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Artists Ditch Instagram for Cara After AI Scraping

In what could be termed a major blow, a mass exodus of artists from Meta’s Instagram is currently underway to a new app named Cara in protest against the company’s controversial AI scraping policy. The exodus underlines the growing tension between online creators and AI companies as artists fight against the potential of AI replacing them through the very same content they post publicly.

Artists Cara, on the other hand, is an only-artist portfolio app. Thus, its user base has grown catastrophically huge, from 40,000 to 650,000 in just a week. There are no AI posts and training, so the app becomes a haven for all the artists looking out for protection from their work being used as fodder for AI training. The company’s move follows an update by Meta to its policy, which says it treats public Instagram posts as part of its AI training data, a policy from which artists cannot opt-out.

Many artists have expressed anger and feelings of powerlessness in the face of such a policy. Most of them use Meta’s platforms to market themselves, and be visible and are now getting scared of using AI that seems to directly attack their livelihood. Some artists claimed that their income had already dropped hard after AI-generated images started to proliferate on the internet.

Cara’s founder, Jingna Zhang, a photographer and artists’ rights advocate, expressed surprise at the sudden influx of users. “I haven’t slept,” Zhang said. “We were not expecting this.” Zhang, along with other artists, has filed multiple lawsuits against AI companies, including Google and Stability AI, accusing them of using copyrighted material for training their AI models.

Cara launched in January 2023, the developers say it’s still in its developmental phase and experienced several crashes due to overwhelming interest. The app is available on iOS, Android, and the web, and features an Instagram-like feed of images with options to like, comment, and repost. What distinguishes Cara from other apps like Instagram, however, is the claimed commitment to protecting the work of artists from AI mimicry.

Although the app has marked each image as “NoAI” in some effort to try and deter AI web scraping, there is no actual block stopping AI companies from taking the images. Many artists are becoming disillusioned as a result, feeling their only actual influence lies in safeguarding future work by scrutinizing untested alternatives.

This mass migration to Cara is also indicative of broader concerns about Instagram and, at large, Meta’s plans, most especially on artificial intelligence. Indeed, this has been a point of contention among users, this shift towards reels and other posts over traditional image hosting.

More for you:

  • Artists flee Instagram for new app Cara in protest of Meta AI scraping
  • Cara: Which art app is sweeping through Instagram, and AI became the most downloaded in the world?

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