Instagram’s original policies regarding photo sharing were slim and allowed for a lot of freedom with posting, but that’s all changing. These original policies were developed when the social media site was small and had few users. The guidelines essentially boiled down to: Post your own photos and keep your clothes on. With the site now having over 300 million users, an amendment to the original policy is a much needed change.
The purpose of the new policy was to make Instagram acceptable to a world-wide audience by adhering to strict copyright and nudity rules. Highlights of the new policy are as follows:
- Share only photos that you’ve taken or have the right to share – Anything copied from the internet for which you don’t have rights to use cannot be posted.
- Post photos that are appropriate to a diverse audience. – Absolutely no nudity, including close-ups of fully nude buttocks and nipples. Only nudity in paintings and sculptures are okay to share.
- Adhere to the law – No photos offering sexual services, buying or selling drugs (even if they’re legal in your locality), or promoting recreational drugs.
- Be thoughtful when posting news events. – Graphic images used to raise awareness for a cause should have a disclaimer in the caption.
The social media site is particularly rife with copyright infringement. Many users share photos sourced from the web or other Instagram users. Previously, reporting a photo for copyright infringement was a tedious task, requiring a separate form than regular reporting tools. Instagram features a report button for inappropriate content, but not for copyright violations. It is unclear whether the site will implement easier reporting methods, though they claim better tools are forthcoming. As of right now, content creators will still have to manually seek out and report any stolen content themselves.
Although the new policy implementation is beneficial to the company because it clearly outlines the new rules, it does little else. It seems there is a gap between new policy rules and the site’s ability to enforce them – and only time will tell if this is going to change.