Instagram, the photograph sharing service, is trying to pass responsibility for its alleged breaches of the law onto its users, it has been found.
Instagram, which is led by Kevin Systrom as its CEO, has been founded inviting corporations it has been alleged to have breached the intellectual property of to get in touch with users who might not be aware of such actions.
The news comes as increasing pressure is being put on its rival Twitter to take responsibility for the illegal actions of its users, such as the posting of indecent, obscene, menacing or threatening content, which it says to victims are within its own rules.
In one instance a corporation was asked by Instagram in a trademark dispute to contact a user directly, telling them “If you would like to contact the user to see if they might be willing to yield their username to you, we would suggest creating an account with an alternate username and leaving a comment on one of their photos or videos.”
Under the E-Commerce Directive, which has been transposed into UK law through the Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002, providers of information society services like Instagram and Twitter are required not to allow any unlawful content to be hosted on their platforms.
Both Instagram and Twitter are expecting both businesses and consumers to resolve issues between themselves, when the law puts the liability firmly at the door of social media platforms. Known as sysop prerogative, website owners like Instagram and Twitter are only allowed in theory to do what the law entitles them to do, but in practice will use their own rules to justify not following the law.
Following being approached by Crocels News, a spokesperson from Instagram confirmed that if the company’s own rules have not been broken that it is in their view not their responsibility, even it would seem if the law has been broken by them.