Instagram Hit with Class Action Lawsuit

Paul Lilly

Despite reversing course on ToS changes, Instagram faces a first civil lawsuit.

Instagram quickly backpedaled from a revised Terms of Service (ToS) agreement that said users would have to "agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos...in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you," but it still managed to trip over a class action lawsuit. The civil suit was filed in San Francisco and charges Instagram with breach of contract and other claims.

The popular photo sharing service outraged its users when it tried to lay claim to photos, only to later say it was essentially a big misunderstanding over legalese. Nevertheless, the wording of the proposed ToS changes made it very clear what rights Instagram users would be giving up.

"In short, Instagram declares that 'possession is nine-tenths of the law and if you don't like it, you can't stop us,'" the civil suit states.

The revised ToS was to go into effect 30 days after it was presented to the public. Due to the overwhelmingly negative response, Instagram rolled back the proposed changes, so not much is likely to result from this lawsuit.

"We believe this complaint is without merit and we will fight it vigorously," Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes wrote in an email to Reuters .

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