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Woke up this morning, feeling a bit like Saint Jerome, and had the urge to send a message in a bottle:

“Dear Mark Zuckerberg,

I understand that you don’t really care about being the most popular kid on the block, and that a personal wealth of $9.4 billions is not enough for you, your girlfriend, your dog Beast and the future of your kids, but I think this time you f***ed it up completely, you stu”

Then I stopped, as I remembered that nobody reads anything about serious matters. Let alone “Terms and Conditions”.

The truth is:

Cat doing cat stuff = 435,466,346 like, 439,666 comments, 12,009 lol.

 

Post about Facebook and Instagram new fascist terms of use agreements = no reaction.

Yes, this rant is about Instagram’s new “Terms of Use Agreement”, which basically say: your photos are ours, we can nick ‘em and use ‘em as we please.

Here’s the link to the new diktat: http://instagram.com/about/legal/terms/updated/

And here’s a couple of links to interesting articles:

CNET / ‘Instagram says it now has the right to sell your photos’ and Gawker / ‘Instagram’s Absurd New Terms of Use Agreement Is Already Being Called Its ‘Suicide Note’’

One bit of the second article, in particular, is worth being quoted: ‘Clayton Cubitt, a New York-based photographer popular on Instagram, dubbed the new terms of use “Instagram’s suicide note,” a sentiment with which hundreds of people have agreed thus far. But it’s worth noting that this kind of crazy commercialization of social media isn’t so crazy anymore.

“I think it is fair to question the scope of many of these terms as potentially outside of the realm of what is required to operate. It’s no secret that users rarely read and understand these terms, so companies have little incentive to draft user-friendly agreements.”

In other words, until people start actually paying attention and demanding that tech companies stop overreaching when it comes to abusing user content, it’s unlikely anything will change. Not that any of this should be a surprise, really. As Metafilter user blue_beetle famously put it in 2010: “If you’re not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.”

In light of what we have shown up to this point –

Three things you can do before the Himalaya Drug Company uses your face to sell Clarina Anti Acne Cream:

  • Delete your account

 

  • Start posting pictures nobody would use for commercial purposes – like this one
  • Start caring about things concerning your personal data, and react to the tyranny of Tsar Zuck the First (and the last, hopefully)

In less then 5 years, we went from “OMG the lady at the post office knows my address and telephone number, I’m doomed” to “They are using photos of my kids in order to sell stuff, init? Who cares, mate. The internet is no place for real life information, said one enlightened blogger, time to finally get it. And, most importantly, it’s time to REACT: take your time and read terms and conditions, spread the world, vote when you can vote (until you can) on Facebook data policy changes, and say NO if you don’t like something. It’s extremely hard to react when you are a homosexual, controversial artist during Stalin’s Soviet Union, like Mayakovsky, not when the only thing you need to say is “Listen, Zuck, we 800 million active users are the ones who made you awfully rich, give us a break, otherwise we’ll find another social network on which post pictures of cats. Cheers.”

What do you think?

London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.

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1.Comments

  1. January 16, 2013

    i really want to use instagram because it is quite unique and fun to use too.’

    Reply

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