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Instagram post won’t stop Meta from using content for AI training
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Instagram post won’t stop Meta from using content for AI training

  • PublishedJune 10, 2024


An Instagram chain message aimed at stopping Meta from using people’s photos and posts to train its artificial intelligence won’t work. Here’s why.

A chain message making the rounds on Instagram in recent weeks is aimed at stopping Meta, the social media app’s parent company, from using people’s content to train its artificial intelligence (AI).

Meta says it uses public Instagram and Facebook posts to train its generative AI models. Generative artificial intelligence is AI that’s used to create something new, such as images, text or videos. 

The chain message that people are sharing on Instagram says: 

“I own the copyright to all images and posts submitted to my Instagram profile and therefore DO NOT consent to Meta or other companies using them to train generative AI platforms. This includes all FUTURE and PAST posts/stories on my profile.”

A VERIFY reader asked if posting the message on Instagram would stop Meta from using your content to train its AI.

THE QUESTION

Can posting a message on Instagram stop Meta from using your content to train its AI?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

This is false.

No, posting a message on Instagram cannot stop Meta from using your content to train its AI. 

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WHAT WE FOUND

You cannot change how Instagram uses your photos and other content by posting a message to your page. That’s because the way social media networks use your data is determined by the terms of service you agree to when you use or make an account on its website, and to some degree, the options you select on your account’s privacy settings.

“Currently, posted privacy policies — rather than specific federal or state laws — typically determine your privacy rights concerning the personal data that Internet-based companies collect on you,” attorney Amy Loftsgordon said in a blog post on Nolo, an online legal guide. “Facebook, for instance, has a privacy policy stating what it can and can’t do with your information. To use the site, you have to agree to the terms of the privacy policy.”

There are no terms or policies from Instagram – or its parent company Meta – that say the company will change how it uses your content if you post a message to your profile. That means no chain message has the power to stop Instagram from using your posts and photos to train its AI. 

The Terms of Service for Instagram and its parent company Meta spell out that users give the company permission to use content they create and share on the platform, as well as use their name and profile picture. 

“When you share, post or upload content,” such as photos or videos, to Instagram, you grant the company a license to “host, use, distribute, modify, run, copy, publicly perform or display, translate, and creative derivative works fo your content (consistent with your privacy and application settings),” Instagram’s Terms of Service says. 

A spokesperson for Meta told VERIFY that the company has “shared details about the kinds of information we use to build and improve AI experiences – which includes public posts from Instagram and Facebook – consistent with our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.”

The company does not “train these models using people’s private posts” or the content of users’ private messages, Meta said in September 2023.

Meta doesn’t have an “opt-out feature” for users who don’t want the company to use their content for its AI training, the company spokesperson confirmed.

One of Meta’s features allows people to start an Instagram chat with an AI. The company does have tools that allow people to delete their personal information from chats with Meta AI across its apps, the spokesperson said. More information on how to delete the contents of your AI chats is available here.

VERIFY previously found that posting a chain message on Facebook won’t stop the company from using your photos or data, either. You can read more here

VERIFY digital journalist Emery Winter contributed to this report.

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