Instagram Responds to User Backlash Over Terms of Use Confusion

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Instagram did some quick back-tracking Dec. 18 after being subjected to user outrage over its new terms of use.

The photo-sharing app has made some policy changes — set to take effect next month — which users interpreted as giving Instagram the right to sell peoples’ uploaded photos without their permission and without compensation.

“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,” the terms of service read.

Many users threatened to leave service, believing Instagram would soon have the right to grab users pictures and other data to promote itself on its website or in advertising without mention of or compensation to the owner of the images.

Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, issued a lengthy statement to “answer your questions, fix any mistakes and eliminate the confusion.”

“It was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation. This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing,” wrote Kevin Systrom, one of Instagram’s co-founders. “To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear.”

The following is an excerpt from Systrom’s blog post addressing the user backlash:

Advertising is one of many ways that Instagram can become a self-sustaining business, but not the only one. Our intention in updating the terms was to communicate that we’d like to experiment with innovative advertising that feels appropriate on Instagram. Instead it was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation. This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing. To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear.

To provide context, we envision a future where both users and brands alike may promote their photos & accounts to increase engagement and to build a more meaningful following. Let’s say a business wanted to promote their account to gain more followers and Instagram was able to feature them in some way. In order to help make a more relevant and useful promotion, it would be helpful to see which of the people you follow also follow this business. In this way, some of the data you produce — like the actions you take (eg, following the account) and your profile photo — might show up if you are following this business.

The language we proposed also raised question about whether your photos can be part of an advertisement. We do not have plans for anything like this and because of that we’re going to remove the language that raised the question. Our main goal is to avoid things like advertising banners you see in other apps that would hurt the Instagram user experience. Instead, we want to create meaningful ways to help you discover new and interesting accounts and content while building a self-sustaining business at the same time.

The company also said:

• Nothing has changed about your photos’ ownership or who can see them.

• Nothing has changed about the control you have over who can see your photos. If you set your photos to private, Instagram only shares your photos with the people you’ve approved to follow you.

• The updated terms of service help protect you, and prevent spam and abuse as Instagram grows.

Before Systrom’s clarification, the original blog post received a number of comments, mostly negative:

“These terms of service are complete and absolute bulls–t. What does Instagram now having the right to sell our photos have to do with safety or with avoiding spam? Absolutely nothing,” wrote one Instagram user. “This post was meant to cover our eyes and not let us see through the scandal that these Terms of Service constitute. Unless these ToS change radically, I will probably delete my account. As will many of the artists that regularly post on the app. Congratulations, Instagram, you just made the Internet a little less safer for those of us who want to share our work.”

Another Instagram user wrote: “Why do all the good companies become sell-outs, seriously. They always start out with such a good thing, and then the money talks and they all walk away from the user, the sole reason the service was created. I’m kinda surprised, though I probably shouldn’t be. I just thought the people at Instagram would be different. They couldn’t have been acquired by a worse media service.”

A Privacy watchdog — the Center for Digital Democracy — has also weighed in on the new terms of service change.

Executive director Jeffrey Chester told Bloomberg the perceived changes raised privacy and security issues where teenagers were concerned.

Facebook “sees teens as a digital goldmine,” said Chester. “We will be pressing the Federal Trade Commission to issue policies to protect teen privacy.”

In response to user outrage Wired published step-by-step instructions for those wishing to delete their account.


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Instagram Responds to User Backlash Over Terms of Use Confusion

Google Helps Bring Biblical History to the Internet

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Blogging News, Google News, test

New images of the Dead Sea Scrolls are now online courtesy of an online partnership between Google and Israel.

The Israel Antiquities Authority has launched the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library, an online collection of more than 5,000 images of scroll fragments.

The ancient manuscripts include one of the first known copies of the Book of Deuteronomy, which includes the Ten Commandments and part of Chapter 1 of the Book of Genesis, which tells of the creation of the world. Also online are hundreds of other 2,000-year-old texts, which illuminate Jesus’ time on earth as well as the history of Judaism.

“Millions of users and scholars can discover and decipher details invisible to the naked eye, at 1215 dpi resolution,” reads a joint blog post by Eyal Miller, new business development, and Yossi Matias, head of Israel Research and Development Center.

“The site displays infrared and color images that are equal in quality to the Scrolls themselves. There’s a database containing information for about 900 of the manuscripts, as well as interactive content pages. We’re thrilled to have been able to help this project through hosting on Google Storage and App Engine, and use of Maps, YouTube and Google image technology.”

Google first partnered with the Israel Antiquities Authority last year when the technology giant helped put online five texts of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest known biblical manuscripts in existence. They included: The Great Isaiah Scroll, the War Scroll, the Commentary on Habakkuk Scroll, The Temple Scroll and the Community Rule Scroll.

“You can browse the Great Isaiah Scroll, the most well known scroll and the one that can be found in most home Bibles, by chapter and verse,” the blog post reads. “You can also click directly on the Hebrew text and get an English translation. While you’re there, leave a comment for others to see.”

The digital library, which took two years to compile, uses technology that was developed by NASA.

The high-resolution photographs of the ancient texts are up to 1,200 megapixels, enabling viewers to see even the smallest of details in the parchment.

By zooming in on the Temple Scroll, for instance, one can see the animal skin it’s written on — only one-tenth of a millimeter thick.

Google now wants to take the project a step further. The company has launched a “Cultural Institute,” a digital visual archive of historical events in co-operation with 17 museums and institutes around the world.

“We’re working to bring important cultural and historical materials online and help preserve them for future generations,” said Yossi Matias, head of Google’s Research and Development Center in Israel. “Our partnership with the Israel Antiquities Authority is another step toward enabling users to enjoy cultural material around the world.”


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Google Helps Bring Biblical History to the Internet

ITC Judge Rules in Favor of Apple in Motorola Patent Lawsuit

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Apple emerged victorious from its latest bout with Motorola Mobility after an International Trade Commission judge ruled the iPhone maker did not violate Motorola’s sensor patent.

In his initial determination, Judge Thomas Pender said Apple’s iPhone did not violate the patent covering proximity sensor technology. Pender ruled the main claim in the patent lawsuit to be invalid.

“I hereby determine that no violation of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended has been found in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, or the sale within the United States after importation of certain wireless communication devices, portable music and data processing devices, computers and components thereof, in connection with claim 1 of U.S. Patent No. 6,246,862,” Pender wrote in his decision.

The preliminary ruling must still be approved by the six-person ITC panel before it can be declared final.

A Motorola representative told Bloomberg the company was “disappointed with this outcome and is evaluating our options.”

The ITC is a U.S. body that investigates patent infringement involving imported goods. It is an often-used site for patent lawsuits both because it has the power to ban the importation of products found to be in patent violation and because its rulings are usually prompt.

The commission ruled in August that Apple had not breached three other Motorola patents, and ordered Pender to further scrutinize the touchscreen sensor patent.

Apple and Google-owned Motorola have been in an ongoing patent power-struggle that is complicated by the fact that Google’s Android is the biggest rival of Apple’s iOS.


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ITC Judge Rules in Favor of Apple in Motorola Patent Lawsuit