This is a post I’ve intended to write for a long time, but every time I sit down to do it, my fingers are filled with RAGE.
Because when people steal my content or my friends’ content, or they take credit for my friends’ content, or they simply don’t give an F about anyone’s content, and they just plan to use it to increase visibility of their Facebook page or Pinterest account by getting as many likes and shares as possible, THE RAGE, IT BURNS.
Some Key Points To Remember:
Facebook, Google, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc. are not sources.
At the very least, always cite the true source
(even when sharing on Facebook),
but understand that even that may not be enough to legally protect you against
Do not remove the watermark or website off of an image you didn’t create.
Do not add your watermark or website to an image you didn’t create.
There are some people who are giant jerks about this kind of thing.
(No really, they are. I’ve had discussions with them, asked them to remove my content that they’ve shared w/my watermark removed and no credit to me and they tell me to “get the fuck over it” and that “everything on Google is free.”)
But I also know that most of the time, people genuinely don’t realize that by sharing that image they found on Google or Pinterest (which links to Google), they are harming content creators.
I get that not every like and share of my image or my friends’ images w/out credit back to us is a blatant lack of respect for us.
So that’s why I’m trying to start a discussion with you all, so we can all take more responsibility for our actions online when it comes to sharing other people’s content.
Because you know what? You can get in really big trouble. Like, lawsuit trouble. And no amount of ignorance is going to get you out of it.
I have a lot more sympathy for individuals who unknowingly share my content without credit, but Facebook pages? My temper is short with you.
You’ve seen these Facebook pages before. The images that they harvest from Google or Pinterest pop up in your newsfeed probably 10 times a day from a friend who “liked” it because it was funny, sweet, sad. These pages are gathering images from online searches without taking any time to source out the original page it showed up on, and using them to increase their Facebook page visibility.
I don’t have an issue with these Facebook pages. I have an issue with the way they are finding content to share, and the way they are sharing it. There are countless blogs they can follow, where they can get fresh, great content to share, and know exactly who to credit, but they choose to do quick searches on Google or Pinterest, instead.
I’m not just talking about FB pages that are for LOLz and warm and fuzzies. My images have been shared, sourced from Pinterest and Facebook with my watermark removed, no link to me, by MAJOR CORPORATIONS. They have paid editors and a legal team. THEY SHOULD KNOW BETTER.
A version of a popular Mommy Truth (contributed by Amber from Crappy Pictures) has been cropped to remove the credit to both of us and shared countless times (by some pretty big name brands, too). I’m talking thousands of shares I’ve tallied up on Facebook pages by now.
You like my Mommy Truth? GREAT! I’d love for you to share it! Please do! Just be sure to link back to either my blog or my Facebook page when you do. At the very least, I ask that you don’t crop out my website.
You found my Mommy Truth but didn’t know it was mine because the watermark was already cropped off when you found it? Well, who were you planning on citing for your source? I mean, you were planning on citing someone, right? And not Google, Pinterest or Facebook? Because if you found my image w/out my watermark and couldn’t tell who made it, then you shouldn’t share it.
Cool Google Trick:
Put the url of an image (found by right clicking on the image and copying the image address) into the Google Images search bar (google.com/images). It will bring up images that are like it. You have a pretty good chance of finding the original source that way.
“Oh, but Jill, I’m sure you’ve made mistakes!” you may be saying. To which I respond, “I’m positive I have.”
I’m working very hard to make sure I’m properly attributing everything on here and my Facebook page, going through my archives when I can for good measure. There are a lot of posts to go through, but I’m doing my best.
I get irritated when people share my work without crediting me, but the rage doesn’t set in until I contact them and ask them to fix it and they respond to me with messages like:
“LOL how else do you think all these pages get our content? It’s all over the internet and it’s free for us to use. ” <real response
I’m not expecting perfection, I’m just hoping we can all put forth a little effort to respect each other’s time and creativity.
There is so much more that can be said about this issue, but I’m not going to try. I’m not nearly as well-versed in this as these folks: