UPDATE: Instagram Is Not, Nor Were They Ever Going to Sell Your Photos
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: [Possibly NSFW drawing below]
I know you’re mad about
Sound familiar? That’s because it’s just like Facebook’s Sponsored Stories ad initiative. Here’s what Instagram has to say about what it’s going to do with your likeness and your photos:
To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, 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.
Despite the epic freakout going on around you, Instagram can’t just up and sell your photos to anyone. They can allow companies to pay to use your photos in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions. But Instagram is not creating some giant stock photo database of your personal photos. They could, but they aren’t. Neither is Facebook, by the way. As Nilay Patel at The Verge points out,
“…an advertiser can pay Instagram to display your photos in a way that doesn’t create anything new — so Budweiser can put up a box in the timeline that says “our favorite Instagram photos of this bar!” and put user photos in there, but it can’t take those photos and modify them, or combine them with other content to create a new thing. Putting a logo on your photo would definitely break the rules. But putting a logo somewhere near your photos? That would probably be okay.”
You can still choose to hate this. That’s well within your rights, and it’s understandable. But you should know that Facebook has had the same kind of language in its ToS for a while now. Both companies have expansive license on your content. The only way to escape all of this is to simply not use Facebook or Instagram.
But in case you want to stick with Instagram, may I suggest placing a NFSW watermark on all of your photos.
Like this guy. Instagram user mattonlymoore has decided to fight fire with dick. “If Instagram is going to sell my photos, they will be selling photos with a dick and balls watermark,” he says.
And that’s what you should do, if you’re mad about the possiblity of your photos being used as ads. Simply make your photos unusable in most ad scenarios. Problem solved.
Or use another app. Whatever works.