18 December 2012

Instagram is selling you off

With Facebook taking over Instagram, I was already afraid something like this was going to happen. But with the new Terms of Use (active as of 16 January 2013) Facebook is going even further than I had anticipated.

The new terms of use allow them to use and sell your pictures for advertising. While you may feel honoured your images are being used for this, think a bit about the consequences. First of, people are going to be freely making money from your work. While you may be OK with even that, there's another associated problem with their use of your work without your control: you may get connected with a brand/image that you totally disagree with.

Would you want to be associated with a brand that goes totally against your beliefs, makes use of child labour, produces chemical weapons, is known for heavy pollution, killing people, …? I think not.

If you don't want any of this, there's basically only one solution: quit using instagram altogether and kill your account. Before you do, download all your images first of course. For instance using instaport. Note: Instaport is finding heavy traffic at this moment (I guess more people are using it to ditch their Instagram account) so this could take a while…

Here's the text article in the updated terms of use granting Instagram the right to sell you off.
Rights, Article 2
Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising revenue. To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, 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. 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 the use of your name, likeness, username, and/or photos (along with any associated metadata)) on your behalf.

Note: Sure, chances of your images actually being used in an advertisement are very slim; there are simply very many images to choose from. And yes, there are some further guards against using images with people on them. So yes, the actual risk may not be that big, the implications, however, could be huge. So my advise would still be: ditch that Instagram account (and be very careful what you do on Facebook and other Social Media as they have similar far reaching terms of use).

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