Sharing is one of the best parts of the internet. Asking for permission before regramming or reposting someone else’s social media content is pretty basic etiquette. But not everyone thinks this way – they will take a piece of content and share it on their personal or business pages without thinking about who made it and why. Most of the time, they do this innocently enough – it’s the way many users see the internet.
It’s fine if you are okay with someone repurposing a photograph, blog, or piece of artwork you created – after all, it is your content! However, not everyone appreciates their hard work going overlooked. Here is how you should ask for credit when someone does repurpose your content on social media!
Start By Staying Calm
Going viral can boost the profile of anyone and help them grow an internet following. Many creative types make content for people to share it widely, but they do not create this content so that other people can take credit for it. Legally, this is also a bad idea: posting someone’s image without their permission could be a breach of their copyright.
If you see an account regramming your content against your wishes or taking an entire post from your blog and sharing it as their own, don’t let your anger take over. While you may have a legal claim, there is a good chance the person or account did it out of ignorance at best. Even so, do not let this discourage you from reaching out – remember to have a cool head.
Politely Ask For Credit
You don’t have to overthink the situation: it’s your content, so politely ask for credit! Make it easy for the account to give it to you by including your handle and the link back to the original location of the content. This can double as a great way to earn backlinks, which can boost your SEO score!
There’s also a moral dimension to someone repurposing your content on social media: your work is how you support yourself. It doesn’t have to be paintings or high-end photography – any original photos, videos, and blog content make your website or social media uniquely yours. When reaching out, be clear and firm that your work is crucial to your livelihood, and that credit on social media is very important to you.
As we said, you don’t have to overthink your response. If you’re looking for credit rather than for them to remove the post, your request could be as simple as:
“Hello! I saw that you shared my content on your account without express permission or credit. Do you mind crediting me for this post? I’m a photographer who makes a living through my work, and receiving credit for it is very important for my business. My handle is @Artist, and if you could include this link, that would be great. Thanks!”
What If The Account Doesn’t Respond?
Your reaching out is a chance for the other account to make things right privately. In most cases, the person running the account will respond within a week and either credit you or remove the content. But if you don’t hear back, the popular social media platforms make it easy for you to report them.
On Instagram, click the three-dot button at the top right of the post. The first option on the menu is Report, and this will bring up a small form for you to submit. Facebook also has a contact form you can fill out to report a Violation or Infringement of Your Rights.
Add Watermarks To Your Photos And Videos
There is another way to receive credit for your content: place watermarks in the corner of every photo and video. It’s not a foolproof method – anyone desperate enough to pass content off as their own will find ways to do so – but it is a way to keep accounts repurposing any content honest. Put the watermark in the corner so that it does not affect the view for your audience!
Sharing Isn’t Always Caring: Be Ethical, Too!
You might see the success of accounts that repurpose the content of others and try it for yourself. Many big Instagram accounts spent the social media boom screenshotting other people’s jokes with the author’s handle cropped out. Recently, a lot of these accounts have faced an online reckoning for their behaviour, so if you’re a small business looking to improve their social media following, give credit to any account whose content you repurpose.
Make sure to respect artists who reach out and ask you not to use their content, too. It definitely won’t help your reputation if you’re known as a content thief!