As of January 16, 2013, all new pictures uploaded to Instagram may be sold to others and they have no obligation to compensate you for it, or even notice to you. That means for example that your photos, whether a landscape, a monument or yourself, may appear in any advertisement or as a part of the cover of a magazine.
No consent will ask when this happens because as of January 16, when you accept the new terms and conditions you will be giving your consent to use any of your photos for their own benefit and you will receive nothing in return.
There are only two ways to avoid this situation: canceling our account, or activating the only privacy setting available (and only from the mobile app), which reads: “Enable to require your permission to follow you and see your pictures”. This means that if you activate this setting, no one can see your photos to check if it’s worth following you, which reduces to almost nothing the usefulness of the service. That’s why I consider it an unfair policy. Instagram is about sharing, and if we use it the way people can see our content (and only see), then we necessarily have to accept that Facebook can sell it and benefit without any compensation to us.
This may seem like the typical Internet hoax. I recently published a warning on one of these hoaxes also affecting Facebook. However, this time it’s not fake. You can find references to this issue in sources as reliable as the New York Times or Cnet and of course in Instagram updated terms and conditions. You can also find the main points just above this paragraph.
I suggest to visit these references, because there are other implications, as they can share your profile information with Facebook, now its parent company and any of its affiliates and advertisers.
I believe that this constitutes an abuse, besides being a very unwise policy. Unwise because if they gave compensation to photographers, however small it would be, they would have a hyper-motivated legion of users taking more and more pictures with the hope of getting some extra money.
Instead, they chose to implement an abusive practice that I hope it turns against themselves and forces them to rectify. I want to help make that happen by putting my humble two cents. To do this I created the image below for distribution, helping to inform as many users as possible about what is happening.
If you also consider abuse, please share it:
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