Are Instagram users dumb f*cks too?

Instagram's Suicide Note

Instagram’s Suicide Note

UPDATE 19th Dec: Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom posted a blog last night pledging to reword the offending policies. My original blog post follow.Just over two years ago, in May 2010, Mark Zuckerberg was accused of calling his first few thousand users “dumb f*cks” for the trust they placed in him (before you ask why I censor this, my nine year-old boy reads this stuff sometimes). It seems that perhaps someone else in the corporate machine that is now Facebook could be hoping for similar from their recently acquired Instagram user base.

Last night Instagram announced a change to its Privacy Policy and Terms of Use agreements, that essentially gives itself the right to share any photo, posted publicly by any user for any purpose. Instagram reserve the right to profit financially from the sale of such photos and makes it very clear that the originator of the work will receive no compensation whatsoever. They further clarify that none of the content you provide to them is under any obligation of confidentiality.

The agreement says that Instagram will have;

a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, worldwide, limited license to use, modify, delete from, add to, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and translate such Content, including without limitation distributing part or all of the Site in any media formats through any media channels

In the original Terms of Use, this paragraph ended with “except Content not shared publicly (“private”) will not be distributed outside the Instagram Services.” That sentence is ominously no longer present…

They claim the further right…

you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you

And to make sure they’re covered for any minors using the service, those minors are informed that…

If you are under the age of eighteen (18), or under any other applicable age of majority, you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision

and finally, just in case you didn’t get the point (my emphasis):

None of your Content will be subject to any obligation of confidence on the part of Instagram, and Instagram will not be liable for any use or disclosure of any Content you provide

If you carry on using the service after 16th January 2013, you will be subject to these new terms.

I deleted every one of my photos individually today and closed my account. If a web site or service presents you with terms of use that are personally unacceptable, it is the only sensible course of action. After the recent furore around InstaSpam on the service, I doubt that I will be the only one seeking a preferable platform.

Arguably, Facebook has reached a critical mass whereby it can get away with almost anything, including asking it’s members to vote away their voting rights. Instagram on the other hand, has not.

3 thoughts on “Are Instagram users dumb f*cks too?

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  3. Jon

    Oh really? I’ve also deleted my account from Instagram because of privacy issues. I’m never coming back, nor will I install the App on my iPhone. I’m not dumb, and I won’t allow Instagram or any company to violate my privacy!! Farewell Instagram!!!

    Reply

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