|Dec 21, 2012, 06:30 PM||#1|
Instragram's Selling Of The Soul And The Greater Picture
I wanted to share this story with you all because I feel so angry about what has happened, that is has made me compelled to talk about this in greater detail....
Several nights ago, I learnt that Instagram, the photo-app social networking service, was trying to change the terms of their agreement with users by changing the wording. By making that change, they wanted to turn it into a money-making enterprise for themselves, to enable them to sell users photos at their discretion. This change infuriated a huge number of people, many of whom were concerned with their privacy and rights in the data they have shared with them.
At the end, it was only until users banded together and complained to them, that the company backed down and said it was a 'choice of wrong words around the agreement' that led to the misunderstanding. But you can see the aftereffects and reasons why Instragram did this. Instagram is purely based upon the idea of social sharing - the more people who use their service the more revenue they make through associated ads and subscriptions/services etc. When people are going to vote with their feet by walking away from them because they don't trust them, the purpose of their business collapses.
The purpose of any company being formed, is trust. In fact it all begins with trust. Trust with suppliers; trust with creditors; trust with employees and trust with customers - that leads to one forming a company and making it becoming successful. In todays economy, never has a word had such a huge impact on a company's bottom line, (along with morals) because people will vote with their feet. Now more than ever, because people are so sensitive.
This lack of mistrust with companies however is only the beginning. As consumers what we are more concerned with nowadays is ethics, and believe it or not, sustainability.
Many years ago I was in possession of a video camera from a famous Japanese brand. It was a Video8 camera, and for its time it was a fully featured one. We had taken it to Hong Kong for use during our holidays, including using it to record a trip on a roller coaster ride. It was a great little machine and we loved it. Little did we know that within 3 years, the machine broke almost to the exact day that we bought it...
This timing of 'breaking in exactly 3 years' was certainly not coincidental, and lead me to believe that companies - in contrast to the belief their products last long - actually design them so that they will break at some point. This is because if they don't - they fear people won't use them or buy them by having them replaced. And there IS a term for this. It's called 'Built-in obsolescence'. All consumer-based companies/products in a monetary system follow this process at some level.
The most famous product which uses this is the light bulb. Years ago, when my father was at college studying photography, he learnt that at the light bulb factory, the manufacturers could make lightbulbs that last forever. But being in a monetary system they decided not to, and so they introduced a tiny microscopic kink into the lightbulbs - which has led us to this situation today, with landfills filled with broken lightbulbs, and now today, bulbs filled with dangerous fluorescent powder and glass, which seeps into the soil which we grow our foods to eat from. Had they introduced the life-long lightbulb, and introduced maybe a better system of replacement instead of throwing the product away, ie. we send it to the factory to have it repaired/renewed before it is sent back - perhaps we wouldn't have as much landfill and waste as much resources.
You don't realise it, but we are so wasteful as a race. Our companies and governments say we are 'environmental' but to be fair we are not. Most of our power still comes from fossil fuels and our shops stay vacant all day with the lights burning from coal factories; whilst when one design will do, our companies design and make so many other things and use so much resources, that one day we will end up with nothing.
Then we have over-fishing and the use of trawlers with tighter nets which have in the Atlantic and North Sea at least, meant it caught smaller fish that could've grown and made them unable to escape the net. The resulting decline because of this policy, has led to a massive drop in cod and tuna numbers for instance right across the world over the last 5 years.
In addition to the massive consumption of resources and pollution we emit, we also chuck away things unnecessarily which still work! Many years ago I learnt through a supplier friend who worked for them, another famous Japanese camera company when one of their digital camera products got recalled, they simply chucked them into the landfill - tens of thousands of them- because it was cheaper for them to throw it away and make it than to repair it or even better, give it away….
Onto the bigger picture…..we have today, the capability and technology to make life infinitely better for everyone, including the Earth. With computers and robotics, we have the capacity to create systems which can automate most of the work we do now with manual labour. Automated systems could make life so much better for all, and could revolutionise our way of life. And when as people we have more time for our leisure and pursuits instead of being stuck in work and looking for a paycheck, we could be using that time to further our scientific and intellectual pursuits, and perhaps even go to help teach others. It would be far more meaningful than the kinds of work that most of us do today such as sales, marketing, accounting, farming, packing, McDonalds, stuck-in-an-office etc., which are to be fair, is very boring, unfulfilling and perhaps monotonous careers.
I understand that companies have to make money and to cut costs - but to be honest we as a race should be more concerned about the environmental impacts of their business policies. Because after all, we all live on and share only ONE planet. If we don't care for the Earth now, what do we have left for our future generations to enjoy? That would perhaps be the greatest cost none of us could possibly ever shoulder. The cost of environmental destruction to our Earth because of lack of care, greed and unsavoury business practices needs to be accounted for - and it needs to be addressed NOW! Not 10 or 20 years down the line...now! We need to do this with our companies and our governments, so that they realise what on Earth it is they are doing to our planet.
I believe as the years pass, we're going to be seeing more and more companies becoming socially responsible, or being forced to, because they will soon realise if they carry on like this, none of us (or them) will survive. If they are not we are going to vote with our feet. I certainly will…
|Dec 21, 2012, 07:07 PM||#2|
No surprise here.
Don't use it if you don't want to. Companies like Facebook and Instagram will become much more when it comes to imposing new rules.
Remember, there is nothing "free" out there.
|Dec 21, 2012, 07:20 PM||#3|
I don't like what they've done, but what did you expect when Facebook shelled out $1,000,000,000.00 for it?
We live in a capitalist society. Love it, hate it, try to change it, try to reap the benefits, whatever: just don't be surprised.
The rising People, hot and out of breath,
Roared round the palace: "Liberty or death!"
"If death will do," the King said, "let me reign;
You'll have, I'm sure, no reason to complain."
|Dec 21, 2012, 08:23 PM||#4|
I don't have a Facebook account. Was considering joining Instagram. Then Facebook bought them. I am now no longer interested.
Simple as that.
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|Dec 21, 2012, 08:54 PM||#5|
It's not just Facebook, it's Google, etc. Google's business model is a bit different than social networking sites, but they are still in the business of collecting information.
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