The battle of Instagram ownership

Imagine the internet as a huge manor where we as the users of this manor cannot change, or sell the land for it is the Feudal Lords that decide how the land is used. We are able to just simply use the Manor, grow crops on its land, upkeep the state of the property.  It sounds like a lot of work right, but what if I told you that you chose to work for free within this manor, everyday!

Social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest are the manors that we live in daily, however, they have the power to decide how we use the sites, what content we upload and how much access we are granted to the whole site.

These social media sites are integrated within a beautiful walled garden which protects us from the open net, with just a few housekeeping rules. However, we are made to think that this walled garden is beautiful’ because that’s all that we know. We don’t realise that there is a utopia waiting just on the other side of the wall.

Users of social media sites such as Instagram have started to realise the feudal tyranny that lurks within our walls dictating how we interact.

Famous Australian actress and feminist Caitlin Stacey is known for her daring Instagram page where she challenges the power for the right to post images to support her #freethenipple campaign

When Instagram deletes your photo!

Time after time, her photos have been deleted because “in the digital age, your possessions and memories aren’t really yours anymore.” Douglas Heaven describes a world where Feudal leaders have the power to determine what happens within their Manor. As Lawrence Lessig states, “we live in a world that celebrates property.” Meaning that our content is their property and they have the right to do what they want with it.


Yet, inappropriate sites that contain racism and violence still exist freely.













13 thoughts on “The battle of Instagram ownership”

  1. Love the angle you’ve taken on this weeks topic! Easy to understand explanation that really outlines what a walled garden is. The constant policing of women’s bodies online is so wrong, Caitlin Stasey is such a good example of someone who is trying to stop this stigma, I also follow her on Instagram hah. This also reminds me of how many women online have been photoshopping male nipples onto their own, because male’s nipples are deemed ‘more appropriate than women’s’. http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/women-fight-nipple-censorship-with-photoshop_n_7735738
    #freethenipple 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was a very good blog post. The angle of content curation and censorship being used to limit the expression of the female body was a great choice. The stigma of the female body only being seen as a sexual or delicate object that must be either censored or protected, has been carried over to ‘the walled garden’. In this context, the ideology of the ‘manor’ and ‘the walled garden’ could be seen as an extension of the patriarchy. I feel as though this post would have better suited another example of social media sites censoring the female body. An example of this are the photos of native Aboriginal women being taking down by Facebook because their breasts are exposed. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/23/facebook-censorship-topless-aboriginal-women

    Overall, good stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really enjoyed reading this post! Your angle on feudalism in regards to Instagram is great. It’s such a shame that we are constantly being silenced for voicing our opinion, on a platform which was built on that purpose. It’s horrible to think that posts that are trying to push a rightful cause will get taken down but sites and posts about things we try and shun our youth from witnessing are still up and running and easier than ever to get their hands on.
    This source links with your positing of this weeks topic as Instagram is shutting down the ability to link its content on other platforms https://www.yahoo.com/tech/instagram-no-longer-lets-snapchat-032657973.html


  4. Your remediation of this weeks topic is good, it focuses how we as ‘ProdUsers’ engage with platforms and media in this ‘free’ space. These restrictions enforced by legacy media models, like Instagram, establish clear barriers of entry, economies of scale (which giants of traditional media industries can overcome) and scarcity based environments. The internet is seen as a threat, where these walls are protecting us.

    Though, the benefits of being inside its garden can be seen as outweighed by downsides. Here’s a link that delves a little further into the topic, have a suss! https://www.fastcompany.com/3015418/from-inside-walled-gardens-social-networks-are-suffocating-the-internet-as-we-know-it. Thanks for sharing!



  5. This is a really interesting blog post as we’ve all seen this issue discussed on social media and the news throughout the past year. Instagram having the power to censor is an issue because they are creating the ‘walled garden’ of protection when there is no necessity for it. Most of the thing they censor are not ‘dangerous’ for their users to see. http://fusion.net/story/166911/instagram-censorship-women-bodies-nudity-nipples/ This open letter discusses all the reasons why Instagram should not censor as freely as they do, because in most cases it is for sexist reasons, that are not agreed upon by many people.


