What the Tech? Is Instagram’s Privacy Policy Really Changing?

If you’re a fan or follower of some Hollywood celebrities and musicians, you may have run across a scary post on Instagram recently.

Stars such as Rob Lowe, Julia Roberts and Usher shared a viral post that claimed Instagram had changed its privacy policy and would be making everyone’s Insta’s public this week.

The post further asked people to share it with their followers with their own message that they do not give Instagram the right to use their photos.

You’ve probably seen a similar post on Facebook sometime in the past 6 years. It’s almost identical actually, both refer to a “Channel 13 News” as having reported it.

Of course, none of it is true. You know that, I know that, but some of Hollywood’s elite were pulled in. So to was Energy Secretary Rick Perry who shared the post and was widely criticized on Twitter and Instagram.

He took down the post and replaced it with another that mocked the hoax.

Instagram and Facebook responded to the hoax because it was being shared by millions of people. The reaction: “there’s no truth to it”.

Of course there isn’t. First, if Facebook or Instagram wanted to use one of your photos that you’ve shared on the sites, they can.

The companies don’t even have to ask or notify you. If that pic of you in Las Vegas catches the eye of someone at Instagram or Facebook, they can put it in an advertising campaign. The terms of services for both sites say while they don’t take
ownership of your publicly shared photos, they can use them.

If you don’t like it and disagree, the Terms say your choice is not to share photos. By using either social media network you’ve
already given them your blessing.

Why does anyone believe these viral hoaxes? Some don’t and share them anyway. Pink shared the image adding the comment “Better safe than sorry, even if it is a hoax.”

Categories: News Video, What The Tech