Read My Lips Instagram

It is sort of funny how this whole privacy thing is imploding with Instagram because just a few weeks ago, I was having dinner with the one and only Anna Lingeris, Public Relations Manager of Hershey’s.  At this very dinner, I was voicing a whole different set of concerns regarding Instagram and Bloggers and Brands.

Now, those very concerns may be null and void, but let me start at the beginning.  My oldest son is about to turn 12 years old.  If that in and of itself is not enough to drive me insane, enter his burgeoning presence on social media, namely Instagram.  What my husband has coined Facebook Lite, Instagram is all the rage with the tween and preteen set.  So much in fact, that I almost feel that I am too old for Instagram.

With my son’s followers and likes and comments growing each day, I quietly watched behind the scenes.  I was watching what he was instagramming.  There were snipes of friends and me, selfies, and lots and lots of shout outs to brands (like Nike).  The Instagram web grew and became more tangled.  His friends followed me.  I don’t follow back.  I follow 2 tweens.  My 2 kids. Period.

However, it was not this that was at the crux of my issues a few weeks back.  It was this:  I am a blogger.  Sometimes, I am asked to talk about brands, products, places, and people.  At times, my kids are woven into the mix.  Not always, but here and there (I cannot sell them out completely but that is a whole different discussion).  Anyway, let’s say for example, I am asked to go on a FAMiliarizing trip for a destination or use a product designed for families.  The likelihood of that place or product landing on another Instagram account ripe with reach and engagement is pretty damn high.

So, now I have assistants?  Mini-bloggers?  Partners in Crime?  I don’t even know what to call them – these feisty, Insta-Addicts who within an hour will have their friends and social networks all begging their parents to take them to said destination or purchase the photographed product.   All of a sudden I am thinking there is a marketing spin there, an engagement level that has not been fully investigated yet, perhaps a value that I bring to the table?

Red flags start waving in my head because these are my KIDS, and that is what they are – KIDS.  They post what they believe to be cool at that moment and 2 hours later, it could change.  They follow Lebron James account as if he is really talking directly to them. Worst of all, I could never list them as an unseen value proposition because they are them and I am me.  I am the blogger.  Not them.

I am sitting their telling Anna…This is a dilemma:  Do I not let them tweet or photograph experiences that we share as a result of what I do?  Do I cut them in on the work?  They do not have blogs, and if they want one, they will create one on the topic/niche of their choice.  Personally, with blogging comes a lot of responsibility, and I don’t think they are ready.  Ready to put their name on the line, print their thoughts in black permanent marker on the internet, or come out with any endorsements or seals of approval.  They are KIDS.

Which brings me full circle to the privacy policy debacle of the last few days regarding Instagram.  Earlier in the week, Instagram alerted users to a new policy in which they stated:

Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising revenue. 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.

This sent the internet world into a tizzy and one response after another hinted at quitting Instagram.  While I am considering my own profile and works of art on Instagram.  There is a larger issue at hand: my KIDS.  Very quickly, I do a full 180 from considering the impact of their engagement and how our worlds coexist to I may have to be the big bad wolf and pull them off the site altogether.  Certainly not going to win me any hugs and kisses from them, but I must consider all the possibiilities and ramifications and figure out what to do.  Because simply put – they are just KIDS and their likeness is not for sale.

In the last 12 hours, Imstagram has renigged, changing their lingo – the jury is still out because I am not only thinking about my position but my kids, too.











But I definitely feel the control slipping away and I don’t like it.

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Nancy December 19, 2012, 11:27 AM

    So here’s the thing: that’s pretty much what every TOS says. Most don’t say they will sell your likeness, but they say they can use it however and wherever they want. The kid issue aside — it’s huge, but I just can’t go there right now – the bigger issue is that we all have to realize that nothing is really free. Facebook sells your every move to data hogs, google does the same, and Instagram just had the decency to spell it out in plain English. We should teach our kids to read the terms of service on the sites they use. Because Instagram’s clearly states that kids under 13 can’t have accounts at all!
    Nancy recently posted..Les Miserables: What am I missing?My Profile

    • Rachel Blaufeld December 19, 2012, 11:53 AM

      Nancy – thanks so much for the info – to be honest, instagram always seemed like such a mystery to me b/c at the very beg it was an app only and the website was so barren. You are 100% CORRECT and I did not know that it had some age restrictions as FB AND I should have known better to look into this.
      As far as the TOS thing – yep, most TOS say they somehow have ownership of our stuff and most of us don’t read the TOS (which goes to show you why our kids don’t) – I think it was the word likeness that got to me –
      We will talk the kid thing another day – you are somewhat an authority.

  • Sean Nicholson January 5, 2013, 5:49 PM

    Good for you for even reading the Terms of Use. Most parents either 1) Don’t know that their kids are participating in a social media site like Instagram or 2) Don’t have a clue what the TOU says and what information their kids might be handing over to companies like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

    It’s high time that parents take a more proactive role in learning about social media and incorporating it into “the talk” about sex, drugs, and alcohol.

    Sean Nicholson recently posted..[INFOGRAPHIC] Do Teens Prefer Social Media To Real Life?My Profile


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge