Ok, you all obviously know about this massively global catastrophe that has befallen us this week, and no, for once, I’m not talking about the apocalypse (although I may as well be given how horrified everyone seems to be about it). AMJ brought you the news a couple of days ago that the guys over at everyone’s favourite self-absorbed vacuum of creative talent, Instagram, (and by Instagram I of course mean
Emperor Zurg Mark Zuckerberg), have updated their terms and conditions to add a new clause that states that they can take any of their users’ pictures and use them to advertise themselves, or sell them to the highest bidder to use in their adverts.
I haven’t been keeping up with much news and stuff in the past few days since I got home from Uni on Friday because over the last few months I’d forgotten how comfortable a sofa could be. Add FIFA and a couple of zoots to the mix and surprisingly I’m not very productive. I read AMJ’s article the other day, and thought to myself “Oh, that’s interesting. Does this mean one of my photos might get plastered across a billboard in the Northern Quarter?”. Then I needed a piss so I moved on and forgot about it. So you can imagine my surprise when I checked out some internets yesterday and discovered that the whole cyber world had gone into meltdown and everyone deleted their Instagram accounts before Facebook took them as slaves, shackled their wrists to a camera and whipped them until they produced a photograph that could be sold for a million dollars.
Seriously, what are these babies crying about now? I suppose I understand people being a little annoyed. But only until you think for, like, a few seconds about how this actually affects you. Because the answer is, it doesn’t. At all.
One of the main ‘arguments’ by the whingers and whiners is that Facebook/Instagram have no moral right to take your private and personal photos and show them to the world. And another gem is that Facebook/Instagram have no legal/moral right to take these photos – photos that you worked tirelessly to create, that you poured the inner depths of your soul into, that reflect your mind state and attitude towards the world and other people so powerfully that they have intrinsic value beyond the comprehension of simple worker bees brainwashed by money and material wealth – and sell them for their own profit. Well, guess what guys? They totally do.
You uploaded your pictures to Instagram. You put them on the internet, because you wanted other people to see them. You didn’t have a problem then. But now, all of a sudden, that photo of you kissing that dude with the snake tattoo that made you look edgy and experimental to your other hipster friends might be seen in an advert for condoms by your grandma while she’s checking her spam emails and then your whole family will think you’re a dirty sket and they wont buy you a new iPad for Christmas. Well then, delete it. You’ve got a whole month to delete it. No one’s stopping you. Why are you upset? It probably only got liked by your closest friends at the time or the other people that were with you that night and they probably remember it from a much funnier/sluttier angle than that picture showed. It probably just pissed off everyone else that only followed you in the first place so that you’d follow them back. Just delete it and move on.
Instagram created a completely free service for you that required absolutely no effort or investment on your part. This isn’t like the NHS or freedom or something that has been fought for by generations for centuries, or something that you have a right to. This is a product that was created by some people a few years ago as a business venture. Time, money and effort was invested into it by those people, with the intention of earning some more money. They didn’t sit down around a table and say, “You know what? Human beings have a moral right to be able to take photos of their red Starbucks cups, add a sepia filter and a thick white border and a load of vague, all-encompassing hashtags and show all their friends their progress as a budding photographer. And we have the necessary skills to give that to them. Therefore, we have an obligation, as fellow human beings, to create this service. because with great power comes great responsibility.”
No. A few years ago, you didn’t have Instagram, and you didn’t need it. Now you have Instagram, because of a group of guys’ hard work, and yet suddenly it’s like it’s a public service that belongs to the people that no big corporation has the right to tamper with.
There’s two types of people that are pissed off that Instagram/Facebook might make money off their photos.
The first type are businesses/professional photographers/artists that upload photos to Instagram that they did actually invest some money and effort into to take/make.Your first response is that, actually, these people have a point. Stop stealing, Instagram. Yeah, don’t be a dick, Instagram. Right? Except it shouldn’t be, because if those businesses/professionals now close their accounts and don’t let Instagram make a profit from them, they have been stealing from Instagram for two years. They have used Instagram to promote themselves and generate a larger profit for themselves without giving Instagram a single dime in the process. And then as soon as Instagram ask for something in return, they get offended and boycott the whole thing. Now who’s the sneaky prick?
The second type are the individuals, the normal people, the hipsters, the shallow selfie sharers, who use Instagram more as yet another platform to show all their faux-friends how cool they are than as a place to experience and contribute to a creative community. This group’s reason for being butthurt about the site getting monetized is much funnier and more pathetic than the first group’s. Do you honestly think Facebook is going to use your boring photo of your mediocre Christmas tree to sell to John Lewis for their 2013 Festive Decorations advert?! Over 100 million people use Instagram! Are you genuinely concerned about not getting the money you’re entitled to on the chance that someone might use your photograph? You’ve got more chance of winning the fvcking lottery! Stop being so self-centred and deluded and open your fvcking eyes.
And that brings me onto my other point: whether Instagram monetized themselves or not, there would be no difference whatsoever to your life. It boils down to this very simple ultimatum:
If Facebook use or sell your photographs, Facebook make money, and you don’t. If Facebook don’t use or sell your photographs, Facebook don’t make money, and you still don’t.
The difference for you is that if Instagram doesn’t generate any profit for Facebook, they’ll shut it down. Because that’s what happens in the real world. Things aren’t free. Not even on the internet.
â˜› More: Rapperz Of Instagram
Guess there’s no better time than this to say follow me @ http://instagram.com/gav_sickchirpse/.
Feel free to tell me my photos are whack, but I bet you won’t.