That's some weasel-wording right there. "Not supported" makes it sound like this is a feature they'd need to code that they haven't gotten around to yet. It's not -- they needed to take the time to explicitly block something that would otherwise work by default.
Phrasing it as "Links asking someone to add you on another service are not allowed on Instagram" would be more honest, but also make it obvious what they're doing. So instead, they go out of their way to phrase it as something out of their control rather than as a deliberate policy.
"We will terminate your verified status for adding links to one of our competitor's sites."
(Source: I took a forensic linguistics course as part of a comp. linguistics program. One of the case studies we looked at was lying-- the data sets were comparing legal cases where documents were available that contradicted testimony, like the Enron case.)
Edit: Here's a research paper that talks about it: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4981627/
The passive voice was used to write this sentence.
Fun fact: That detector uses zombies!
It is a common and stubborn misconception that laws like these somehow do not apply to big (international) tech companies. It is more the product of cultural acceptance of a reality that has existed for long time. Maybe you are right about this, within the USA. But than that would say more about the legal reality within the USA, rather than globally.
Saying you can't post links to other services may be distasteful, but shouldn't be illegal in any reasonable legal jurisdiction.
In other words: these rules need to be explicitly stated in whatever contract consumer and provider agreed on.
These rules also need to be universally enforced. Rules that are (intentionally or not) written in such a way that they lend themselves for arbitrary application (that is, not equally amongst all consumers) are legally unenforcible. Therefore should be considered null and void. Which then leaves the service provider without any legal justification for their actions under contract law. That's at least how it works in many places, at least outside the USA.
If you want to limit the ways your service (or product) can be used, you can do so by explicitly arranging these limitations through a contract. Things that are already (otherwise) illegal do not have to be included in this arrangement (hopefully for obvious reasons).
Whatever is not explicitly forbidden by either law or contract, are not valid grounds for treating consumers differently.
Sadly, and mostly for historical and cultural reasons (and law enforcers not paying attention for a long time), it is often assumed that these rules do not apply to big service providers (and software producers alike). However, I have never found any legal basis for why such companies should be treated any different than any other one.
That Instagram uses the information gathered from providing these services for different services provided to another type of client (businesses, since consumers are officially not allowed to do business), does not change that.
But it could mean that Intragram is breaking laws that protect consumers (or citizens in general) from abusive practises. For example invasion of privacy (in particular surveillance), which is in many countries a privilege/monopoly limited to governments (just as use of violence).
When social media companies declared that privacy is dead, they essentially said that they do not acknowledge this monopoly/privilege of governments. This has been reality for some time, which is why many people got used to it and have accepted it as normal. However, just as criminals can claim that laws do not apply to them, the claims of social media companies might not have any legal basis. Maybe they have in the USA (I really do not know), but they sure appear to not have it in other parts of the world.
If Instagram stands by their decision to block third-party links, then they should phrase it as, "we block third-party links", not "they're not currently supported."
Well that's one way to phrase it.
1. "Links asking someone to add you on another service are not allowed on Instagram."
2. "Links asking someone to add you on a service not owned by Facebook are not allowed on Instagram."
"Support" vs "allowed" seems to me to be a distraction from the universality of that policy.
They should change what they call verified to another label like “goodie two-shoes” instead. As it is is a complete misnomer. It’s basically used to get users to behave a certain way and if they don’t conform they don’t get verified or if they are verified it gets revoked.
I think making it a brand-coloured tick conveyed too much of a positive message so people took it as an endorsement, leading to pressure to "unverify" if that person did or said something bad.
Given that action, the "verified" tick then becomes an even stronger signal of endorsement.
Perhaps it would be better to call them "Partners" like on Twitch and make it an explicit contract with revenue kickback.
Of course they could abandon all pretenses and just call it "ticked" accounts without saying what it means at all...
Your case would imply there is a confirmation interval... which I don’t think is the case.
YouTube's check mark is a tiny unassuming grey thing, and they're going through the exact same process right now where they claim it's being construed as an endorsement.
I researched this for the 2018 Reverse Hackathon run by HackMentalHealth and found that in 2015, approximately 0.05% of Twitter accounts were verified (source: https://medium.com/@Haje/who-are-twitter-s-verified-users-af...). The source above has an even deeper breakdown on the verified users' backgrounds.