  6. Lovely post and interesting angle. Censorship on social media has been an issued for a couple years now, I’ve seen a few of my friends’ posts being taken down on Facebook. But this case is really a thing, when good purpose is prohibited and crap stuff is allowed. When I read your post, I googled “Instagram censorship”, guess what happened? The coverage was mostly about the feminism case. I also found an essay about censorship and female body of an artist that has her Instagram account removed


      1. Oh great, I can’t post the link here. Is there any kind of censorship around here? The title of the essay is “Censorship and The Female Body” by Petra Collins if you want to have a look.


  7. The view that you brought forward for this week’s blog post was very interesting and engaging. I especially liked that you introduced a real life example, so that we could further conceptualise the argument you have made. The deletion of “inappropriate” posts is a perfect example of how the “walled garden” works. We don’t have the freedom to post freely what we want, under the control of the workings of the “stack” in which we are apart of, who often discard posts they find inappropriate. Here is an article in which facebook deleted a picture of Indigenous women wearing traditional attire, as it violated Facebook’s community standards. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-14/facebook-suspends-users-over-'nude'-photo-of-aboriginal-women/7244710


  8. Nice tie in with the free the nipple campaign, its a perfect example of the level of control the walled gardens have over us. I remember when I first started using Instagram I had no idea that you could not re save your images to your device after posting them. I wanted to use one of my old photos for an assignment and was shocked to find I could not download it off of my Instagram page. I was like ‘what the hell do you mean I can’t download it, I’m the one who uploaded it’. Off course a quick screen shot resolved the issue but I couldn’t get over the fact that I no longer had ownership over my own photo. I guess having used Instagram filters to edit gave them the right to keep it. But what is more surprising is knowing this, I still continue to use it because it is so damn convenient and a social norm I don’t want to excluded from. This is the large price we pay for such minuscule benefits, but we do it anyway because our priorities our out of order.


  9. Good job on this post! Really simple and easy to understand and using Instagram as an example really shows how much control they actually have on our post. They decide what is considered right to post. Recently YouTube has change their system on how they determine what videos are allowed and what are not. Because of this new system many videos are being flagged down due to the use of “strong language”. They say that it’s a change in “notification process” but let’s just call it what it is, CENSORSHIP! If they were to ban videos with “strong language” almost all gaming video would get flagged. Heck even some videos are just met to be games ragging and they don’t stay the prettiest of words when that happens. All organisations are really pushing for wall gardens and I believe that because one platform can do it. Some other platform wants to do it as well. Here is the link to the post http://www.theverge.com/2016/9/1/12753108/youtube-is-over-party-advertising-monetization-censorship

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hey there!

    I thoroughly enjoyed your post! It’s creative, easy to understand, engaging and really well written. You explain the concept of ‘Walled Garden’ well and I also love your analogy to feudalism! Your example of Instagram is also great.

    In fact, considering you’ve looked at Instagram as a platform, you may find this article interesting: http://www.news.com.au/technology/online/social/instagram-blocks-a-number-of-seemingly-innocent-hashtags-to-hide-inappropriate-content/news-story/f17748779563dcd1aa2a32b36e62a872

    It talks about all the harmless hashtags that have been censored by Instagram!

    Overall, this was a really good post and I enjoyed reading it a lot.


  11. This was a very well-written blog; my favourite part was your description about how there is beauty beyond the Walled Gardens. You were able to relate this clearly to the ideology of iFeaudalism. It is true that we cultivate the crops of our Feudal Lords, and in return, we are granted the usage of the available social media platforms. Under its own terms and conditions.

    Moreover, your example of Caitlin Stacey’s pictures being deleted (as they may deem inappropriate and controversial to some), reminded me of a similar situation I found myself in just a few months ago -on Instagram, I had uploaded a picture of my friend and I at the beach. We were both fully-clothed, I must add. The caption said “Fun in the sun ☀”. Not a single hashtag was used. It was a bit strange that the picture was taken down only a few weeks ago. Had I violated a rule or two from Instagram’s Community Guidelines? Looking into Instagram’s official Community Guildines, I realised that I did not violate anything – if you are interested in the official guideline, here is the link: https://help.instagram.com/477434105621119/

    Fortunately though, media censorship is not as extreme as these 10 countries: https://www.cpj.org/2015/04/10-most-censored-countries.php


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