This workshop will develop awareness and understanding of terms of use – the terms and conditions – of social media, in particular Instagram but also Facebook, Snapchat etc. Participants will be able to appreciate the content of these conditions that are hardly ever read by users.

Target group
All, Low literacy citizens, School drop outs, Students (primary school), Students (secondary school)
Age group
Proficiency level i
Level 2
Activity sheet
Copyright i
Creative Commons (BY-SA)
English, French , Français

General Objective

Awareness building

Preparation time for facilitator

less than 1 hour

Competence area

4 - Safety

Name of author

Nothing 2hide

Support material needed for training

Tables Chairs Projectors (optional)

Resource originally created in

Workshop directions


This activity will surround debates on the terms of use that we accept to when we sign up to use social media. Terms of use – elsewhere called terms and conditions – often take a long time to read and are difficult to understand. As a result, a lawyer summarised those of Instagram in a way that makes them easy to understand for young readers. The summary presenting the main points are listed below and are taken from this document from the UK Children’s Commissioner.

Facilitation tips: To make this activity more interactive you can centre it around a walking debate or Debono’s six thinking hats in order to promote discussion amongst participants. You could also imagine a role-play on the process of Instagram. By dividing the group in two, one would have to defend the social network and the other would confront it.

Reading and discussing the terms of use

First, ask who amongst the group uses Instagram. Now engage in discussion for a few minutes on how each person tends to use the social media.

Facilitation tips: If your group consists differently-aged people, it might be an idea to do a quick survey on the various social media they use (Facebook. Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, TikTok…) and for what reasons. There will likely be clear divides in this case between kids, teens and adults who tend to use different ones. Now, ask them to raise their hands if they have read the terms of conditions. Generally, no one reads them – but if it happens that someone in the group has, make sure you question them to determine if they have understood or retained anything and how they feel about this. For the rest, ask why they did not read them and whether they realise what the terms of use contain. Following this, divide participants into two groups:

  • Instagram users
  • Non-Instagram users

Put each group on different sides of the room. Explain the terms and condition using this simplified transcription. Read the rules one by one and after each one is read, ask participants if they would like to change groups. Encourage a reaction after you read each rule. Guide their thoughts with questions like:

  • Do you think this rule is logical?
  • Does it shock you?
  • What does it mean?
  • Do you have an example?
  • Did you know about this?
  • Etc.

Here are the simplified terms adapted slightly from the list above to highlight the most important points: 1. You have the right to feel safe using lnstagram. 2. Officially you own any original pictures and videos you post, but we are allowed to use them, and we can let others use them as well, anywhere around the world. Other people might pay us to use them and we will not pay you for that. 3. You are responsible for anything you do using lnstagram and anything you post, including things you might not expect such as usernames, data and other peoples’ music. 4. It will be assumed that you own what you post, and what you post does not break the law. If it does, and you are fined, you will have to pay that fine. 5. Although you are responsible for the information you put on lnstagram, we may keep, use and share your personal information with companies connected with lnstagram. This information includes your name, email address, school, where you live, pictures, phone number, your likes and dislikes, where you go, who your friends are, how often you use lnstagram, and any other personal information we find such as your birthday or who you are chatting with, including in private messages (DMs). —-> At this point, ask participants why would Instagram want to use their personal information. User data is used for commercial reasons: for targeting ads to them as well as their close social circles (or at least those with whom they interact most on the platform). Maybe this will raise questions. A brief discussion on this would be useful for the following points.   6. We are not responsible for what other companies might do with this information. We will not rent or sell your personal information to anyone else without your permission. 7. When you delete your account, we keep this personal information about you, and your photos, for as long as is reasonable for our business purposes. You can read more about this in our Privacy Policy. 8. lnstagram is also not responsible for:

  • Links on lnstagram from companies or people we do not control, even if we send those links to you ourselves.
  • What happens if you connect your lnstagram account to another app or website, for instance by sharing a picture, and the other app does something with it or takes your personal details.
  • The cost of any data you use while using lnstagram.
  • If your photos are lost or stolen from lnstagram.

9. Although lnstagram is not responsible for what happens to you or your data while you use lnstagram, we do have many powers:

  • We might send you adverts connected to your interests which we are monitoring. You cannot stop us doing this and it will not always be obvious that it is an advert.
  • We can change or end lnstagram, or stop you accessing lnstagram at any time, for any reason and without letting you know in advance. We can also delete posts and other content randomly, without telling you, for any reason. If we do this, we will not be responsible for paying out any money and you won’t have any right to complain.
  • We can force you to give up your username for any reason.
  • We can, but do not have to, remove, edit, block and/ or monitor anything posted or any accounts that we think breaks any of these rules. We are not responsible if somebody breaks the law or breaks these rules.



To conclude, explain to participants that Instagram is a typical case. All social media platforms have terms and conditions that should be read and understood. If you have time, have a look at the simplified terms and conditions that also exist for other platforms written by the same authors. An idea for a further an exercise could be to attempt to rewrite elements of the original terms and conditions of a platform in order to make it easier to understand. We would also recommend you display at the end of the workshop the original Instagram terms and conditions in order to show the extent to which they were simplified. This may encourage kids to read the terms and conditions with an adult when signing up to social media platforms in the future.