Michael Whitford - Net 503 Policy Primer


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An online policy primer summarising the Terms of Use for Instagram.

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  • Hi Michael,

    I enjoy the way that you have split your content up into convenient sections according to the relevant issues that have been raised in the unit. This has made it easy to follow and is helpful in understanding how Instagram’s terms of Use raises concerns. This is also something I tried to achieve with my presentation.

    Your informative presentation has made it apparent that there are many parallels between Instagram and Facebook’s Terms of Use. This is likely attributed to the notion of bringing Instagrams terms in line with that of Facebook to make it easier to share across the two networks (Yawnick, 2012). Most notably, the ownership of content is similar across both platforms as users are granting a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable and worldwide license to use the content.

    It can also be argued that Instagram’s Terms of Use raises concern about the freedom of expression. This is because users are faced with restrictions on what they can and cannot post, as you have discussed in your Censorship slide. This is also a connection that I have made with Facebook.

    The concept of censorship is the cause for concern that I have found most interesting to read about because it is something that I am aware of on Facebook but not as informed about in terms of Instagram. For example, I did not realise that users should be cautious about what hashtags they use. I agree with how you have provided this point as an example within both categories of censorship and surveillance. Your mention of Pablo Almansa’s account being deleted is a great addition to the presentation as I believe it is successful in illustrating that surveillance can raise questions and concerns about power and control (Lyon, 2002).

    The format of your presentation was effective for ensuring a simple and engaging reading experience!


    Lyon, D. (2002) “Everday Surveillance: Personal Data and Social Classification.” Information, Communication and Society 5, no. 1 Retrieved from: http://www.casa.ucl.ac.uk/cyberspace/lyon_ics.pdf

    Yawnick, M. (2012 йил 17-December). We Compare Instagram's New Terms of Service. Retrieved 25 October, 2013 from Life in LoFi: http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/12/17/we-look-at-instagrams-new-terms-of-service/
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Michael Whitford - Net 503 Policy Primer

