Instagram is straight flexing!
If you haven't heard, the photo-based social media site changed their terms of service to say they have the right to sell your pictures without breaking off with any of that gaup!
At first I thought, what's the big deal? This would mostly affect celebrities, photographers and people who do awesome things all the time. Follow me on Instagram to see how awesome I am.
My jaded mind thought that most people don't take great photos on their phone. Instagram isn't going to sell anyone's ratchet booty pictures from the clubs, or people's terrible #foodporn on paper plates.
So I said I would write a blog telling folks to calm down, that the sky is not falling. But after talking to Cool Table Jay, I had a change of heart. He started off by saying how messed up it was that Instagram would sell people's pictures. I originally was under the logic of 'my house, my rules.' Meaning Instagram belongs to Instagram, so if you want to use it, you have to abide by their rules.
But then a light bulb goes off and I start to actually think of the possibilities. What if someone says I need a million pictures of people at the gym?
A quick search of #Gymflow and the next thing you know, your sweaty mug is plastered on the side of a billboard and those Instagram fat cats are spending the bread they got selling your picture to take their baby's mama and side chicks to St. Tropez while you're still working for Da' Man.
The idea that someone can sell your likeness from a photo you took, without your permission, consent or knowledge is just wrong and un-American. My friend Laura Dore had this happen to her and she ended up on an ad in Puerto Rico selling vibrators.
This is the type of thing that can happen to all of us, only this time the thief will be Instagram. I'll admit I wouldn't have a problem with this concept if this was the case from the start, but this is the classic case of a bait and switch.
They got everyone hooked on the service, and grew it until it became a new part of the mainstream culture, while they grew an enormous database of pictures.
Simply saying, if you want to continue to use their site, you're going to have to let Instagram sell your pictures as they see fit. They got us messed up. This is 'Raping Your Records' all over again.
So delete your Instagram account, stop uploading pictures, and do whatever you see fit to take a stance. If we don't want to be exploited, we must not accept this.
Xilla is the Sr. Entertainment Editor for GlobalGrind.com as well as CEO of the number 1 relationship blog BlogXilla.com/M2TB.com. He has been featured in XXL, The Source, Essence, LA Times and is considered one of the premiere bloggers in the industry. Follow him on twitter @BlogXilla