Gilles Vandenoostende

Hi, I'm Gilles Vandenoostende - designer, illustrator and digital busybody with a love of language, based in Ghent, Belgium.

I'm not the product but I play one on the internet

Derek Powazek on the Instagram drama:

Assumption: Not paying means not complaining.

The “you are the product” line is most often repeated when a company that provides a free service does something that people don’t like. See Instagram’s recent terms change or any Facebook design update. The subtext is, this company does not serve you, you don’t pay for it, so shut up already.

But that’s crazy talk. If a company shows that they’re not treating you or your work with respect, vote with your feet. Uninstall. Delete account. Walk! And make sure they know why you split. It’s the only way we have to make companies feel the repercussions of dumb, user-hostile decisions.

People have every right to complain when a company does something they don’t like. Sometimes, those companies might even listen. But unless you actually follow through on your outrage and delete your account or stop using their product, your outrage amounts to very little indeed.

People complain about Facebook and Twitter all the time (hell, I do too), but they have no motivation to care one iota about your privacy unless you actually suck it up and leave when they violate it.

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