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back to article Instagram back-pedals in face of user outrage

Instagram has responded to the storm of protests from its users over proposed changes to its terms and conditions by promising to alter the language it uses and guaranteeing that it won't sell user's photos. "Instagram users own their content and Instagram does not claim any ownership rights over your photos. Nothing about this …

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FAIL

Same old routine

It doesn't matter whether it's a commercial operation or a political party, they all do the same thing: kite flying.

If there's no adverse reaction then the new policy goes ahead. If there's an outcry then they back pedal a bit and make out that they really do care.

One thing you can guarantee is that the terms of service will still have changed and not for the benefit of the users.

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Meh

I wouldn't

Believe this lot over anything, if they walked in and told me it was raining outside I would check for myself.

They use this as a softening up technique, then backtrack but the real terms and conditions will be softened to what they wanted in the first place.

Its a sales technique, hit them with a high price, then offer a discount, only the discount never existed, it was always going to be sold at the 'discount price' anyway.

I say f**kem and watch them bleed during the exodus.

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"Door in the Face" technique

Cialdini et al., circa 1975.

Even has its own Wikipedia page. See also "Foot in the Door" technique.

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Re: "Door in the Face" technique

Shouldn't that be "book in the face" technique?

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Anonymous Coward

fickle hipsters

Doesn't take much for them all to wander off like sheep to this weeks new big thing....

It's always dangerous basing your companies entire revenue on a sheep-like bunch of fickle retards.

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Holmes

@ AC 2349h - Re: fickle hipsters

. . . unless you're Apple Inc. , of course.

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Trollface

@ all - Re: @ AC 2349h - fickle hipsters

SCNR

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Re: sheep-like bunch of fickle retards

So if you're not selling to humans, who are you going to market at?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ AC 2349h - fickle hipsters

"... unless you're Apple Inc. , of course."

Apple's business depends on loyal hipsters...

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Oh, they are everyone's friend

All the Instagram users can calm down - Systrom said they love everyone and wont do anything dodgy. What a nice young man.

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Happy

Re: Oh, they are everyone's friend

Awwwwww.

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Re: Oh, they are everyone's friend

Just like Zuckerberg told us he was on our side, and Larry and Sergei told us they wouldn't be evil. They're all trying to figure out ways to sell our eyeballs and our personal property/data to anyone they can for as much as they can. Google is safe only so long as people dislike Microsoft more than them. Facebook may have everyone on it today, but Google+ or Twitter provide an escape, or people could even go retro and find their way back to Myspace. Certainly Instagram shouldn't feel safe, but none of them really should feel as though they're immune to people dumping them once they've had enough.

Wonder how long it'll take for Twitter to try to pull something like this? Or maybe they already did and I missed it?

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Re: Oh, they are everyone's friend

' but Google+ or Twitter provide an escape, or people could even go retro and find their way back to Myspace'

Um.. How about the escape of not putting all your private information up on the internet in the first place?

Posting anything that you want private (especially pictures) to any social network is like hiring Gary Glitter to watch the kids.

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Re: Oh, they are everyone's friend

"How about the escape of not putting all your private information up on the internet in the first place?"

Or even more fun, fill your profile with utterly bogus data, and laugh when FB start pitching ads at you for Morris Dancing lessons :-)

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Devil

Re: Oh, they are everyone's friend

Morris Dancing lessons are never to be laughed at!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh, they are everyone's friend

you missed it.

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Coat

Re: Oh, they are everyone's friend

Two things in life to never do - incest and morris dancing.

If pushed to extremes, never, ever morris dance.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh, they are everyone's friend

- Posting anything that you want private (especially pictures) to any social network is like hiring Gary Glitter to watch the kids. -

What the hell have you been smoking? No, inviting Gary Glitter, unsupervised is like hiring Gary Glitter to watch the kids! Posting too much personal info on a social website just means you bit of prat and should be far more careful and little less trusting of people you do not know, with my advice to read some Phillip K Dick novels to understand why. It is not quite the same and inviting a peadophile to fiddle with your kids!

