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Instagram Policy Primer NET 303

by on Oct 20, 2013


Policy primer discussing the Instagram terms of service and issues associated with agreeing to these.

Policy primer discussing the Instagram terms of service and issues associated with agreeing to these.



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  • sehwan11 sehwan11 I have yet to download and install the Instagram application on my mobile device which attracted me to your online policy primer before reading through their terms of service agreement.
    Your slides used casual everyday language which was great however some of the slides had too many lines of words which can easily distract and lose your audience attention. The presentation felt compacted into 19 slides when you can have relaxed it using extra slides to ease the amount of information on each slides.
    The slide 13 which talks about how Instagram collects user’s personal information such as cookies, log files, device info, location and usage data particularly interested me. It interested me as my policy primer on YouTube also touched on the topic of Google collecting similar personal information like Instagram.
    Accepting and allowing service providers to collect and use our personal information is the price we pay to use the online social services. Google for example will collect and anonymise user’s IP address after nine months and cookies in search logs after 18months for Google Chrome users. Another words, until this period ends, your personal details will be uniquely identified and used for Google’s marketing and commercial purposes (Channel 4, 2012). What is even more interesting is the fact that these companies have determined what is the right balance of time for the public (for example 9 months and 18 months of anonymity by google) when it comes to the privacy concerns (Channel 4, 2012). Anonymity of your name is no longer the silver bullet to protect you and your identity in the cyberspace. According Barbaro & Zeller Jr, just by collecting your personal search engine phrases over the course of three months will reveal much of your personal life, your interest and private identity. Compiling and storing such private data by the internet giants such as Google, Yahoo and AOL, Marc Rotenberg executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center called this as a “a ticking privacy time bomb” (Barbaro and Zeller Jr, 2006).
    Overall, your policy primer provided wealth of information to make me much well aware of what I will need to accept before using the Instagram service. Thank you.


    Barbaro, M., & Zeller, T. (2006, August 9th). A Face Is Exposed for AOL Searcher No. 4417749.
    New York Times.
    Retrieved from:

    Investipedia. (2012, November 22nd) How Does Google Make Its Money?
    Retrieved from:
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  • sesh111 sesh111 There appears to be a trend among user-generated content platforms that put the entire responsibility of content posted on the user. It’s a very abrupt way of saying they are not liable for the actions of their users which is their barrier to potential lawsuits. I don’t wholly agree with this right. Although users should take ownership for their actions, this does not do anything to deter instances that can be highly detrimental to its users. For example, Patchin & Hinduja (2006) reported that 30% of adolescents studied had been a victim of online bullying. As the provider of such risks, they should be doing more to moderate offensive content. Instagram and other content-driven platforms retain the right to remove items, and if necessary users, for wrongful posts. However, judging by the above statistics it is not really a sufficient way of policing the actions of users online. The reliance on its user-base to moderate and inform them of infringements of their policies has the potential to be flawed, particularly when Instagram claims they have no obligation to become involved in disputes between users.

    Another thing I have noticed which seems consistent amongst online platforms is that the terms and conditions are subject to change, and you pointed out that by accepting the terms and conditions it means users consequently accept any changes that might occur in the future. Because platforms like Instagram’s main purpose is to connect people it means the responsibility of privacy protection often falls on the user (Goettke & Christiana, 2007). Some platforms make it easier for users to track changes than others. For example, Facebook has a governance page which individuals can ‘follow’ to keep up to date on possible changes and allow users a timeframe to participate in decision making. Being more open about these changes and allowing public participation increases feelings of trust with its users by increasing interaction with what is a relatively large, faceless organisation (Zittrain, 2008).
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Instagram Policy Primer NET 303 Instagram Policy Primer NET 303 Presentation Transcript