Instagram's terrifying false positive nearly ruined a tech writer's life

What are “community standards” anyway? Some self-serving piece of word witchery designed by the social mega-corp’s lawyers to evade any responsibility for things when they go wrong thanks to lack of moderation.


The company’s community. Not yours. You have been granted a non-exclusive, revokable-without-cause license to participate in said community.

edit: phrasing


…It’s not really that complex. “Standards for the community.” It’s just a straight evolution of the sort of thing that even a simple forum for a website or whatever uses to say ‘hey if you want to participate in this community, you must adhere to some standards’. I’m sure BoingBoing has their own and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were called the exact same thing. There isn’t a conspiracy or weird wordplay going on here, and we shouldn’t posit that there is.

The existence of these is not the problem. In fact, frankly it’s one of the better parts of Xitter/etc and even 4chan has guidelines - the problem is the inconsistent way that these standards are judged and applied.

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At Meta those standards appear to be under the sole control and discretion of the software. Some algorithm follows its rules and spits out a decree without any human interference. And there is no way to get a human to review what the software has done.

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My email address is registered with, they are a employeers-owned company in Norway, so they abide with the country strict privacy laws (at least is what they claim).
It is not free (if I remember well 30€/y), but it is worth it.
In addition to not spying on you, they have a couple of nice features

  • you can have up to 100 aliases, i.e. different mail addresses that maps on yours (I use one different address for each service, so I can filter emails easily and if one service becomes a source of spam I can nuke it)
  • it happily works with IMAP clients, so I am not forced to use the webmail (which for Gmail is quite bad)

I have also registered a domain with them, so if I want I can change provider and keep the same address (this is not specific to Runbox, I believe you can do also with Gmail).

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