YOUTH & THE LAW / Social Media Terms of Use: I agree?.

AuthorSteingard, Jessica

We've all done it. Scrolled quickly through legal terms and clicked "I Agree" without reading a word. If you're like me, you think, well how bad can these terms and conditions be? Everyone is using this app. But what exactly are you agreeing to?

In this column, we'll look at the terms of use for Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. (We'll refer to these sites as 'platforms'.)

The Documents

Each platform has its own terms and conditions and other policies:

* Facebook's Terms of Service (last updated July 31, 2019) apply to your use of Facebook and Messenger.

* Facebook's Data Policy (last updated April 19, 2018) applies to your use of Facebook, Messenger and Instagram.

* Instagram's Terms of Use (last updated April 19, 2018) apply to your use of Instagram.

* Snapchat's Terms of Service (last updated October 30, 2019 and apply to users outside the United States) and Privacy Policy (last updated December 18, 2019) apply to your use of Snapchat, Bitmoji and Spectacles.

There are other terms and policies that may apply to you if you are using other features or add-ons, or running a business. Check each platform's website for more information.

The Terms

By using the services provided, you and the company have entered into a contract. But this contract is not one where you can negotiate the terms with the other party. Facebook will not change some of their terms just for you. If you don't like the terms and conditions, then don't use the platform!

User Restrictions

You must be at least 13 years of age to use Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. Convicted sex offenders cannot use the platforms. You can only create one account on Facebook for your personal use.

Ownership of Content

You own the intellectual rights in your content. For example, if you post a photo that you took, you automatically own the copyright in that photo. Owning the copyright means others cannot use your photo without your permission. However, by using Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram, you give them permission to use your photo. Technically speaking, you grant them a license to host, use, copy, change, publish and distribute your copyrighted materials. All three platforms state that the purpose of this license is to provide and improve their services and products.

Activities Not Allowed

You cannot use the platforms for corrupt purposes, such as:

* Violating or infringing on someone else's rights (including copyright and privacy rights)

* Bullying, harassing or intimidating someone


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