Why Pic Nix Was Banned From Instagram

Pic Nix had the potential to become a troll tool.

pic nix

There are many recurrent themes in social media posts, particularly the selfie, and it seems that people just had enough. Their prayers were answered when Pic Nix came along: An app that allowed you to anonymously shame other Instagram users for their clichéd pictures. But within 24 hours, Instagram banned the app and removed the account that sent the anonymous messages.

Pic Nix was a fairly simple service that allowed you to send an example of a clichéd picture covered in red text, alerting a user to their offense. The text was chosen from templates, like “Too much food,” “Enough with the cats” and by far the most popular “Stop with the selfies.” Then, a robot sent the message from the picnixer Instagram account, and the offender received a direct notification.

pic nix

It’s about as passive aggressive as leaving Post-it notes for roommates, or labeling each item of food you put into the office fridge. Instagram shut it down, leading Pic Nix write on its site: “We thought it was a cool idea to help people anonymously tell their friends to stop posting clichéd photos, but Instagram didn’t think so. Even though they shut down our account, we’re not done making cool things.”

The problem with services like these is that when given anonymity, users often abuse the system. While Pic Nix tried to avoid this problem by using templates, it still had the potential for becoming a tool for trolls.