post on Facebook, does that mean it’s gone for good? Deleting a post from your Facebook profile removes it from your page, but it might not be gone for good. Facebook might keep copies in their backups for a while, and if someone shared or saved your post before you deleted it, they might still have it.

5. Can I copyright my Facebook posts to make sure they’re protected? Your original Facebook posts are automatically protected by copyright when you create them. There’s no need to register them somewhere else for them to be protected. However, being clear about not wanting to share your content without permission can help deter others from using it without asking.


  • Janine Swart

    Legal Advisor & Social Media Manager
    In 2011, I achieved admission as an attorney to the Western Cape High Court of South Africa, signaling the initiation of my fulfilling legal journey. Since then, my diverse professional roles immersed me in the intricacies of civil, labour, and criminal law, fostering a well-rounded understanding of various legal domains. Even before my formal admission, my exposure to criminal and labour law laid the foundation for my eventual specialization. Throughout my career, I have remained dedicated to the principles of justice, fairness, and equity, shaping my approach to legal practice. While I hold a special affinity for labour law, my openness to exploring positions in other legal fields underscores my eagerness to expand my expertise and contribute to the legal community in diverse capacities. Beyond my legal practice, I have found a unique intersection between law and modern communication through social media management for law firms. Leveraging my legal background, I bring a distinctive perspective to enhance a law firm’s social media presence. Recognizing the pivotal role of effective communication in the legal realm, I apply my knowledge to curate content that not only engages but also educates and informs the audience. My blend of academic knowledge, practical experience, and commitment to ethical standards positions me as a formidable force in the legal arena. As I continue to evolve professionally, I remain steadfast in my pursuit of a legal career that not only positively impacts individuals and society but also enhances a law firm’s digital footprint through strategic social media management. My social media management skills include: - Facebook Marketing - Instagram Marketing - YouTube Marketing - LinkedIn Marketing - Social Media Marketing