Jesus wept, some people really need to get some perspective and scale in their supposedly witty metaphors!

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@AC 'some people really need to get some perspective'

Some people really need to look up 'hyperbole' !

;)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC 'some people really need to get some perspective'

and learn to spell 'pAEdophile' (capitals for emphasis - I wouldn't normally spell it with capitals. Just in case someone wondered)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh, they are everyone's friend

"Two things in life to never do - incest and morris dancing.If pushed to extremes, never, ever morris dance."

It's guys like THIS that give morris dancing a bad name!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:StompMorrisdance.jpg

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh, they are everyone's friend

OK, Morris Dancing, that's a lock for sure, but ....?

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@Alpha Tony

Um.. How about the escape of not putting all your private information up on the internet in the first place?

I'm on Facebook, but don't have ANYTHING I don't want kept private on it. It has my real name and photo, plus a few other photos I've uploaded at various times, but doesn't have my email exposed, or phone number, job info, birthday, relationship status filled in at all (well birthday is, since they require it, but the birthday is the wrong month, year and day so fat lot of good that does them for marketing) It is a good way to keep in touch with people I otherwise wouldn't, and a good time killer. It is quite possible to be on Facebook without "putting all your private information up on the internet".

My concern isn't giving them private info, that's one's choice. I chose one way, others (either less clueful or more trusting than I) have chosen differently. My concern is the kind of crap they tried to pull with Instragram, and even themselves in the past - but luckily had to backtrack both times after a big outcry. I don't want them using my name or photo in ads they show to others. That's just plain wrong, and luckily even the "over sharers" on Facebook seem to realize this, based on the size of the outcry when Facebook tried it the first time and when they tried it again with Instagram.

Whether these ads would say "Doug uses an iPhone, you should too" (which is true, they know because I access FB using the iPhone app) or whether it was something totally random like if I happened to 'like' someone's post about a Dodge Charger, then they use me in a Dodge Charger ad, I don't want it. If Facebook wants to do that, and gives me the choice of ALLOWING them do it and getting paid for it, like everyone else who shills for a product, fine. But they damn well can't just go ahead and do it without my permission, and the minute they do is the last time I ever login to Facebook. And it looks like I'd be far from alone. That type of mass exodus off Facebook (regardless of where people went) has so far been a powerful enough threat in terms of lost revenue that they don't consider it worthwhile tradeoff for "improving" their targeted advertising to those who remain.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh, they are everyone's friend

"Two things in life to never do - incest and morris dancing."

My former housemate never tried morris dancing, but well......I never did meet his aunt,so I can't say what the attraction was.

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FAIL

Good old in-your-face book

Facebook have an interesting approach to business... build up (or buy) a large user base of people who use the service because it offers some useful features for free, then change things until they all leave.

One of the biggest draws for this sort of service is the fact so many other people use it. As soon as you start driving them away you're on a very slippery slope, relying on user inertia to keep you as a going concern.

It's like when a research-heavy company starts going all bureaucratic after a merger or privatisation. The brightest and best are also the first to notice and the most mobile, so they leave. The company lumbers along for a while longer, but fundamentally what made it great has gone and can't be easily regained.

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Pint

Re: Good old in-your-face book

"fundamentally what made it great has gone and can't be easily regained"

Jolly good! I just wish that in Facebook's case, it would happen a little faster (and bloodier).

I could hope that this would serve as a lesson to other big companies, but in the real world...

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Stop

can somebody please explain to me what is worth a billion dollars about this

beautiful photos? crap more like....

so why did this site ever become popular to begin with?

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Re: can somebody please explain to me what is worth a billion dollars about this

Because someone told the sheep that the grass was sweet in the adjoining field.

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Re: can somebody please explain to me what is worth a billion dollars about this

"can somebody please explain to me what is worth a billion dollars about this

beautiful photos?"