If they don't want it to be construed as an endorsement, they could let any user not only apply for verification, but actually verify their identity behind their accounts. Not force, but allow it. This could shift the percentage of verified accounts up to the point where they're not part of an exclusive 0.05% club.
If they keep at it 0.05% of the accounts that they deem to be worthy of being verified, then it sure seems like an intentional endorsement.
(my article: https://medium.com/hackmentalhealth/why-twitter-should-verif...)
To verify yourself on instagram etc. you need to submit identification etc. . Once you have done that there should be no reason to take that away from you if valid.
You are still you unless maybe you get married and your name changes which could require a re-verification and if the policy was changed that you don't qualify for verification it would be fair for you to be no longer verified.
From what I understands, the previous verification was merely reaching 100k, nothing more. I wouldn't call that fraudulent, but considering many people may expect it to means that their identity was actually verified by Youtube (and not that they simply reached a milestone in subscription), I wouldn't call that being verified.
> To verify yourself on instagram etc. you need to submit identification etc. . Once you have done that there should be no reason to take that away from you if valid.
I agree, but we aren't talking about Instagram now, but Youtube.
There's 2 issues here. First it doesn't means the subscribers are actually legit. You could see from time to time channel that can lose hundred thousands subscribers in a day because Youtube purged a bunch of fake accounts. It's harder to see now that Youtube abbreviate the subscriber count, but I remember, it wasn't something constant, it was sporadic.
Second, it's only true if the name is original. More and more channels reach the 100k everyday, it's just going to be harder and harder to make sure none of them try to impersonate someone else. If that stay the only thing needed to be "verified", you'll get someone that will get that "verified" status even though he isn't the one he is saying he is, that's just the good old Murphy's law for you.
As I said, verify tag make people believe that you have actually been verified. It does makes sense that you change your politic so that you actually verify people...
Basically, if you were tasked with verifying KFC, you could check that the KFC on YouTube is indeed the fast food chain. If you were tasked with verifying PewDiePie, then what are you verifying?
I would certainly trust a verified user more for that reason.
I searched and seems like the previous politic was to simply give the verified status if you reached 100k subscribers without any others verification. How is that verified in any way? Is that verification was merely to state that at least 100k people clicked a button? That would makes it a pretty bad verified status and pretty far from what anyone may expect it to verify. Considering Youtube only remove bots from time to time, it may not even be true.
They were never verified in the first place, removing them makes sense.
If your account can get hacked and never retrieved, what's it worth being verified?
I agree with your main point. On a tangent: I'm not sure "goodie two-shoes" is quite the right term.
I would argue that by helping to expose illegal actions by the U.S. government, Assange was a poster child for "goodies two-shoes".
It's not a long-dead scientist, but is still verified as such.
I hope the US soon passes legislation banning impersonation of the dead unless they explicitly authorized that use while alive.
Similarly Erica Garner's account is verified and was taken over by one of her friends after her death. Some controversy after account tweeted things in direct contradiction to what Garner said while alive.
The blue verified badge on Twitter lets people know that an account of public interest is authentic. 
It's not authentically Albert Einstein (which is objective), nor do I see how his estate posting science news from who-knows-where is of public interest (this is subjective, and there is enough grey area that it makes for a weak policy).
If an account is verified, Twitter should also explain why. This explanation could be in the users' bio.
0 - https://help.twitter.com/en/managing-your-account/twitter-ve...
Verification ticks are just a badge of being well connected, and approved. And having your tick removed is a way of saying that you have stepped out of line.
It should be like an voluntary stricter license with arbitrary conditions set on content creators.
They just need to articulate what those conditions are.
The lack of being direct is what is hurting them here, and also not communicating what “verified” actually means, because it doesnt mean “you are popular and important” it just means “you are an aspiring LA model or aspiring SF tech CEO that both perform for Saudi money”
That is too postmodern for my tastes. I would strongly argue that one can speak without making false statements, and would be very much in favor of some sort of fact-checking badge on social media. It would be difficult, but I really believe it would be worth it.
So far pretty much every fact checking organization, regardless of original intent, eventually succumbs to the temptation to bend their fact checking to their ideological preference.
There is no social media company that has the credibility to even be taken seriously as a impartial arbiter of fact.
People who share political ideologies with these sites tend to overestimate their accuracy and underestimate their displayed bias.
