So I’ve been branching out on Instagram more lately – visiting other accounts, perusing my favorite hashtags, creeping my suggestions for new posts and people. And I’ve noticed something.
I stumbled on a picture in a new account. I got to looking at it, and thought, Wait. I just saw this picture this morning….on someone else’s account. Sure enough, the picture did not belong to that person. I was pissed. Which is stupid, because it wasn’t my picture. But still, that makes me so angry! How dare you take someone else’s content and make it your own? I don’t know about any of you, but I sometimes spend a half hour (or more) just trying to get the perfect angle for a shot. Trying to get the quality right. Then editing the picture to make sure it looks the best that it can. I would be absolutely furious if someone tried to take credit for that hard work.
Me being me, I had to comment. I tried to be straightforward, but not rude. I said something along the lines of “If you’re going to use someone else’s picture, you should probably give them credit for it…” They then came back to say that they had tagged that person, and I guess that person had given them permission. I kinda felt like an ass, but at the same time…put that shit in the description, man! To me, a tag does not equal credit. I don’t really pay attention to tags in pictures 99% of the time. If I read the description and there’s nothing that says “this picture taken by x” or “repost from x” then I assume the picture was taken by the person who posted it. I find it very shady to post someone else’s picture and not state in the description that it is their work. By not putting any credit in the description, it makes the picture look like it’s yours. This is not okay.
That being said, just because you say “not my picture” or something along those lines, still does not make it right. Saying it isn’t yours means nothing if you don’t credit the person who it does belong to.
I have seen SO many accounts do this. And when I look at those accounts and see “not my pic” every other photo, I start to wonder if any of their content actually belongs to them. And the worst part? Many of those accounts have hundreds, maybe even thousands of followers. What the hell? But they didn’t even work for that! This makes me so, SO angry.
When using someone else’s anything – ideas, photos, content – always, always be careful to CLEARLY credit that person for that work. And better yet? ASK that person before using it.
Sharing or posting someone else’s work without giving them credit is called stealing, people.