Forgive my lack of shock.
When websites, or other businesses, do things we don’t like, we can’t expect them to change because we’d rather they be nicer.
While I’m sure Instagram’s decision would not poll well with a representative sample of its users, I’m also sure that most of them will continue using the site. Instagram has put forth a product, users have agreed to the company’s terms of using that product. If the terms aren’t worth the product, walk away:
But users like me implicitly endorse these invasions of privacy by a) not reading fine print, and b) not walking away when we find out what’s in the fine print.
A few weeks ago, I was bored and scrolling through the extensive list of people Linkedin suggests I “connect” with, when I stumbled upon two names that were not in my “network,” but were rather two people whom I had only corresponded to via my personal email account. When I emailed Linkedin’s IT desk for an explanation, they said I had likely imported my contacts. But neither of the people in question are saved as contacts on my account and, furthermore, I hadn’t imported my contacts in the first place.
In short, it seems that Linkedin would only have suggested these two names as potential connections if it had direct access to my email account.
This didn’t seem right, so I asked my friend who works part-time for the site. Sure enough, what most likely happened was that when I joined the site I gave Linkedin permission to do exactly what they did. And, sure enough, I’ve kept my account intact.
Am I comfortable using Linkedin now? No. Am I a hypocrite? Absolutely.
By the time you read this, Facebook will have finished an election in which users voted on the future of user voting. Users will have voted overwhelmingly to keep having elections, resulting in an end to user elections.
Of those who did cast ballots, 88 percent were opposed to the changes. Will the resulting loss of control and privacy Facebook’s fault, or ours? As someone who a) had an opinion on the policy, and b) failed to cast a ballot, it’s clear that the blame lies with users like me.
It isn’t outrageous that Instagram knows it will make more money from the sale of its users’ photos than it will lose from users who delete their accounts. What’s outrageous is that our apathy gives them the opportunity.