I would like to address an issue that most of us bloggers deal with. Having our photos stolen and improperly used. This is a huge issue among bloggers lately. Most of it is due to ignorance, laziness, or people just not caring. So I want to contribute to the cause and EDUCATE people on how to properly share a recipe or photo from a blog. I can almost hear my fellow bloggers saying “AMEN!”
I was once a new blogger myself. I remember posting a recipe to my blog, along with the instructions and my own photos. I later received a strongly worded e-mail from the originator of the recipe about me not giving her credit. At the time, I didn’t know what I was doing was incorrect, but I certainly started giving credit afterward! We all start somewhere, and we all make mistakes. The important part is righting our wrongs and changing our ways. Today I am taking a stand, and making my own efforts at educating people on how to give proper credit where credit is due.
Now, of course you must know, there’s a story behind this. In August I made a post about my camouflage cupcakes, along with step by step pictures on how to do it. I pinned it to Pinterest, posted it to Reddit, and before I knew it, it was huge. I’ve see my Camo cupcakes pinned all over pinterest! I love coming across one of my blog posts. Whenever someone links to my post, WordPress gives me a little notice that someone linked to it, and I can go check out their page. Unfortunately, when someone posts my photos, but no link back, I have no clue that they’ve done it. But thanks to some of my lovely followers, it was brought to my attention. Twice this week, I had someone e-mail me about my photo being shared with no link back, no mention of my name, nothing.
One was posted to the Duck Dynasty Facebook page. The person (who I will leave unnamed) posted my photo, along with pasting my entire blog post underneath. Plagiarism at it’s finest. I brushed it off, thinking it was just a little mistake, a case of someone not knowing how to properly share things. But then I saw that it had been shared nearly 34,000 times! Are you kidding me?! If she would have only posted the link to my page, rather than my photo, those 34,000 hits would have been to my page. Ouch.
But I understand, people don’t always understand proper etiquette for sharing.
The other incident was much less forgiving. A person (I will also leave her unnamed, but a large part of me wants to post a link straight to her page so she can receive all the anger I’m feeling right now!) took my photos, saved them to her computer, made a fancy little collage out of them, and then slapped her watermark on it. She then posted the edited photo, along with an exact copy of my recipe and instructions, to her facebook page. One of my valued readers brought it to my attention today. I messaged her, and informed her (in a rather strongly worded fashion, channeling my inner Bree VanDeKamp) that it is NOT okay to take someone’s photos and put your mark on them. I kindly asked her to remove them from her page. She replied in the most dramatic way, saying I was attacking her, it was an honest mistake, and then refusing to take them down and saying “she just doesn’t care”. REALLY?? I can understand making the mistake, I can understand feeling bad about it, but to then refuse to take it down? To not change your ways afterward? THIS IS NOT OKAY. And the sad thing, is that this is happening far too often! Not just with my photos, but tons of photos all over the place! So I will attempt to inform my dear readers, how to properly give credit, and what NOT to do.
What to do:
-If you are making someone else’s recipe, you state where you got it, and post a direct link to the recipe. To get the direct link, go to the post you want, right click on the title of the post, and select “copy link location”. Paste it somewhere in your post. It’s always polite to call the blog by name, but it’s also acceptable to just add the link to the original source.
-If you are making a craft or recipe from another blog, please, post your own photos, along with the recipe and instructions, and a link to where you found it. It’s great to share your own individual experience with the recipe, and note what changes you made or what you’d like to do different.
-If you are NOT making the recipe (or craft), but just want to share it, there are a couple options.
-If you’re sharing it in a blog post, you can post a photo from the original blog, along with a link on where to find the recipe. Please, do not post the photo, along with the recipe and directions. Because then people will come to your blog to get something that isn’t yours, and they have no reason to continue on to the original post. It also gives the impression that it is your own work, and you are sharing it with a LOT of people. Please, just point them in the direction of the original blog. Blog hits are a very important thing to some bloggers! Especially those who are making money off blogging.
-If you are sharing on Facebook or Twitter, post a link to the blog post (right click on the title of the post, and select “copy link location”). This will post a thumbnail of what they’re about to click on, along with the first few words of the post.
-When sharing a link to a specific post, make sure you’re actually in the blog post, not just the blog’s main page. If you share the main page, and someone comes to see the specific post that you thought you linked to, it will be buried under days, weeks, or months of other posts.
-No matter what you’re doing, or who you’re sharing it with, if you’re ever in doubt, post a link to the original post, along with the name of the blog. Trust me, bloggers REALLY appreciate it!
What NOT to do:
-Please, do not take a photo from someone else’s blog and repost without a link.
-Do not take a photo from a blog and post it along with the recipe. People will come to your blog and find the recipe, and they really have no reason to visit the original source after that. If you make the recipe or craft that you’re sharing, post your own photos, along with directions in your own words, sharing your specific experience with that particular craft or recipe. But please also include a link back to the original!
-Do NOT add your watermark to someone else’s photo. It doesn’t matter if you made a pretty little collage from their photos, they are NOT your photos. You have no claim to them, and you have no right to have your name tied to them.
-If you make a recipe or craft, and are inspired by someone else’s work, it’s always polite to link back to the original. It doesn’t matter if you made a few changes to it, it’s common courtesy! Please do not take someone else’s recipe and claim it for your own, especially when it is a unique recipe that you don’t see everywhere.
Bloggers and fellow Internet goers, please, learn from your mistakes! Make the extra effort to give credit to the people who are making these recipes, taking these photos, and sharing their craftiness. I cannot count the amount of times that I have clicked on a pin on Pinterest, only to have it take me to Tumbler or some other website, where there is NO source for the picture. It is maddening, I tell you! Do us all a favor and give credit where credit is due!
With all that said, I’m sure I’ve got plenty of mistakes in the past of my blog. I don’t have the time to go back through every post and track down who inspired it. I do try to give credit with every post, or at least link back to specific recipes. I’m only human, just like all the rest of you, and I’m sure there are times where I completely space out and forget to link back. Though when it is brought to my attention, I’m always happy to fix it.
Edit: I just wanted to add after a few comments I received, that you don’t need to worry about any of this if you stick to Pinterest! Pinterest is designed to take you to the original source, so when you pin or re-pin something on Pinterest, there’s no need to link back or to name the blog. Lots of blogs actually have it autofill the pin description with the post’s title and their blog name.