Instagram Poses a Threat

On January 3, Stephanie Mlot of PC Magazine published an article that reports that “Instagram’s new ‘Recently Deleted’ Feature protects posts from hackers.” This particular news article is about Instagram, a piece of software that runs a global social media platform. At the moment, Facebook owns Instagram, and the use of this technology requires a license as it is not open source. In other words, the owners of the app do not share the source code of the software to their users.

Instagram relies on the internet to function properly. Users post videos and images on to the internet when they use Instagram. Further, one needs to use the internet to access Instagram’s platform and view and like others’ posts. Finally, Instragram’s direct messaging system relies on the internet to pass messages from one user to another.

Users of Instagram should refrain from posting sensitive and personal information. Further, Instagram users should be cautious about whom they follow; in reality, people involved in cyberbullying and sex trafficking prey on those who do not protect their private information on social media. Finally, Instagram’s privacy and security policy only goes so far to block cyber attacks and cyberbullies from their users. It is up to the user to be responsible and use common sense when engaging in posting material and messaging through the app’s direct messaging system. 

Additionally, Instagram has been cited in several legal cases. On April 15, 2020, “A federal court ruling suggests that most users making public Instagram posts lose some ownership rights to their photos” (Insider News). This court case affirms that users should be wary about what they post because, in many cases, a user’s photo or post becomes Instagram’s property. After all, the user is the product as Instagram is the platform and a for-profit company.

Instagram degrades the lives of many people. Although some people may argue that the app brings people together, the reality is that the opposite is true. Strong human relationships through in-person and verbal communication have weakened substantially due to the use of social media apps for communication. Additionally, Instagram promotes people who are showy and popular; this makes others feel insecure about their own body image. Further, Instagram enables cyberbullies to mistreat their victims in ways that were never possible before the advent of virtual social media platforms. Even though Instagram is attempting to make their app safe from hackers and other predators, users should be aware of  the harmful social impact that comes along with the app.