As many of you may have already heard, Facebook announced they're purchasing Instagram... for a cool $1B!
Wow! One billion smackeroos! Talk about a super-lotto, mega-money, winning ticket for Instagram!
Congratulations Instagram! I personally celebrated your good fortune by deleting the Instagram app from my iPhone. I also won't be installing it on my Android tablet when it's available to do so.
To be truthful, I never was much of an Instagram user. The app has been sitting on my iPhone for quite a while and I might have used it twice. (I guess I'm not much of a hipster.) But that's only partially why I found it so easy to uninstall Instagram from my iPhone.
Some time ago, Facebook deleted my professional (business name) account along with my photography fan page which had nearly 3,000 fans. They never told me why they did so but being the clever investigative reporter that I am, I figured it out: Facebook kicked me to the curb because of repeated flagging of photos I posted. Who repeatedly flagged me? I have no clue. Anonymous rats are the foundation of Facebook's Terms of Service (TOS) enforcement. For all I know, the same individual rat was responsible for every flag of every photo I posted that was flagged.
I should also note the flagged photos in question did not violate Facebook's TOS. They did not feature nudity. They were not overtly sexual. They were all glamour photos of pretty women with their private parts covered by bras and panties and other sexy wardrobe. They were no different than the many photos posted, almost daily, by companies like Frederick's of Hollywood, Victoria's Secret, and others on their Facebook pages. Those commercial entities, of course, may also be paid advertisers on Facebook which, I'm guessing, means they may have different Terms of Service to abide by than individual FB users and, as such, are immune to the effects of flag-happy, self-appointed, morality cops, AKA FDBs. (Fucking Douche Bags.)
Facebook offers no recourse for users who are suspended or banned because some unknown individual decides something violates their personal moral code. In other words, when it comes to individual users, Facebook, with all it's money, offers zero customer service. But wait! Silly me! I almost forgot: Facebook's individual users aren't customers. They're the products.
What's all this have to do with Facebook's acquisition of Instagram? In my opinion, everything.
I'm guessing the same sort of censorship that can be wielded on Facebook by anonymous individual users will be extended to Instagram once Instagram is completely absorbed into the Facebook collective.
Resistance is futile!
Or is it?
Unlike resisting a Borg hive's cybernetic assimilation, resisting your Instagram user life from being assimilated into Facebook's collective is easy: Just quit using Instagram. It's not like there aren't any other photo-sharing and photo-app, image-altering, alternatives in the galaxy.
Besides my issues with Facebook's enforcement of their TOS, I have other reasons to resist assimilation. On Facebook, we aren't the customers. We're the products.
Facebook makes its money by collecting data, often very private data, from its users and selling that data to others. Those others can include everything from corporate entities to the CIA. (The CIA was an original investor in Facebook, if you didn't know that.) Now, with FB's assimilation of Instagram, Facebook has even more data to mine and exploit about the private lives of its products via Instagram users.
I don't know about any of you, but I'm done allowing Facebook access to so much of my life. I'm drawing a line in the sand when it comes to my photography -- photography being such a big part of my life -- including any Instagram aspects of my photography that I may, at some point, have begun introducing into my life had Facebook not acquired Instagram.
By the way, according to ABC News I'm not alone in my dismay over Facebook's assimilation of Instagram. Here's an article that will tell you more about that.
The pretty girl at the top is Jayme. That non-nude, sexy-but-doesn't-portray-a-sex-act glamour photo of Jayme is one that someone flagged and, consequently, was deleted by FB (with a messaged hand-slap) and contributed to getting me permanently tossed off Facebook.