Since the Internet, as we know it today, took off, laws and regulations surrounding it have become more and more complicated. Everything has a form of these regulations, from subscription services to social media platforms. They are in place to protect both users and the companies themselves.
Instagram has been among the most popular social media platforms since its release in late 2010. Instagram, founded by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, is a photo and video sharing networking service. Users can upload pictures and videos with filters and hashtags. You can message your friends directly or even or post on your story. With so many features, there are bound to be some rules. According to Instagram’s community guidelines, “We want Instagram to continue to be an authentic and safe place for inspiration and expression. Help us foster this community. Post only your own photos and videos and always follow the law. Respect everyone on Instagram, don’t spam people or post nudity.” There is a diverse community of cultures, ages and beliefs on the platform, which requires there to be a safe and open environment. The guidelines, or regulations, are in place to protect this environment and its community of over 1.3 billion users. If these boundaries are overstepped, one’s content may be deleted, or their account can be disabled. Even though they are very strict, there are some exceptions to the regulations. For example, Instagram allows some content for public awareness, which would otherwise go against the Community Guidelines. This includes content that is newsworthy and in the public interest.
Getting into the specifics of the regulations, Instagram only allows you to share photos and videos that you’ve take or have the right to share. If flagged for copyright, your post will be taken down. If you repeatedly infringe on someone else’s intellectual property rights, such as copyrights or trademarks, your account may be disabled or removed. A user may only post content that is appropriate for a diverse audience. Nudity, whether it be artistic or creative in nature, is not allowed on Instagram. Some of this content may be shared with good intentions but could be used by others in unanticipated ways. Try to foster meaningful and genuine interactions. Instagram tries to stay spam-free by not artificially collecting likes, followers, or shares, or contacting people for commercial purposes without there consent. A user is not allowed to impersonate others or create accounts for the purpose of violating the guidelines. One of the most important things is to follow the law. Instagram is not a space in which to support or praise terrorism, organized crime, or hate groups. Content that attempts to trade, coordinate the trade of, donate, gift or ask for drugs will be removed. There is a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to sharing sexual content involving minors or threatening to post intimate images of others. Above all, Instagram wants all members to respect each other. Instagram wants to foster a positive, diverse community. Content that goes against this is removed and disciplinary actions are taken.
Personally, I have been a user on Instagram from a young age. There have been many times where I have witnessed these regulations in action, deleting unsanctioned content , but sometimes things slip through the crack. For example, my DM’s (direct messages) are often flooded with bots, ranging from “sugar mommas” trying to offer me money, to fake companies trying to scam me. Therefore, businesses, especially social media platforms, have to be constantly monitoring its users and the content they put out, along with updating their regulations and policies.