Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Instagram and your Digital Footprint

Mele Kalikimaka!

As you go about your day, or sit to relax in your Rolling Rock beanbag chair (cough…Steve Duffy…cough), here is something to think about and potentially use in class….

Today there are a lot of articles going around the Interwebs about Instagram and their new Terms of Service Agreement. (if you aren't aware of Instagram, that's OK, but maybe take a moment and Google it- it's a photo editing and sharing social media application. Attached is a photo that I took and published to Instagram as an example). 

Companies can, and do, change their Terms of Service all the time. Sometimes we see a viral Facebook-posting of ways to opt-out of Terms of Service, but I assure you, this is not a viral hoax. 

According to CNN, Instagram can now SELL YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS FOR ADS. The new Terms of Service allows them to sell your photos to other companies. See article here

Why am I telling you this? Well, it's very alarming to all of our students. According to a survey of all freshmen this year at WHS, Instagram was in the top 3 of the most-used social networks! The new Terms of Use includes language that allows for photos of, and by minors to be subject to the new rules, too. Instagram (owned by Facebook) states that, "If you are under the age of eighteen .... you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision."


I suggest you have a talk with your students about their digital footprint, how they represent themselves on Instagram, and how detrimental this could be to them. 

I am optimistic that Instagram will change their Terms of Service with a lot of backlash from this, but we shall see. Let me know if you have any questions or would like some talking points about this topic/digital footprints.