This comes from across the pond in Britain. The UK Children’s Commissioner had a lawyer rewrite the terms of service that Instagram uses as part of their sign-up process using basic layman’s terms that a child can understand. The original rules use a lot of legal terms and wording that might be confusing or even foreign to a younger person, and the goal was to make them sound as simple as possible.
According to Quartz Media, of children between the ages of 12 and 15, half of them are Instagram users. The same for 8 to 11 year olds, nearly half of them at 43% are users. So why are the user terms and conditions written in such a difficult language? One 13 year old says “They write it like this so you can’t understand it. Because then you might think differently,” after suggesting the simplified version should be supplied during the sign-up process. Another 13 year old complained “you have to take about 10 minutes on each sentence.” After 20 minutes trying to read the contract, they were begging for it to be done.
Instagram version: “Instagram does not claim ownership of any Content that you post on or through the Service. Instead, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service…”
Easy-to-understand version: “Officially you own any original pictures and videos you post, but we are allowed to use them, and we can let others use them as well, anywhere around the world. Other people might pay us to use them and we will not pay you for that.”
Instagram’s terms of service available here, but at the time of this writing, the webpage isn’t loading.
By the way, after being given the new, easier to read terms of service, Alex, one of the 13-year-olds who was part of the research, said “I’m deleting Instagram because it’s weird.”
Check out the easier-to-read terms of service and much more detail into the research right here.