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Comic: The Instagram Hoopla Translated Into a Real-World Allegory

I'm gonna call the cops and get Chad arrested for theft, then move all my stuff to the house across the street. Hopefully the owners there are more responsible.

After the Instagram Terms of Service controversy erupted this past week, Randall Munroe of XKCD published the comic above that offers his take on what’s going on (pardon the language). Here’s the explain xkcd explanation:

In December 2012, Instagram changed their terms of service (ToS), allowing the network to sell user-uploaded images, without profit to the content generators. This infuriated many users, who closed their accounts or stopped uploading images. Craigslist is a website for the US and Canada where individuals can contact others interested in buying or selling goods.

The title text notes two flaws in the logic of disgruntled Instagram users. You cannot accuse Instagram of stealing because it was you who gave them the images in the first place. And it is irresponsible to assume that this will not happen if you give your photos to another social networking company.

The title text, which appears if you hover your mouse over the comic, reads: “I’m gonna call the cops and get Chad arrested for theft, then move all my stuff to the house across the street. Hopefully the owners there are more responsible.”