Since the announcement (and retraction) of new policies for the social media platform Instagram, which will allow the company to use people’s photos for commercial gain and without compensation, I have been following the issue with interest. Personally I do not use the service, however I do begrudgingly use Facebook (which owns Instagram), I do use Flickr, and I have been worried about the state of social media for a while now.
I have long been trying to remove myself and my data (as much as possible) from social media. While I still keep an account on Facebook, I have long been feeding it misinformation, and have since removed all information and pictures from the service (no, I am not naive enough to think that means Facebook does not still have copies of my data). I use Flickr, but more as a method venting than for anything else. And I plan on letting all other accounts expire as soon as possible.
Communication is just not worth this. Not when it is possible to communicate freely and privately through other means. But a solution does need to be created to allow use to communicate en mass. One that is not run by an organisation that needs to abuse us in order to appease shareholders. We need an open source social media platform. One that doesn’t have shareholders, and one that is beholden to no one. We should not need to abdicate our privacy.