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Student Instagrams taking it too far

The student Instagram accounts range from wholesome to borderline cyber bullying. Photo by Sara Tate

It has never been easier for people to connect and form groups from nearly anywhere thanks to the internet, but in 2022, the point of what is acceptable to bond over is being pushed to the border at Bear River.

The popular social media app Instagram has become widespread ever since it’s creation more than a decade ago, stretching its influence to people from all walks of life, including our campus. However there has been an issue brewing involving us Bruins. There are student-made accounts on Instagram taking photos of students for various  things, like falling asleep in class, or being short. But other accounts are less innocent, and one has to wonder if these accounts violate student privacy.

Senior Maya Cruz had plenty to say on the matter of violated privacy.

“As for student-made Instagram accounts, I do know a lot about them,” she explained, “I think my favorite is most likely the yearbook account! I do know a couple of friends that have been on it, including myself. I think most were a bit surprised but a bit uncomfy as well because we usually don’t have our pictures taken like that and we often feel a bit insecure. I think student Instagram accounts should possibly ask beforehand just to be sure people are comfortable with their pictures being taken and such. I think, in a way, it’s polite and respects students’ privacy.”

On the flip side of this argument, Junior Zach Averill brought his dissenting opinion to the table.

I know almost nothing about these,” he said, “I know about the sleeping one but I don’t know anybody on it specifically. I also know the feet one which I understand can be a bit strange, but to my knowledge everyone on that one has consented to it.”

Junior Teresa Moya-Krill had plenty of knowledge about the topic and was eager to talk about it.

“I know about almost each and every Instagram account,” she said. “My favorite is probably the midget one. I have had many of my friends from multiple friend groups on almost all of them, most of us think it’s extremely funny and a fun thing students started doing at the school. I think a few of the accounts should ask for permission due to the fact people might look bad or don’t want to see themselves on social media. I think someone who doesn’t want to be posted could contact the Instagram page letting them know they don’t want to be posted.”

While these accounts are rarely harmful, there are some that are rather inappropriate (at least by school standards). Some students believe that the school should have the authority to remove some of these accounts, but under what circumstances is where people differ.

Cruz seemed to agree with the idea, believing the accounts misrepresented the school.

“I think the school can have the authority to take some of them down because they’re quite literally using “BR” in most of the account names, which means they go to the school and are posting harmful things towards others,” she stated. “I think school accounts like those are a pure recipe for cyberbullying and first of all, it’s not respectful at all. I think school accounts should be to represent the school, not to be used to make fun of others or post things about other people without their consent. People have their own personal accounts to post things, they don’t need to make a school account for that.”

Moya-Krill agreed with Cruz, although not having as much to say about the issue.

“I think that the school should be informed of posts and should monitor them if needed and someone might be using it to be rude or disrespectful towards students.”

I believe that the Bear River student Instagram accounts should get permission to photograph people if they’re being sought out individually for a theme. For example, if a pair of students are wearing matching shoes, they should be asked if a picture can be taken before being posted. If it comes to students being in the background of a video of a concert or public event, then permission shouldn’t be needed unless photography is specifically banned.

While most of the Instagrams aren’t intentionally harmful, some students feel uncomfortable having their picture taken and posted without permission, and some of the accounts can be genuinely harsh in what pictures go on them.

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Student Instagrams taking it too far