Instagram’s Extensive Terms of Use

Most of Instagram’s terms of use are lengthy, confusing, and exhausting to read, but then again — what social media’s terms of use are actually interesting to review? There’s a reason why most people scroll passed the terms of use while signing up…

Although a majority of the the terms of use are long descriptions on why copyrighting is wrong and how offensive images are prohibited, there are actually a few listed rules and guildlines that I found interesting and useful for myself to read. I’ve also identified a couple of rules that seem problematic to me, and have brainstormed a couple of ideas on how to make these terms of use easier to understand for Instagram’s millions of users.

Surprisingly Interesting Rules:

“Post photos and videos that are appropriate for a diverse audience.”

“Respect other members of the Instagram community”

These rules stated in the Instagram Terms of Use surprised me, because I didnt realize that Instagram inforced the ideals of a “community” as much as they really do. They want to create an environment in which everyone’s photos are respected, and that are appropriate for everyone else in the community. This is important to me because as an active Instagram user and photographer, knowing the fact that my photos will be respected is written in the app’s terms of use makes me feel the true creative potential I have with the app and my photos.

Problematic/Confusing Rules:

“We reserve the right to modify or terminate the Service or your access to the Service for any reason, without notice, at any time, and without liability to you.”

“We reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to change these Terms of Use (Updated Terms) from time to time.”

These rules seem problematic to me, because when Instagram states that they can essentially delete your account without any heads up, it creates anxiety and fear that one day my account might be deleted without any actual reason. This has happened to many of my blogger friends and it makes me wonder why you aren’t able to recieve some type of notice if you’ve truly done nothing wrong to get your account deleted. The second listed rule I find confusing is the fact that they can change the terms of use anytime they want, again — without notice. It seems strange that Instagram would be able to change a rule that its users have to follow without any reassurance.

Tips for Instagram:

  • Make it easier for people to read the terms of use.
  • Make it actually mandatory for people to read the terms of use. If people were actually somehow forced to read the list of rules before signing up, it would be very clear for people to follow them.
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