  1. 1. Internet Politics and Power 503 Assignment 2:Policy Primer By: Michael Whitford, 13378680
  2. 2. (Rivera, 2012) (Albanesius, 2012) (Koire, 2013) (Paine, 2012)
  3. 3. What is Instagram? “It’s a photo-sharing social media app that allows users to take and upload photos from their smartphone camera, add filters, captions and location info and then share them with followers” (Donnelly, 2013) (Davies, n.d.) Established in 2010 Acquired by Facebook in 2012 Now has over 100 million users across the world. Initially created for trendsetters to post pics of organic dairy-free fair trade coffees. (Donnelly,2013) Instagram describes itself as “ a fast, beautiful and fun way to share your life with friends and family” (Instagram,2013) (France-Presse, 2012)
  4. 4. Key Features (Pugachevsky, 2013) • Take/upload photos from smart phone camera • Upload 15 second videos • Add Filters (Creative, 2012) • Captions/Hashtags • Location Information (Taylor, 2012) (Hurley Hall, n.d.)
  5. 5. Covering the Basics • You must be 13 or older to create an Instagram account • Follow the community guidelines The Short 1. Post your own photos and videos. 2. Keep your clothes on. 3. Be respectful. 4. Don’t spam. 5. HAVE FUN! (Instagram, 2013) • The account is for YOU “You also represent that all information you provide or provided to Instagram upon registration and at all other times will be true, accurate, current and complete and you agree to update your information as necessary to maintain its truth and accuracy” (Instagram, 2013) • NO HACKING! “You agree that you will not solicit, collect or use the login credentials of other Instagram users”. • Protect your account password.
  6. 6. Ownership • “Instagram does not claim ownership of any Content that you post on or through the Service” (Instagram, 2013). This means that YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for any content you post NOT INSTAGRAM. • In accepting the Instagram Terms of Use you acknowledge that any content posted is your own. • If you accept the Instagram Terms of Use you grant Instagram license to use your content and share your information. • “Instagram does not claim ownership of any Content that you post on or through the Service. Instead, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service…”(Instagram, 2013)
  7. 7. Copyright • “ YOU represent and warrant that: (i) YOU OWN THE CONTENT POSTED BY YOU on or through the Service or otherwise have the right to grant the rights and licenses set forth in these Terms of Use; (ii) the posting and use of your Content on or through the Service does not violate, misappropriate or infringe on the rights of any third party, including, without limitation, privacy rights, publicity rights, copyrights, trademark and/or other intellectual property rights” (Instagram, 2013). • YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for your content therefore if Instagram shares your content with other organizations, Instagram is not liable for copyright. • “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”(Instagram, 2013). • If your account is found to be in breach of copyright Instagram may disable your account without warning. • “You understand and agree that Instagram cannot and will not be responsible for the Content posted on the Service and you use the Service at your own risk” (Instagram, 2013).
  8. 8. Censorship • “You may not post violent, nude, partially nude, discriminatory, unlawful, infringing, hateful, pornographic or sexually suggestive photos or other content via the Service” (Instagram, 2013). • The use of inappropriate hashtags in your post is considered equally forbidden. • Any content that falls into the above categories will be removed and may lead to Instagram deleting a users account without warning. • Well known Spanish photographer Pablo Almansa had his account deleted without warning because of inappropriate use. http://instagramers.com/destacados/mama-instagram-removed-my-account/
  9. 9. Privacy • Your account is public by default • Until you change your setting to private any other user can view your photos and subscribe to your posts. • Location Services disclose where you are. • Once you accept the Instagram Terms of Use you allow them to gather, share and store your information. • Your content and account details are stored even if your account is terminated or you delete it. • “Following termination or deactivation of your account, Instagram, its Affiliates, or its Service Providers may retain information (including your profile information) and User Content for a commercially reasonable time for backup, archival, and/or audit purposes” (Instagram,2013). • In 2012 Instagram updated its Terms of Use causing backlash from users. “Instagram said that by posting photos to its service, "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”(Albanesius, 2012).
  10. 10. Surveillance • Instagram monitors not only your content but posts and hashtags • “We may, but have no obligation to, remove, edit, block, and/or monitor Content or accounts containing Content that we determine in our sole discretion violates these Terms of Use” (Instagram, 2013) • Instagram may also monitor the interaction between you and other users to uphold their community guidelines. • “Instagram reserves the right, but has no obligation, to monitor or become involved in disputes between you and other users” (Instagram, 2013). (Komal, 2011)