Beautiful photos which show the faces of all your friends (who FB can identify thanks to the facial recognition tech they use) and famous landmarks you may be visiting together, as well as stores etc.

Plus the photo metadata is to be sold to advertisers as well. This metadata includes:

- the camera and lens you use (the cost of which can be used as a crude indicator of income)

- exact time of day

- date and the timezone you are in (can be used to determine your likely location)

- plus these days most shots include your exact GPS coordinates.

So they can track where and when you've been, as well as which FB friends you were with (so they can use your profile info to subsequently market to your friends).

Given all this data, its worth a lot. Dunno if that adds to $1b in value, but its definitely worth more than you'd think at first glance.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: the camera and lens you use

So basically iPhone, which means salary between £0 to £infinity.

A VERY crude indicator indeed.

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Facepalm

Re: can somebody please explain to me what is worth a billion dollars about this

Because Appleists could post pictures of super-expensive branded lattes to demonstrate how much cash they had to toss around?

WTF use is a square picture anyway when most photos-that-have-been-composed-properly are framed in 4:3 or similar. Never mind one made to look like it fell out of the 70's. Perhaps they're supposed to look like your nan's polaroids (ooerrr).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: the camera and lens you use

So basically iPhone, which means salary between £0 to £infinity.

--

Ermm, well it does allow you upload photos ( including the EXIF data ) from other places, so that is where the real data comes from, the EXIF which 90% of the happy-snapper camera users do not even know exists. Given that GPS data is now stored in EXIF especially from mobiles and the more expensive happy-snapper pocket cams offering this feature, this is pretty interesting stuff!

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Headmaster

How many?

promising to alter the language it uses and guaranteeing that it won't sell user's photos.

Oh, storm in a tea-cup then, if they only have the one user!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How many?

Not only that, but they may have left out an article. In fact, I'm sure of it. They definitely left out an article.

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Anonymous Coward

They had no choice to back down really. A lot of celebs have been using Instagram on Twitter and I can't imagine them being too happy giving Instagram free reign of their photos, especially for commercial purposes.

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Anonymous Coward

Reflected Glory

"They had no choice to back down really. A lot of celebs have been using Instagram on Twitter and I can't imagine them being too happy giving Instagram free reign of their photos, especially for commercial purposes."

Now *that* is an insightful comment. And of course, chasing the celebrities off of Instagram will mean that the remaining anonymous-faces-in-the-herd will no long shine with the reflected glory of of those departed celebrities. : (((((

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Thumb Down

Well, I suppose backing down is better than the North Korea approach (close the borders, plant mines, start a nuclear program). So they'll instead die a slow death of attrition, I reckon. It never ceases to amaze me how many social networking sites don't seem to understand how easy it is to lose their userbase's trust and how hard it is to get it back again.

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Backing down?

I still don't see that their T&Cs have changed at all, I don't call that backing down.

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Third time's the charm.

Facebook did almost exactly this, not that long ago. They changed the TOS to say something like leaving Facebook handed ownership of all your photos to Facebook. There was outcry and a fair amount of back-peddling, so that's twice they have tried and failed. Like I say -- third time's the charm. They'll definitely give it another go, soon enough.

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Re: Third time's the charm.

"Facebook did almost exactly this, not that long ago."

Its a FB standard operating procedure these days - when was the last time there *wasn't* an outrage followed by a backdown after Zuckerberg shot for the stars with a privacy change?

Zuckerberg just bought instagram - seems they inherited FB operating practices as part of the deal...

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@badger31 Re: Third time's the charm.

" They changed the TOS to say something like leaving Facebook handed ownership of all your photos to Facebook."

You know, I wonder if this would stand up in court. If someone uploaded photos etc when these terms were in place, then they might survive the scrutiny of the courts. But to change terms, after the fact, to give Facebook ownership, might not survive - it looks to much as if Facebook is simply appropriating material to which they have no right, exacerbated by the fact that they are doing this without offering any reasonable compensation to the owner.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @badger31 Third time's the charm.

They are relying on your having the very deep pockets to get to court in the United States. There are a few pro bono lawyers, but they've all been used up contesting cases where illiterates without computers have been fined millions of dollars for allegedly downloading tatty pop songs, because the **AAs wouldn't want to go after someone who had influence.

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Anonymous Coward

@ribosome

"where illiterates without computers have been fined millions of dollars for allegedly downloading tatty pop songs"

Can you give me some examples of that, or is your post just an example of your stupidity? And where are you getting your data to back up your contention that any significant percentage of pro bono lawyers are occupied with cases involving filesharing? Especially now, when no suits against filesharers have been institutes since years ago.

And mightn't there be even a single lawyer who might want to start a class-action suit?

And if it's alright for The Pirate Bay and Google - among many many others - to profit by expropriating the work of others, then what exactly is wrong with Facebook and Instagram appropriating the photos and data of their users?

Or is it just the case that content can be stolen if YOU deem it "tatty"? Or can anyone deem it "tatty"? If so, it's lucky for Instagram who on that basis could appropriate pretty much ever picture posted there.

The thing is, that people like you not only pull these kinds of statements out of your ass, but you also believe them after you say them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ribosome

The original judgement against Jammie Thomas-Rasset was for $1.9 million, in 2009

Like many fulminating Americans, you miss the point. When anyone criticises the RIAA or the MPAA you immediately go all Manichaean and argue that there is no position between hugely expensive court cases and support for piracy.

Of course there is. I don't like stuff being ripped off, but damages should be proportionate, about the same as if someone stole a CD from a shop. And there needs to be a clear distinction between real thieves - who run it as a business and sell ripped CDs in car boot sales - and people who, in this country, would be dealt with with a small fine.

I support the people over corporations. You clearly support corporations over the people. There is a name for at, and if you google for Mussolini you will find out what it is.

In any case, I really cannot take seriously the views of anyone who thinks that 99% of today's pop music isn't exploitative tat that will be forgotten in a year or so. I'm consistent: I don't pay for it because I don't listen to it, and I would certainly never degrade the Internet further by downloading it.

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FAIL

Seed sown...

Photographs regardless how digitally mangled will always be somebody's.

Essentially fraping your own userbase on content that harbors personal feeling is just stupid.

Flickr has it right, even if it's not cool because you have to pay for it.

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Pay or BE product

Someone here on The Reg posted the perfect line:

"If you aren't paying for a product (or service), you are the product."

In the words of Robert Heinlein, "TANSTAAFL, There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

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Pint

Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity

Most likely the Manglement Team simply forgot to review the proposed Ts&Cs from the point of view of the users. They essentially decided to perform this key step in public, with predictable results. It's exactly what would be expected when there's a one-sided, one-party approach to the "agreement" (sic) combined with a failure to install an intelligent review process.

Legal Dept. .NE. User Relations Dept.

Not smart. Lack of common sense.

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Holmes

Re: Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity

"Most likely the Manglement Team simply forgot to review the proposed T&Cs".

No, most likely they didn't. I don't think your comment was malicious though.

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Er, did I miss something?

"Instagram users own their content and Instagram does not claim any ownership rights over your photos. Nothing about this has changed."

Indeed. In fact, as I recall, the problem wasn't that Instagram were trying to claim ownership of one's photos, it was that they wanted to claim a license to monetise those photos without having to make any payment to the owner.

I don't see that the PR fluff from Systrom does anything to change that particular point of contention.

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Re: Er, did I miss something?

But the nice man *said* he wouldn't sell my photos - that makes all the difference right? </sarc> :-)

I'll start posting again when I see the new T&Cs and *if* I'm happy with them.

Couldn't hurt for people to do a mass download to send instagram a message, even if they intend staying :-)

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