Nilay Patel of The Verge (once again) brings up a few good points about the Instagram TOS fiasco. As he points out, the new TOS was actually worded much better than the old one. But the tech press blew it and caused a panic over basically nothing. The end result is the reversion to the old TOS, which technically allows for more of the kind of shady stuff everyone was freaked out about in the new one. Nice work, tech press.
And I think he’s right about the lesson for startups: don’t mess with something no one is complaining about — and lawyers: be as vague as possible in your documents. Both of those things suck.
The notion that Instagram may use this reversion to try to do shady stuff still reads as foolish. Does anyone really think Instagram would try to get away with any such actions — especially now? Why? They clearly stated that wasn’t the intention. Sure, intentions do change. But the story is the same: if Instagram actually does shady things, people will stop using Instagram. No one benefits.
Look, at the end of the day all you have to think about is this: do you believe the services you’re using are out to exploit you? If so, don’t use them. Sure, a good TOS may be able to protect you from some of that, but hardly from all of it. If a company wants to fuck you, they’re going to figure out a way to fuck you. You shouldn’t be using a service that you think is trying to fuck you.
I don’t believe Instagram is that service. Nor do I believe Facebook is. But if you do, it’s simple: don’t use them.