  11. 11. Termination Accepting Instagram Terms of Use gives them the right to terminate your account at their sole discretion. Actions that may lead to your account being blocked or terminated. • • • • • • • Posting offensive material e.g violent, nude, discriminatory Creating an account using a false identity or for another person. If you bully, stalk, defame etc another user. Using your account for illegal purposes e.g copyright Submitting unwanted emails (Spam) to other users. If you do not comply with the community guidelines Creating an an automated account. (King, 2009)
  12. 12. Relevant Unit Readings Topic 1.2b: A Right to Privacy? Everyday Surveillance – David Lyon “Much everyday convenience, efficiency and security depends on surveillance” (Lyon, 2002, p.243 ) • Monitoring allows Instagram to filter offensive material to prevent cyber-bullying, sexual harassment, stalking etc. Topic 1.1b: Moral Censorship vs Freedom of Speech To catch a predator? The Myspace moral panic – Alice Marwick • Filtering for the greater good of society (Marwick, 2002) • People as young as 13 can create Instagram accounts. Filtering offensive content provides protection to younger users. Topic 1.2a: Privacy and Terms of Use Privacy and Online Social Networking Websites - Richard Goettke & Joseph Christiana It is not the duty of social networking sites to ensure privacy (Goettke, & Christiana, 2007) • Instagram take steps to provide security for content, however it is the responsibility of the user to post appropriate material.
  13. 13. Socio-political Implications Privacy for Underage Users • • No parental consent is needed for people aged 13 years and older. The location services feature discloses geographic location. Protection to underage users is brought in to question. • Privacy and geo-location settings are optional but may be activated unintentionally (Kotenko, 2013) “The result is that the public can view the exact location where a child’s photos were taken, usually clustering at the child’s home, school, and primary after-school location” (Kotenko,2013). Parents and privacy advocates say Instagram is unsafe for underage users – Jam Kotenko http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/keep-our-underage-children-safe-instagram-concerned-parents/ Over-blocking Content • • • Instagram is used by professional photographers and provides exposure to their work. Over-blocking content may deprive them of freedom of expression. For example: Spanish photographer Pablo Almansa had his account deleted for posting nude and semi-nude content. • More transparency on what is considered inappropriate content may be a solution. Mama, Instagram removed my account http://instagramers.com/destacados/mama-instagram-removed-my-account/
  14. 14. Referencing Albanesius, C. (2012, March 11). [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2401426,00.asp Albanesius, C. (2012, December 21). Instagram Reverses Course on Policy Changes | News & Opinion | PCMag.com [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2413478,00.asp Creative, J. (2012, February 1). [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.jaskgroup.co.uk/blog/why-instagram-is-so-popular/ Davies, L. [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.raindance.org/smartphones-the-future-of-filmmaking/ Donnelly, T. (2013, August 14). What is Instagram? [Web log post]. Retrieved from www.whistleout.com.au/MobilePhones/Guides/what-isinstagram France-Presse, A. (2012, December 6). [Image]. Retrieved from http://technology.inquirer.net/20975/app-clash-instagram-shuts-off-twitter-feature Goettke, R., & Christiana, J. (2007, May 14). Privacy and Online Social Networking Websites. Retrieved October 10, 2013, from http://www.eecs.harvard.edu/cs199r/fp/RichJoe.pdf Hurley Hall, S. (n.d.). How to Use Location Services [Image]. Retrieved from http://unbounce.com/social-media/instagram-for-business/ Instagram. (2013). Retrieved October 10, 2013, from http://instagram.com King, G. (2009, October 27). Image. Retrieved from http://loyalkng.com/2009/10/27/robomayhem-introduces-amazing-terminator-2-rap-arnold-would-be-proud/ Koire, D. (2013, July 20). [Image]. Retrieved from http://dkoire.wordpress.com/2013/07/20/instagram/
  15. 15. Referencing Komal, S. (2011, March 24). [Image]Retrieved from http://http://sadiakomal.com/website-header-styles-ideas Kotenko, J. (2013, May 16). Privacy advocates say Instagram is unsafe for underage users | Digital Trends [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/keep-our-underage-children-safe-instagram-concerned-parents/ Lyon, D. (2002). Everyday Surveillance: Personal data and social classifications. Information, Communication & Society, 5(2), 242-257. Retrieved from http://www.casa.ucl.ac.uk/cyberspace/lyon_ics.pdf Marwick, A. (2008). To catch a predator? The Myspace moral panic. first monday: peer-reviewed journal on the internet, 13(6). Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2152/1966 Paine, C. (2012, December 20). [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.thepunch.com.au/tags/instagram/ Pugachevsky, J. (2013, June 30). [Image]Retrieved from http://tribecafilm.com/blogs/vine-instagram-facebook-film-digital-artists Rivera, E. (2012, July 31). [Image]. Retrieved from http://visianinfo.com/visian-icl-instagram-eyeseeinhd-contest/ Taylor, D. (2012, October 5). [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.askdavetaylor.com/how_to_use_tilt-shift_photo_filter_instagram_iphone/ Terms of Use. Instagram. (2013, January 19). Retrieved October 10, 2013, from http://instagram.com/about/legal/terms/ doi:10.1080/13691180210130806 [Image]. (2012, April 18). Retrieved from http://www.thekeypieces.co.uk/2012/04/instagram.html