Ellen DeGeneres Mocks Celebrities Who Fell for Instagram Hoax

Ellen DeGeneres poked fun at other celebrities who fell for a widespread Instagram hoax this week. The trick was actually a year old, and simply involved making people repost a lengthy message again and again. DeGeneres countered it with her own attempted at a viral post.

In the last couple of days, many people have shared and re-posted a strange block of text, claiming to exempt them from a new rule allowing Instagram to use their photos freely. Some big names have fallen for the prank, including stars like Rob Lowe, Usher and Melissa Joan Hart, among others. The U.S. Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry even shared the meme.

The paragraph was full of typos, misspellings and grammatical errors, and the word "Instagram" was in bold wherever it appeared. DeGeneres mocked the viral joke with a similar paragraph on Wednesday afternoon, emboldening the words "Ellen" or "The Ellen Show" wherever they appeared.

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I don’t know if you saw this, but I’m taking it very seriously.

A post shared by Ellen DeGeneres (@theellenshow) on

"Don't forget tomorrow starts the new Instagram rule where they can use your photos," DeGerenes began, riffing on the original post. "Don't forget deadline today!! Also, don't forget September 9th starts the new season of The Ellen Show where she will bring lots of love and joy and laughter to your TV. Don't forget!!"

DeGeneres took the time to do some relevant marketing, listing some of the celebrity guests and segments that would be included in the new season of her show. She then got into the supposedly legally binding portion of the form letter.

"It costs nothing for a simple copy and paste. I give Ellen or any entities associated with Ellen permission to make me laugh, cry, smile, dance, etc.," she wrote. "With this statement I give notice to everyone to watch on ellentube, set your DVR, keep up on this Instagram profile and/or its content."

DeGeneres had fans rolling with her post, as many had already seen through the frequently shared original elsewhere. Other comedians created parodies as well, including The Daily Show's Trevor Noah.


Meanwhile, the widespread confusion caused the prank is still not quite settled. A spokesperson for Facebook, Instagram's parent company, told CBS News that "there's no truth to this post." In addition, others have already thoroughly debunked the whole thing, as it has happened a few times before.

In reality, Facebook and Instagram do not claim any ownership over the content that its users post. However, Facebook does use content for the "purposes of providing and improving products" and other services, as noted in the terms of service agreement.