02 May When Someone Steals Your Content, This is How It Feels
(The final image of the project I’m referring to is above!)
Sooo, in the last 3 days, photos from my recent (dramatic) backyard transformation has been posted as memes to accounts with OVER 11 MILLION followers. Yes, I said 11 million. Woah. (And those are just the times I’ve actually found!) I found them because I had several friends start tagging me when they saw my images posted online, but I’m sure there are many other reposts that I haven’t seen yet. Here’s one below, can you spot my image?
AND almost all 8 million followers didn’t see my image(s) attributed to me. Ouch.
First off, HOW did this happen? Easy answer, I have no idea. The broader answer? It’s a project that has had wide reach since the get-go. It’s easily exploded as my most pinned project on Pinterest, my most liked photo on IG, my most viewed project on my blog, and my most viewed/best project I submitted as a The Home Depot collaboration. I don’t say that to brag, whatsoever, but just explain that it’s the first project I’ve done that people have actually really liked!
Many have said through the comments “what’s the big deal, there are meme’s all over the internet so who cares?” Or, “people use each others photos for meme’s all the time, get over it.” And to that, I say “Yes, that’s true, buuuut….”
…Meme’s are typically photos of celebrities, or funny dog photos, or awkward selfies, NOT projects that have had countless hours poured into them from someone who is trying to build their side-business of becoming an interior stylist/blogger/DIY-er.
And to have MILLIONS of views, re-posts, retweets, comments & likes without ANY attribution back to my account, honestly…just sucks. And I hate using that word b/c I really shouldn’t have a single thing to gripe about. I feel very blessed, so I feel bad complaining about something so small… It’s just that I put so much time into that project, I would have loved to receive exposure for the time, effort, sweat & tears of that backyard transformation.
What did I do about it? I asked my Instagram friends to ask the first account to tag me in the photo, or report it, but to no avail. It stayed on the account and I was never tagged in it. And then the copiers started up and it got into the hands of several Instagram and Twitter accounts with million+ followers. (Other than this account below, she eventually tagged me and felt really bad:)
So, the question moving forward is, what should I do from here on out? Is this just a really hard lesson to learn that stealing happens on the internet and you can’t prevent it? Or did I miss something I should have done? ANY ADVICE would be grateful!!!
(Okay, my vent is over, haha.)