Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Going dark on Instagram. A Protest Post UPDATED 12/26/12

Instagram has now posted a new ToU that reverts to it's 2010 language. This is great but rest assured mayhem is to follow.
Parent company Facebook NEEDS to recoup the billion dollars they squandered on purchasing this app.

Here is my new take on things:
The ONLY reason Instagram is worth anything is that they managed to get millions of users by making the app FREE.
Now that they think we are addicted they decide to claim everything and anything posted in their app.

The going sentiment is "this is a company and companies exist to make money".
How completely disingenuous.

Unlike Facebook which allows for in-depth conversations and relationship management.
Instagram is a purely superficial social media platform and one that can be easily copied.

Insult the hobby groups (scrapbookers, graffiti writers, jewelry makers, cooks and wood carvers- whoever has a hobby and uses instagram to show their work to others in the same hobby), the artists, the photographers and the businesses- and they leave.
Who stays?
The people who take photos of their feet or family members (that no one else but their own family cares about).
These same users will go wherever the artists go because THAT was the main attraction to Instagram in the first place!
It may take a year or two but pretty soon you have a ghost town or as I like to call it-

Yes please figure out how the to make money before you insult us with outrageous power grabs- respect is a two way street.

Now back to my previously written post.

So it's come to this.
I will no longer be able to participate in Instagram.
I am also seriously considering deleting my Facebook account.
Not only have they become a great way for me to procrastinate (and aggravated my already nasty shopping addiction)
they have both just passed new User Agreements that do not allow me to decide if I want to have my photos and profile information sold without my prior consent and compensation.

I love seeing everyone's latest news and sharing my own but I can no longer abide the way these two websites take advantage of my participation.

Facebook has been a problem for a while.
It's a disjointed mess with too many ads and opportunities for individuals to offend each other.
When I first joined back in 2004 I immediately connected with long lost high school friends and we talked regularly.
It was great!
I got to see their wedding and new babies.
Now I'm lucky if I see the occasional rant!
Forget getting new friend requests and having my work get any kind of attention there- everyone has  battened down the hatches.
Facebook is too large and too overwhelming.
It's partially my fault for joining too many commercial scrapbook business pages.
It's not fun anymore.
And their new User Agreement means I HAVE to agree with all the clauses in their crazy User Agreement.
I can't opt out of certain sections I find objectionable- like if I want to "ignore" commercial content they push at me.

Instagram recently changed it's user agreement as well.

Instagram will be able to sell whatever photo, profile information and meta-data you post there.
They will not need to ask you permission or compensate you.
If your minor child posts a great shot, the new User Agreement states those photos are open to advertising exploit and that you give explicit permission for that use.
Anyone appearing in your photos ALSO gives permission to appear in an ad.
As of January 16th you will no longer be able to opt out.
Images posted BEFORE this date will not fall under the new User Agreement but everything after that date will.
This is wildly encroaching, not to mention ethically disgusting!

I have no problem with being paid for my photos. 
I want to make money from my "art".

But I certainly don't want to see my face or worst- my daughter's face- gracing some random ad without having the power to say NO.
How can they possibly think this is ok?
And before you think I'm being alarmist- it's not that my family is oh so fascinating.
This is not about money.
It's about power and your right to your work- even that fuzzy photo of your latest chicken diner.
I believe the power to retain all imagine rights resides with the content creator.
It's been that way since photography became possible.
Why do these techno-media geeks think they can suddenly wrest that power away?

Before you dismiss this think about the entirety of your photo stream.
We don't know what content will be needed.
Perhaps they are looking for images of "abused" or "third world"children and my kid's face will be the poster child.
Maybe they want "fat chick" faces for the latest weight loss drug campaign.
Who knows?!
Any kind of disgusting or dangerous product can be sold with your face all over it.

With the proliferation of online advertising and fly by night digital start-up companies, the need for cheap imaging content is extreme.
How about your face on that Russian Dolls "dating" service?
Fun right?
That's what you will be exposed to if you choose to participate in Instagram photo sharing.

You can read more about this from reputable news websites:

Here's my call to action:

  1. Although I KNOW this will hurt- join me in going dark on Instagram. 
  2. Save all your photos to Flickr or some other image sharing social media platform. 
  3.  Let's support each other by joining each others accounts and leaving the same love we left on Instagram.
  4.  Let's let Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom know- 

This ain't ok dude.
It's a power grab.
We won't stand for it.

Perhaps she's the new face of some ineffective and dangerous energy drug.
The company is a shady outfit from take-your-pick country so I can't sue to have the ad taken down.
Chells OUT!


  1. Yuck! I'd been avoiding Instagram b/c I'd heard you can find a person's location with it and I didn't like that but now I'm double not liking it...yeah, FB has gotten funny in a not so funny way. Don't like the ads, too much of a time suck (I agree). Not sure if I can leave FB entirely yet but I'm rolling the idea around in my head...

  2. I don't blame you for protesting and thanks for alerting us to these new agreements.

  3. Great post!!!! I totally agree with you on all accounts. I deleted my IG account and I won't to fb. I found just IG was taking up too much of my time - there was no happy median with me unfortunately so I went cold turkey about 3 months ago and I feel SO much better for it!

  4. You are so completely correct! I avoided Instagram, even though I felt like a social pariah and now I'm glad. Deleted my pictures from facebook and eliminated friends, except those who I have real relationships with, again feeling like a pariah my general mistrust seems to have been well founded. Such a shame! It was a great idea.


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