1. Unless you’re already in hibernation, you’ll surely have heard about the recent Instagram kerfuffle. The photo-sharing network made changes to its Terms of Service earlier this week, including a new clause stating that “some or all of the service may be supported by advertising revenue” and, controversially, that:
“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”
…meaning that Instagram would now be able to sell users’ photos to be used for advertising purposes. Of course, this caused quite the furore. Who wants their pictures of their face/food/cat to be used without their permission!? Instagram users took to Twitter to complain about the changes, some even deleting their accounts. However, Instagram has now posted a ‘Thank You, and We’re Listening’ blog post explaining the changes a bit more and ensuring users that it is not the company’s intention to sell users photos. I know that I’d planned to continue using Instagram, but will you?
2. Twitter has just started rolling out its new archive programme, which allows users to download a complete history of every tweet since they joined the site. According to Twitter’s blog, the archive project was built during one of the company’s quarterly Hack Weeks, when Twitter promotes ‘innovation through experimentation’. This is the first time that Twitter has made users’ whole Twitter histories available (even ‘My Year in Twitter’ can only go back so many months) – we’re not entirely sure we’d like to see our first (maybe cringeworthy) tweets! To check and see if the function is available to you yet, visit your Twitter settings and scroll to the bottom.
3. Following the horrific and sad shooting in Sandy Hook earlier this month, American news correspondent Ann Curry is calling on people all over the world to do 26 random acts of kindness in honour of the 26 victims of the shooting. BuzzFeed has compiled a list of 26 of the acts so far, and you can follow the revolution via Twitter using the hashtag #26acts. Truly inspirational.
4. Earlier this week, Twitter controversially suspended the top account associated with ‘hacktivist’ group Anonymous, @YourAnonNews. The account, which has over 800,000 followers, was apparently disabled for sharing private information – according to a screenshot of an email posted by Anonymous’ backup account, @YANBackUp. While there was speculation that Anonymous would launch an attack on Twitter following the suspension, the Anonymous account is now live again and the group are yet to take further action. Twitter haven’t commented on the suspension.
5. The laws on what constitutes an ‘offensive’ tweet or Facebook post have been clarified this week. Published by the director of public prosecutions in new set of guidelines for England & Wales, the law is intending to distinguish between internet trolling and freedom of speech and according to the changes, anyone engaged in “grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or false” statements made in jest or while drunk would be spared. The new guidelines come into effect immediately.