Social media sites have made a lot of influences of people from different walks of life. Everyone shares information that they possess and post it online, whether this is viewable only to a limited number of people or open to the public. For people to be able to share whatever they want online, they have to sign up to one of these sites. Every online user that has signed up have gone through the Terms and Conditions page, where it states there once you checked the box, you have agreed to all the points that they have established so that you can use their service. The common thing that most users do when they get to this page is that they spend only between 6 to 8 seconds reading – or can you call that reading? What users do not know is that their information may be agreeing to a breach of the law.
Is it Legal?
What the root of the problem lies is one of the pointers that most social media networks have established. You do know that such sites are running a business and for their sites to keep running, they have to gather data from their users and it will be used as a basis for their study. This is where it can get alarming for users. They are not aware that there are parts of the agreement they signed up have given the permission to the site to share their information freely.
What is going here is that, despite what most online users believe that their privacy is protected, it may be the reverse. One lawyer tried to dig further and studied the Terms and Conditions established with Instagram. Keep in mind that what Instagram has established is similar to other social media networks.
There is a part in the licensing section that is very alarming. As the lawyer has suggested, users have granted Instagram free rights to do anything that they want with whatever you are sharing online, without paying a single dime for it.
Brands Should Ask Permission
This is where it can get tricky. Most users are very privy to their personal information, yet they trust social media to protect their privacy.
There is one report saying how brands can get away from the legal pitfalls with user generated content. Since Instagram started back in the year 2010, they have enjoyed rapid growth. For about 6 years, they have reached the $35 billion mark, overtaking another social media network Twitter and turned out as the second largest coming from the US.
Various brands have rushed to the side of Instagram to get a piece of the UGC uploaded daily. And what they’re after is the pictures being uploaded to it. Their numbers are billions – way more than those generated by many other social media network.
The basic of all these about UGC is that brands have to ask permission to avoid getting sued by the law for inappropriately using the content.
Instagram’s policies on UGC seems quite a bit sketchy. There are no reports detailing whether the social media network should be sued for it, but it is clear that they are breaching rights that may undermine the value and credibility of the user themselves.