On walkabout in life and technology

You’re the Advertisement

It used to be said that:

If you pay for a product, you’re a customer. If you don’t, you’re the product.

Now its getting worse. The new Instagram Terms of Use make you the advertisement for any unknown third party product. Anyone can pay Instagram to use your user name, your image, and your photos to advertise their product to anyone else, without your knowledge or consent.

2. Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising revenue. To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you. If you are under the age of eighteen (18), or under any other applicable age of majority, you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision (and the use of your name, likeness, username, and/or photos (along with any associated metadata)) on your behalf.

It seems there is no way to prevent this.

Facebook recently did the same thing, just more sneakily. They state you can use your privacy settings to opt out of having your name and profile picture used in anyone else’s advertisement, but default the setting to opted in, of course. Go to your privacy settings on Facebook to disable.

1. You can use your privacy settings to limit how your name and profile picture may be associated with commercial, sponsored, or related content (such as a brand you like) served or enhanced by us. You give us permission to use your name and profile picture in connection with that content, subject to the limits you place.

Personally, I prefer to endorse products I like on my blog. I do not want nor permit Facebook or Instagram to use my name, likeness or any of my images to promote, endorse, advertise or sell products without my express permission (and I should get paid for it too).

I understand these companies need to find ways to make money. Abusing their user’s reputations is the wrong way to go.


Twitter too:

You agree that this license includes the right for Twitter to provide, promote, and improve the Services and to make Content submitted to or through the Services available to other companies, organizations or individuals who partner with Twitter for the syndication, broadcast, distribution or publication of such Content on other media and services, subject to our terms and conditions for such Content use.

Such additional uses by Twitter, or other companies, organizations or individuals who partner with Twitter, may be made with no compensation paid to you with respect to the Content that you submit, post, transmit or otherwise make available through the Services.

And Path:

Our Service may change from time to time and/or we may stop (permanently or temporarily) providing the Service (or features within the Service), possibly without prior notice to you. Our Service may, at some point, include advertisements, which may be targeted to the content or information on the Service, queries made through the Service, or from other information. The types and extent of advertising on the Service are also subject to change over time. In consideration for providing you the Service, you agree that we and our third party providers and partners may place advertising on our Service or in connection with the display of content or information on our Service.

Follow the author as @hiltmon on Twitter or @hiltmon on App.Net.