Did you read Instagram’s Terms and Conditions carefully before signing up? Be honest. If you didn’t do it, I won’t judge. The sentences are so complicated, that I’m not sure any of us read them with full attention and understanding.
Now, imagine children who use Instagram. More than a half of teenagers and almost a half of 8 to 11-year-olds in Great Britain are active on this social network. Did they read the Terms and Conditions? I highly doubt it. And the report by the UK Children’s Commissioner confirms my doubts. You can’t blame the children though, because they don’t understand these complex sentences and legal discourse.
Because of this, a lawyer Jenny Afia did us all a favor and rewrote Instagram’s Terms and Conditions so that the kids can understand them. And even us grown-ups will find it helpful.
First of all, the Children’s Commissioner did a test to see how well the kids understand their rights in relation to social media. They gave them 5000 words of Instagram’s Terms and Conditions to read. And these are some of the reactions:
“Boring! It doesn’t make any sense.” (Amy, 13)
“You have to take about 10 minutes on each sentence” (Alex, 13)
“Do we have to read the whole thing? We’re not taking it in, we’re just reading the sentences. You could have, like, toned it down for us.” (Alex, 13)
As a former teacher, I know it’s hard to make kids read even if you give them the most interesting books in the world. So how are you to make them read 17 pages of dry, boring text full of legal terms? Thanks to Jenny Afia, they now have it on two pages of plain, simple and child-friendly language. So, there are no more excuses! These are some of the rewritten Instagram’s Terms and Conditions:
- 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 might send you adverts connected to your interests which we are monitoring. You cannot stop us doing this and it will not always be obvious that it is an advert.
- 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.
These are some of the examples, but you can read the full report here and find the child-friendly terms and Conditions on page 10.
After the kids read the simplified form, their attitude changed:
“They must know that no one reads the Terms and Conditions. But if they made it more easy then people would actually read it and think twice about the app. They write it like this so you can’t understand it. Because then you might think differently. (Amy, 13)
“I’m deleting Instagram because it’s weird.” (Alex, 13)
I know that “I’ve read and agree to the Terms and Conditions” is the biggest lie ever and I definitely understand why. But dear parents, now you have Instagram’s Terms written in a language your kids can understand. Give them this report and make them read the page 10. And you can also take a look in case you didn’t read the Terms yourself before signing up.
[via Quartz Media]