Instagram Privacy For Teens: Lawyer Breaks Down Terms Of Service In Simple Words So Kids Would Get It

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald January 10, 04:00 am

Photo social-sharing site Instagram attracts a wide number of audience including tweeners and teenagers. But some jump the bandwagon and use the platform without actually understanding its Terms of Service, which could trample on their rights and privileges.

Most adults likely don't bother reading and understanding 5,000 words containing legal jargons before creating an account on Instagram. So, how much more for 13-year-old kids or younger?

But in teaching kids to protect their privacy on the internet, Jenny Afia, a lawyer from the U.K., has rewritten Instagram's Terms of Service in words that its young users could understand. It was published in the Growing Up Digital document released by U.K.'s Children's Commissioner.

Under page 10 of the document, Afia has broken down the photo-sharing site's policy, as well as the rights and responsibilities of its users in a comprehensive list. Afia's translation is not only a big help for Instagram's teen users as even parents and adults can understand the terms even better in plain words.

"Officially you own any original pictures and videos you post," Afia has rewritten. "But we are allowed to use them, and we can let others use them as well, anywhere around the world."

"It will be assumed that you own what you post, and what you post does not break the law," she rewrote about another Instagram Terms of Service section, which covers Direct Messages (DM) or private messages. "If it does, and you are fined, you will have to pay that fine."

After reading Afia's rewrites, a 13-year-old told Refinery that she would refrain from using Instagram's DM feature knowing that it can be read and accessed by its staff. Growing Up Digital's study on kids' internet activities revealed that millions of children below the age of 15 are active on Instagram.

"One-third of internet users are children, but the internet wasn't created for children," Afia said, according to Quartz. She hopes that this simple version of the policy will help kids and their parents be more aware and discerning before opening an account on the social-sharing site.

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