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December 18, 2012

Instagram responds to criticism about use of pictures, falls on sword, claims misinterpretation

Yesterday there was a big kerfuffle on the internets about Facebook-controlled Instagram's new terms of service that included language about the use of user photos in sponsored promotions.

With the weight of the digital world on their back, one of the Instagram co-founders published a blog-post on their official blog trying to explain this "mis-interpretation" of the legalese in their terms and conditions.

Despite the "mis-interpretation", Instagram accepts responsibility and will update the terms and conditions to remove the misunderstandings. Translation: "we got caught" :)

I thought the purpose of writing terms of service in legalese was to PREVENT potential misinterpretation? :)

Nilay Patel of The Verge, a real-life lawyer, analyzed the terms of service, and his distilled takeaway from this, trust in Facebook doing the right thing is very low.

It turns out, among the photographers who vehemently protested the new Facebookgram terms was Noah Kalina, Zuckerberg's wedding photographer says All Things Mossberg.

If you are still not convinced that Facebookgram will do the right thing in the end, these two blog-posts talk about exporting your pictures from Instagram: CNet and The Verge.

For more, this is currently the big story of the day at Miss Techmeme.


Ground-breaking Suggestion for All Companies
Write terms and conditions in straight-forward language that does not require a lawyer to "interpret" it. Because the vast majority of your users are NOT lawyers.

We've already seen this story play out over and over, including our beloved financial companies and their distributed multi-dimensional mortgages. Perhaps the only thing that can scare them into a common-sense and fair approach to explaining terms and contracts is the fear that the Warrenzilla might take interest in them ;-)


UPDATE
National Geographic posted a note/gram on their Instagram page that they are suspending posts to Instagram (via The Verge)


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