Lucy Funes, a California Instagram user, has filed a class action lawsuit against the photo sharing service and parent company Facebook. In the lawsuit Lucy claims that Instagram violated its users rights by unexpectedly changing its terms of service. Instagram since that time has reverted back to its former TOS wording.
The lawsuit was filed in a San Francisco federal court on Friday in an attempt to capitalize on the outrage many users felt towards the service.
The lawsuit states:
“In short, Instagram declares that ‘possession is nine-tenths of the law and if you don’t like it, you can’t stop us.”
Oddly enough the lawsuit is suing Instagram for something that never actually happened. The TOS was announced but was not to take effect until January 17, 2013. In fact Instagram did exactly the opposite of the “if you don’t like it, you can’t stop us” statement made by Fune in her filing.
Essentially Lucy Funes has filed a lawsuit by claiming that something that could have happened, but didn’t, somehow affected users negatively.
The lawsuit more than likely stemmed from the frustration many users felt after the company introduced a new TOS which suggested that Instagram could sell user photos without compensation while also introducing a mandatory arbitration clause that would give up a users right to file a class action lawsuit.
Instagram has since decided to maintain the mandatory arbitration clause as well as a clause stating that it will display ads based on user content.
It should be noted that Instagram’s terms of service has always stated that changes to its policy could occur at any time and that notice would be served to users before such changes were made.