Top Comments: Mashable Readers React to Instagram's Terms of Service

Top Comments: Mashable Readers React to Instagram's Terms of Service

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Monday, Dec. 17: Instagram Updates TOS

Monday, Dec. 17: Instagram Updates TOS

Readers had varying reactions to Instagram's updates. Some felt that they were fair: If you don't like the terms of service, argued some users, you have the option not to use the service. Others were far more outraged.

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[More from Mashable: Why xkcd Is Wrong About Instagram]

This week, the top comments on Mashable brought into focus both the state of the world around us and the constantly changing nature of our virtual lives. Our readers launched into debate when Instagram appeared to be making drastic changes to its privacy policy. Based on the wording of Instagram's new Terms of Service, photographers worried that they may no longer own the rights to their own work, and that their photos could be used in advertising. As Mashable's Chris Taylor put it, the TOS as they stood early this week basically "signed your life away."

Over the course of the week, we saw new privacy settings for Instagram users revealed, officially commented upon (while remaining unchanged) and then finally rescinded and apologized for.

[More from Mashable: Instagram Updates Its Terms of Service Based on User Feedback]

The Instagram controversy proved that users are, in fact, paying attention to the often glossed-over Terms of Service established by their favorite apps, and that a company's response to public outcry has the potential to make or break their service.

Mashable's senior tech analyst, Christina Warren, compared Instagram's actions to Netflix's in the summer of 2011. Outraged users proved they weren't bluffing about abandoning Instagram: Celebrities and power users threatened to quit the network, and downloads of rival apps such as Flickr and Aviary soared in the days surrounding the controversy. What was your take on this week's events, involving photo-sharing and users' right to ownership?

Even more commented upon, though less debated, were two Mashable stories that examined social media backlash in the wake of a tragedy. In the days following the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, we found ourselves contemplating, both online and off, the horrific nature of the event. Unsurprisingly, the two most-commented-upon stories this week both centered on Sandy Hook's impact on the social web. Our commenters sounded off on the offensive tweets sent during Obama's Newtown speech, as well as on the viral post, "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother."

Other stories our commenters flocked to this week included a viral video of a golden eagle snatching a baby (later proved to be a hoax), the hacking of the Westboro Baptist Church by hacktivist group Anonymous and the appalling revelation that Facebook's interns make more money than all of us. We also prepared for the end of the world as brought forth by the Mayan Apocalypse -- which never did happen.

What were your favorite moments on Mashable this week? You can be part of the discussion by signing up with one of your social networks, and joining the conversation on our site. Next week, your voice could be featured in the Top Comments.

Happy holidays to our community!

Image courtesy of flickr, Marc Wathieu

This story originally published on Mashable here.

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