Instagram's Updated Terms of Use Have Struck A Tender Chord With Its Userbase

Instagram recently had to announce via their Comms Twitter account that the backlash towards their updated Terms of Use is misguided. But what are these terms, and why have they invoked such an adverse reaction? Let's have a look.

Instagram's farewell to 2020 consisted of an update to their Terms of Use guidelines, which would see proper implementation across the next year. In a spectacular fashion, however, these changes were met with extensively heavy backlash from Instagram's community for a number of reasons, some lamenting the loss of online privacy, while others concerned with online livelihoods being affected.

Certain members of the Instagram community have spoken out about how Instagram's new rules and regulations allows the platform privileges to access and use personal user information such as credit card numbers, photos, and the like. Famous pop singer Madonna even dedicated an entire video of hers to accusing Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg of this Orwellian thievery of user data. The video (found on Instagram funnily enough) does not, however, delve into any particular clauses from the Terms of Use and goes into no further detail short of spouting information about how the government can now access your information. Which, while alarming if true, is the sort of fear-mongering any 45+ year old on Facebook can be seen conducting.

Another concern that users have regarding the update is a restriction, disabling accounts with usernames consisting of URLs or domain names. Now, while this update doesn't really affect the average users, certain people and businesses relying on online sources for their livelihood are going to feel mighty displeased.

Most online bloggers, freelancers, and small businesses have their URLs and domain names in their username to allow quick visits from their Instagram userbases. Since the new additions brought upon by Instagram were never really highlighted, and the changes are to be enacted from the 20th of January (today, at the time of writing this article) all of these unassuming breadwinners will have their online marketing stamped upon in the interests of preventing copyright strikes. Consent for such additions to a username must henceforth be acquired from Instagram beforehand.

Instagram's hardly the first online platform to be accused of stealing and repurposing user information. As a matter of fact, considering that its parent company is Facebook, such a user backlash should feel natural. Facebook and its creator, Mark Zuckerberg, have come across grave allegations and under heavy fire multiple times. The latter has even had an entire US Senate investigation hurled at him over concerns of userbase data usage.

Read next: Data Reveals Social Media Restrictions Across The Globe, Highlighting Free Speech Suppression
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