Don't get me wrong, I think these sources are more accurate than many journalistic institutions, but they are not infallible or completely unbiased.
This is the behavior of monopolists. The FTC and existing anti-trust organizations would do well to return to their jobs and take a look at these practices broadly across the tech industry.
In my mind this is how these companies see their platforms plucked from their hands and spun off as independent companies.
This is incredibly unfair to users. It's a sign that these platforms have become a mafia protection racket.
It's not just as if they're saying "If you consider the competition, you'll lose everything." They're actually doing this.
This should absolutely be a topic of discussion amongst us.
Do we, as individuals with leverage and influence, support these actions? And if not, what can we do to help change the status quo and insure this doesn't happen again so easily?
Crafting a response or opinion piece to submit to lawmakers and the FTC could hold a lot of power, especially if it is undersigned by many of us in the field.
> This is the behavior of monopolists. The FTC and existing anti-trust organizations would do well to return to their jobs and take a look at these practices broadly across the tech industry.
While I am inclined to agree with you, is it anti-competitive to remove phone numbers, etc from apps like Wag or Rover or Airbnb to prevent external communication outside the app?
I personally don't like that but don't think it's monopolistic. Wondering if the two are related somehow.
For example, if you said "check out our other listing on VRBO" in your AirBnB profile, but they were not the same listing - and AirBnB scrubbed your link, I would argue that would be anti-competitive behavior for a large player in the marketplace to remove the link. Why did they edit your content? Was it Spam? Was it against the rules? The only reason to remove it was to remove the competition from the other platform.
I acknowledge that the user acquisition pipeline / discovery chain for sales / rentals is very valuable and these platforms want to maintain the chain so they make their money. That said - you can't have your cake and eat it, and becoming a large player and exhibiting these behaviors has historically been a problem.
I also acknowledge that real moderation of these types of links is a problem. The "easy" answer that happens to benefit the company is removal of all of those links, but that reasoning seems flimsy.
If you're a major player in a market space with huge network effects and you remove links that your users have posted (in-line with your user agreement on your website), that's anti-competitive behavior that has typically not been looked well upon in the United States.
Are you aware of any case law that reflects that sentiment as it applies to link removal? It sounds like you have a specific case or two in mind.
If you want distribution of your thoughts, you have to use the walled garden controlled by giants.
> Everyone is free to move to another platform or start his own.
The reality is that you can't. Not without billions of dollars of funding.
Social networks should be regulated. They can't own the platform and make moves to crush others by threatening to downgrade your voice and participation.
> The reality is that you can't.
The reality is that is was solved a while ago, the solution is rss and email.
Instagram instead offers popularity and nice photo filters and colored ticks on avatars. Which are nothing in common with distributing thoughts.
You are in a very small minority when compared to the average internet user. This is the same attitude that advocates for IRC and Jabber when modern alternatives have taken over due to user friendliness, network power, and corporate ownership/management.
It's not to say these platforms don't have problems (they do), or that a non-open model is preferable (it's certainly not ideal).
> Instagram instead offers popularity and nice photo filters and colored ticks on avatars. Which are nothing in common with distributing thoughts.
We can't ignore that the Internet has moved on from our technical solutions since the rest of the world got online. If we want it to remain open, it's up to us to help reign things back in through legislation when we see such blatantly gross abuses such as this.
If you keep pointing to RSS as the solution while simultaneously discounting all of the moves that are being made by the big players, RSS will wither and die and you will be left with nothing.
Platform control. Regulatory capture. Impenetrable new "standards". DRM. Dropped support for HTTP, RSS, semantic HTML, ad blocking, video...
Just imagine what the Internet will look like in twenty years and tell me that doesn't worry you.
I kind of get the feeling you don't target younger people? I wonder if you would also, in case you for some reason couldn't cell phones, find that totally fine, since landlines are the superior solution.
At the end of the day companies and politicians both have to go where people are, even if we find the platforms used despicable.
Maybe they'll no longer show you as verified. Maybe your posts will be demoted a bit in the feed. Maybe you now longer show up when people search for you. Maybe your sub becomes quarantined for an obviously for an obviously false reason (facts don't matter). Maybe you see more captchas. Maybe pages start loading more slowly for you. Maybe for your subscribers. Maybe you wont be able to show ads. Maybe it's the comments that get revoked. Maybe your account gets frozen and all your funds stolen.
