Report from England’s @ChildrensComm puts social media T&C’s into digestible form

Recently released from the Children’s Commissioner in England, Anne Longfield, the complex terms and conditions set out on Social Media have been re-written by lawyers in plain language, explaining to youngsters precisely what they are signing up for. Using the Terms and Conditions for Instagram as an example, the rules set by social media companies can be over complicated and lengthy, but the Growing up Digital report explains what users are signing up for when they join the flocks on social media.

For example, some of the rights and responsibilities include:

  • Officially you own any original pictures and videos you post, but we are allowed to use them, and we can let others use them as well, anywhere around the world. Other people might pay us to use them and we will not pay you for that.
  • Although you are responsible for the information you put on Instagram, we may keep, use and share your personal information with companies connected with Instagram. This information includes your name, email address, school, where you live, pictures, phone number, your likes and dislikes, where you go, who your friends are, how often you use Instagram, and any other personal information we find such as your birthday or who you are chatting with, including in private messages (DMs).  We are not responsible for what other companies might do with this information. We will not rent or sell your personal information to anyone else without your permission. When you delete your account, we keep this personal information about you, and your photos, for as long as is reasonable for our business purposes. You can read more about this in our “Privacy Policy”.
  • We can change or end Instagram, or stop you accessing Instagram at any time, for any reason and without letting you know in advance. We can also delete posts and other content randomly, without telling you, for any reason. If we do this, we will not be responsible for paying out any money and you won’t have any right to complain.
  • We can force you to give up your username for any reason.
  • Although you do not own your data, we do own ours. You may not copy and paste Instagram logos or other stuff we create, or remove it or try to change it.

Instagram is used as an example, but does illustrate the balance of power of the use of data held by social media companies. The idea of the report is to make adults aware of these rules, and to discuss the implications with children.


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