Monday, April 14, 2014

Credit Where It's Due

This is a rant. I will not apologize for it though I do hope that if you don't take a lesson from it you're at least mildly entertained for a time. If you don't like rants, running is acceptable.

Credit where it's due. It might seem simple and almost meaningless but this is something that is so important these days on the internet. Where information is travelling faster and faster attribution and credit are sometimes essential to people's livelihood.

Okay, sure those are just words. What am I actually pissed off about?

Stealing. Reposting. Claiming something cool and unique as your own original content when you stole it. When you know you stole it. When no attempt is made at all to find the original creator or source of the information you are peddling as yours.

This happens all the damn time on sites like Reddit, Imgur, Pinterest, Facebook, blogs, etc. I mean I can't think of anywhere this isn't happening. Now I'm not going to try and tackle a whole system. But it's something that as a blogger I always have in the back of my mind and would hope that others have too. If anything, I hope those who do create their own content can understand how terrible reposting without attributions can be. Repost away if you credit, but if you won't bother to say where you got it from then don't post about it.

If you see something cool on the internet give it the due credit. What sparked this was a picture that's been floating around since March 11th this year. A competent blogger had a host on her blog with a DIY Cookie basket idea.

Image source:
See how easy that was??

I don't know if this is an original idea, it was probably thought of by some lady in 1954 but the image was originally taken and posted on  (March 11th, 2014 post). The author was not Jillee but by a guest blogger from It' (Follow up April 7th, 2014 post). The author reposted the content and I started seeing it hit social media.

Pinterest exploded, Twitter tweeted and then it got to Facebook. Not ONCE in all the linking did I see an attribution to the original content on either of those blogs. No links, nothing. The Pinterest links went to a static image page.

When it hit my Facebook posted by a loving and wonderful family member, who was sharing Getting Healthy & Staying Healthy's Facebook image post, I thought 'THAT DOES IT!' and like all internet children I went to google images.
It took one search and the image was on the top line with a link to the original blog source.

Less than five seconds. It took less than five seconds to find the original poster. I commented on the Facebook post, crediting the content back because the original poster on Facebook never bothered too. In fact their post was reading like pure 'favourite me' propaganda that the internet is littered with these. Reposting for Up votes.

It's just one image. It's just a stupid DIY thing. It's not a big deal. 

IT IS A BIG DEAL. I have never had my content stolen (knock on wood) but that could be someone's livelihood. When it comes to those who are making it work on the 'net' it's not about the money, it's about the page views that could help fund their blogging experience. It's about the recognition that could lead to a freelance, part time or full time job for their skills.

Sharing has it's place and is essential in our digital world but does it hurt to take the time to say 'I saw this on this blog.' Not just 'Hey look at this cool idea' or even worse 'Aren't I brilliant for posting this?'

When you don't attribute you are allowing misconceptions to thrive that it is your original content. 
It is not your content. It is not your photography or DIY skills that found that.
It is not your cool unique and individual thought process that brought that to life.
You stole it, perhaps unwittingly, perhaps maliciously.

Take the goddamn five seconds to think and try to help someone out. They worked hard, they deserve at the very least the recognition for their hard work. Especially if you love their idea so damn much.

Now, deep breath, all is well I hope. If you made it through with me without offence thank you. If you are offended please let me know. I may not sympathize but hell, for conversations sake I'm not always right and I'm sure there are many sides to this, and many other issues.

As a final aside, I know that sometimes information comes without context. You see an image or had a text sent to you from a friend who heard it from some other person. If you don't know where it came from, have tried to attribute it, but still need to use the content state your intent to find the original content poster. If only for legal reason it will save you trouble down the road and if the original poster finds you using their information give them attribution. If they want it removed, remove it. But make the effort. You'll feel better, the internet will be a happier place and you'll have to hear me rant less.

What more could you want?

1 comment:

  1. Well said sweetie! I know I should have done more checking on Pinterest too for the original 'owner' of ideas, but sometimes you get dead ended! Thanks for the rant. It is always good to be reminded!