Most (all?) of those are actual things happening right now.
because these big tech companies are all dependent on advertising revenue, and thus converge to advertiser friendly behaviour.
Just like is done here on HN through its rules and enforcement of such, with maybe the exception of not knowing why. It still encourages a submissive, fearful mentality. Well, not for me, because I really DGAF and will continue to speak as I see fit. I can't speak to the gonadal fortitude of the rest of HN commenters.
Instead of investing time and effort in online identities, we should invest in our offline identities. Investing in your local community, friends, family, etc is a lot more secure than some online persona on a platform you have zero control over.
An alternative would be to invest time and effort in decentralised platforms like mastodon, but even there you'd be dependent on the whims of the masses and thus advertisers. And even then, what do you have at the end of the day? Some virtual kudos and likes from people you would avoid in real life? Money if you are lucky.
You may stream to multiple platforms at once, however you lose your ability to be verified on twitch by being an affiliate/partner.
I see more and more of the large platforms taking this route and removing the verified/special perks for being on that particular platform if you are not keeping your content exclusive to them, in an attempt to keep the largest market share/content creators.
In the end I think this will only drive the more independent creators to adopt smaller and more open platforms and the big platforms that are left will be an echo chamber more than ever.
: https://help.twitch.tv/s/article/twitch-affiliate-program-fa... (Q. What do you mean by exclusivity for “Live Twitch Content”?)
Add to that the long list of twitch "anti-features" and they're on a good course to become to Quora of streaming sites. Can't wait for just lurking to become "members only".
Twitch would die in a heartbeat if they allowed multi-streaming (streaming to multiple platforms at the same time).
Their product is too easily replicated and most people don't care about the platform - they follow their favorite content creators.
In an ideal world: Yes. In our world? Hm,... My intuition says "no".
The meaning of this excerpt would be exactly the same if the word "but" were used instead of "however" (which is, I suspect, why it was worded in this clumsy way - to avoid "but"). Are we to conclude that the author doesn't actually give a shit about the "graphicness" of the headline?
It calls people out for using it.
So, when the author writes: "Apologies to those of a sensitive nature for the graphicness (is that a word?) of the headline. However, it is true.", it shows they aren't actually apologizing. Why? Because the word "however" could be changed with "but" and it would effectively be the same thing.
Basically, that statement in the article is, according to the article, bullshit and combative.
Now it means it's really them _and_ they haven't said or done anything that the wrong people find offensive. Comedians get de-verified (or kicked off) for offending people if they offend the wrong people. (While others who do equally horrible things -- like when Spike Lee tweeted the address of a completely innocent and uninvolved person asking people to harass and threaten them, he was not removed or de-verified https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/spike-lees-defense... )
I wonder if these networks even want people’s humanity verified on each account, seems like it would kill growth numbers. When Facebook started, most accounts were unofficially verified to be humans, as it was only open to people who had a .edu email address, which were mostly verified and given out by universities to real people. Then they opened it up and boom Facebook grew to ridiculous numbers.
I’m waiting for one of the social networks to let anyone verify their humanity, Bumble does it, not sure why Twitter, FB, LinkedIn, and the others cant give this option. Maybe they don’t want to?
The one that really grinds my gears is that I made an Instagram to follow some artists I really enjoyed browsing, and for whatever reason their algorithm flagged me, and so they deactivated my account. In order to reactivate my account they requested a picture of myself holding a paper with the ID code provided in the email (which I refused to do). When I tried asking why I was deactivated I was simply given a canned respond requesting that I give them a picture of myself with the code proving that I am indeed a real human being.
It should be of no surprise that plaform owners will behave in this way. I think the way forward should be protocols over platforms. ActivityPub over social networks. Matrix over instant messengers.
Protocols are empowering. In the earlier days of the web there were many different protocols for different things people wanted to do, such as SMTP, FTP, HTTP etc.
You can choose your email provider, or your cell phone carrier, and no matter who you choose, you'll still be able to email and text/call others (regardless of who _they_ choose).
But you can't choose a new Facebook provider. There's no recourse if a given platform is behaving badly, and the network effect just reinforces their hold on users.
Open protocols free users to make choices about providers and foster competition based on the service provided instead of having to "choose" to go where the people already are.
Who wants to help me build a platform with only verified (you are the human you say you are) users?