My privacy concerns regarding Instagram are founded. My Instagram account has now been deleted, supposedly.
Sadly it will probably be my children that give me the most grief as I am no longer ‘visible’ through their own Instagram feed and their perception is that yet again I have dissapeared from yet another part of their life and they are yet to understand why it is that I view the Internet with sinister intent.
After signing up in 2011 amongst the mad ‘web 2.0’ bubble of inculcation as a social web, Instagram or insta served a simple purpose for my own budding aspirations for my digital photos. The square format war had just begun and I was taken with the quick and easy upload (minus manual metadata) options.
Flickr is on my list of to-delete list as I endeavour to claw back time and sanity as we transition from a ‘social networks’ and ‘open web’ through ‘surveillance media’ and deep into the bowels of intractable ‘social credit’, in itself a bastardisation of capitalisation at its worst. Despite the attestations that Jamie P. Horsley positions, social credit is now a web of loosely and yet ever more tightly woven interrogations of our ‘likelihoods’ and that for me is the most worrying trajectory for open social web analysis that triggers insecurity by means of abject enforced conformity.
Our future survival as humans depends on our differences in culture and beliefs, not in algorithms that produce automatons in a virtual brain farm called Singularity. A camera only looks at things but humans see more than looking, yet humans are fickle creatures who easily trade seeing for looking good and surrendering their humanity in the process.
So let's examine how my Insta became my Outsta, noting that I am still mid way through trying to extract myself from the web of the Instagram parent ship, Facebook.
The following ‘personal’ details (screenshot above) thanks to Facebook and Instagram are now plastered through the Internet and nothing I can ever do will thwart anyones inquiry as to whether I am male (binary), what my Instagram username was (remains), what my cell phone number is (perhaps) and what my email contact is and has been since I first claimed a domain back in 1996. A simple Google (do no evil haha) search engine request under anything using a combination of the details below will point you principally to my core domain, of which I wrest some form of supposed control via my service provider Squarespace (under review since I’ve read Amelie Lamont’s account), more so than this tracking application called Instagram that has as part of the Facebook suite of companies sold my details off to the highest bidder.
No thanks Instagram. You did not have my permission to make that information accessible given I made sure I ticked the ‘private account’ option only to locate fresh instances of Insta derived meta interfering with my life matter.
Much like Damián Le Nouaille-Diez, my own experiments with the Instagram OSX application which demanded microphone access upon installation last year sealed the fate of this platform as my preferred cell phone photo sharing app. Privacy matters to me in ways that Facebook (that owns Instagram) is trying to remove from us all and my shift shaping claw-back of digital interaction that is lost the moment these applications are loaded to our wearable computer, the ‘cellphone’.
I need a neck hammock but I will not be told that Amazon has the best deals for a purchase with a $20 credit to my Facebook group account to buy Facebook advertising delivered as mid-feed advertisements in Instagram. Likewise, my Facebook messenger app….well that's another Medium story yet to be written.
As it is for Cody Engel, the realisation that every interaction I’m making through these mobile internet enhanced applications that are metrically shaping my digital profile elsewhere is chilling.
So, last night I made the move to request my data be removed from Instagram and of course I was presented with the moralist overture that I’ll be missed by my contacts, that my ‘friends’ will cease to be able to communicate with me and that I should consider just disabling my account first and re-consider my request all together. To suggest I am not of the right frame of mind to make decisions for myself at anytime is both derogatory and assumptive. It’s also ethically maligned with the manner in which I signed up to use the service and the continually changing monster of ways in which my personal data has been on-sold to marketeers, dodgy corporations and government national security profiling agencies that I consider is a breach of privacy.
Therefore, with the .ZIP file exported I deleted my Instagram account. How I felt after having done so is of no matter to anyone but myself however I am sure the sentiments of others would be similar. One less application sucking my whereabouts and howsabouts to waste time looking good through.
My account information, my interaction rates, my pickups and product interactions and the myriad of other features drilling aspects of this Facebook controlled application have driven me to ‘delete’ my account….knowing full well that Facebook never deletes anything.
Facebook (I’m certain) simply hides my historical ‘me’ until such time as they can profit on my past in the present. Secrecy is after all their core social sorting motivation and they achieve that transparency by drilling their ‘death blue star’ algorithm into any human-being-human possible.
This is my attempt at shift shaping from web 2.0 into web 4.0 with enough time on my hands to position my naive fanboy web 2.0 as benign before our Orwellian past supersedes our always on future.
(First published via Squarespace)