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Social Media - Agreements

Every day it's estimated around 2 billion photos are uploaded online. If you printed those out and stacked them up, it'd make a column about 200 kilometres high, that's roughly the height of 22 Mt Everests. Every single day!

And Aussie kids are constantly adding to that pile using social media apps like Instagram. We are now going to to get some answers from them.

KAYLA: I do use Instagram, a lot, yes.

ALICE: Maybe two times a day, I check it in the morning and the evening. If I'm doing anything exciting I'll take a picture of that and put it on Instagram.

But with all those pictures of your life and yourself on the net, do you know who's able to look at them? Or who could use them?

ALICE: Umm I haven't really thought about that too much, but that would worry me a bit if people were using my photos.

JORDAN: Yeah, I'm not really quite sure what they can do!

ALICIA: I wouldn't expect people to be able to get onto my Instagram without having to request me first.

KAYLA: Yeah, I honestly don't know!

Well all of those details are written in here. You might know it as that thing you have to click 'agree' to before you can use a new app. It's a Terms of Use. And Instagram's, for example, is actually 5000 words long!

Student Social Media Users: It was very confusing, all the words were all jumbled up and they were very big words. It's just put in a way so that adults can understand it, so that Instagram can't get sued or anything like that, but it's not really for kids to go `I can’t do this, I can’t do that’.It shouldn't take that long just to read the terms and conditions!

But when you agree to Terms like these you're basically signing a contract and agreeing to everything in it. Even if you don't understand it all!

That's why a law firm in the UK has come up with this kid-friendly version of Instagram's terms and conditions to help kids understand what they're really signing up to.

Student Social Media Users: I was quite shocked by some of the stuff that was on there, now that I can understand it. They can watch any of our private messages, and record any of our personal information without us knowing.

It's so bad how they can keep your photos and messages, and how they know so much about you!It says that they can give it to companies that we haven't given permission for them to have our pictures, and it's actually very scary. It's so much shorter, the fact that they can write it this short makes me wonder why they had to write it so long and difficult to understand.

Some social media companies are already working to make it easier for kids to figure out how to use their apps safely and responsibly.

And Instagram - which is owned by Facebook - says that they:

"spend a lot of time working with our community, including young people, and thinking about how we can create a safe and open environment for everyone"

But some say many of the big social media companies need to do better. And in the meantime, you might want to take a slightly closer look at what you've already agreed to before uploading your next great snap.

Created By
Andy Chen
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