I just tried to sign up to Instagram. I made a big mistake.

First up with Facebook related stuff is data. Data, data and more data. Initially when you sign up (with a new account, not login with Facebook) you're asked your real name, email address and phone number. And finally the username you'd like to have on the service. I gave them a phone number that I actually own, that is in my iPhone, my daily driver right now (and yes I have 3 Androids which all run custom ROMs, hold your keyboards). The email address is a usual for me, instagram at my domain. I am a postmaster after all, and my mail server is a catch-all one. For a setup like that, this is perfectly reasonable. And here it's no different, devrant at my domain. On Facebook even, I use fb at my domain. I'm sure you're starting to see a pattern here. And on Facebook the username, real name and email domain are actually the same.

So I signed up, with - as far as I'm aware - perfectly valid data. I submitted the data and was told that someone at Instagram will review the data within 24 hours. That's already pretty dystopian to me. It is now how you block bots. It is not how Facebook does it either, at least since last time I checked. But whatever. You'd imagine that regardless of the result, they'd let you know. Cool, you're in, or sorry, you're rejected and here's why. Nope.

Fast-forward to today when I recalled that I wanted to sign up to Instagram to see my girlfriend's pictures. So I opened Chromium again that I already use only for the rancid Facebook shit.. and it was rejected. Apparently the mere act of signing up is a Terms of Service violation. I have read them. I do not know which section I have violated with the heinous act of signing up. But I do have a hunch.

Many times now have I been told by ignorant organizations that I would be "stealing" their intellectual property, or business assets or whatever, just because I sent them an email from their name on my domain. It is fucking retarded. That is MY domain, not yours. Learn how email works before you go educate a postmaster. Always funny to tell them how that works. But I think that in this case, that is what happened.

So I appealed it, using a random link to something on Instagram's help section from a third-party blog. You know it's good when the third-party random blog is better. But I found the form and filled it in. Same shit all over again for info, prefilling be damned I guess. Minor convenience though, whatever.

I get sent an email in German, because apparently browsing through a VPS in Germany acting as a VPN means you're German. Whatever... After translating it, I found that it asks me to upload a picture of myself, holding a paper in my hands, on which I would have a confirmation code, my username, and my email address.. all hand-written. It must not be too dark, it must be clear, it must be in JPEG.. look, I just wanted to fucking sign up.

I sent them an email back asking them to fix all of this. While I was writing it and this rant, I thought to myself that they can shove that piece of paper up their ass. In fact I would gladly do it for them.

Long story short, do not use Instagram. And one final thing I have gripes with every time. You are not being told all the data you'll have to present from the get-go. You're not being told the process. Initially I thought it'd just be email, phone, username, and real name. Once signed up (instantly, not within 24 hours!) I would start setting up my account and adding a profile picture. The right way to ask for a picture of me! And just do it at my own pace, as I please.

And for God's sake, tackle abuse when it actually happens. You'll find out who's a bot and who isn't by their usage patterns soon enough. Do not do any of this at sign-up. Or hell, use a CAPTCHA or whatever, I don't fucking care. There's so many millions of ways to skin this cat.

Facebook and especially Instagram. Both of them are fucking retarded.

  • 7
    I just uninstalled it recently. Best decision of my life.
  • 5
    if you only want to view instagram, maybe Barinsta (https://f-droid.org/packages/...) is something for you.
  • 2
    @stop thanks awsome app
  • 5
    @Nanos Oh, yes I had this on a forum as well once, NulledBB. Turns out that they accepted only live.com, hotmail.com, etc.. you get the idea. At sign-up however, they did publish the regexes they used to check with. Apparently live.com was something along the lines of live.*, to account for the regional domains as well. So I just added a subdomain to mine real quick, and it went through :3
  • 1
    Afaik You dont actually need a phone number to sign up?!
  • 6
    ...and the picture had to contain a current news paper with the date clearly visible to prove that the hostage is still alive...
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