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Instagram mobile

Instagram asks court to throw out a class action suit over its policy changes

Instagram mobile

Lauren Granger
While studying towards her Bachelor of Journalism degree at Rhodes University, Lauren gave into her fascination with everything digital. As she was more interested in creeping... More

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It seems the troubles caused by Instagram’s decision to change its terms of service aren’t over yet. The photo-sharing service is currently involved in a legal battle after a user filed a class-action suit against it, accusing it of breach of contract.

The suit, lead by Instagram user Lucy Funes, was filed in December after Instagram’s alterations to its policy left users in fear that their filtered photos would be used as adverts. Instagram relented after the outcry, changing the wording of the document (which may have actually made the situation worse for its users), which went into effect on 19 January this year.

According to a Reuters report, Instagram asked the court to throw out the suit on the grounds that Funes, like any other Instagram user, could have deleted her account before the switch over to the new terms last month. Instead, she continued to log in — even after she filed the suit on 21 December (the day the initial revision was announced and almost a month before the current policy came into effect). It also denied that it owned the rights to her photos.

If she is held to the terms of the new policy, the legal battle could take another turn: the terms of service also includes a section which states that users cannot bring a class action suit against Instagram, except in cases related to aspects like intellectual property or API term violations.

The sections which caused the most user outrage were ones that state that, by using Instagram’s mobile app and website, users are agreeing to the current terms of service, which state that “Instagram may place such advertising and promotions on the service or on, about, or in conjunction with your content” and that they are aware that it “may not always identify paid services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such”.