Stop Bullying or Stop Stealing?

stolen_not attributed Bullying Poster Series

This is an example of someone taking another person’s work & sharing it to great effect, without attributing it to the artist in any way. Notice it has 73k likes, BUT 223k shares. That is a ton of people to see & share or like a post, remarkable by any account. The comments (what few I saw) were rather childish in nature and I avoided them after that, poking fun at the idea, and should be expected on something that gets that many shares on Facebook, it just becomes a chance for people to clown the concept.

Want to see the whole series of posters? 

Ultimate Designs share album stop bullying series

Luckily Sachin Parekh had included his company Ultimate Design & his name, making it slightly easier to track down & attribute. Most people will not take that time to trace it back. No they are conditioned to just hit the share button & move on. On his post of the series (as you’ll see above) there are significantly lower amounts of sharing & likes occurred. It is precisely for this reason, that when asked by clients what they should do, it is always easy to recommend a clear url and also multiple shares of the same content (all leading back to your website) as a way of establishing you as the authority & source.

You can’t underestimate that someone else will pass off your content as a way of getting themselves more social currency in likes/shares, while erasing your hard work and creativity. It will happen every time. Why post it if you aren’t trying to in some way raise attention for your cause & your creativity? In fact searching for specific terms that should have brought up the creator didn’t, as illustrated in the screencap below. They brought up a highly shared Facebook post (which then led to the original post) but not the creator himself. When searched for his name there were more sites offered, but none had the posters featured on them. Behance, Twitter and a few others, but it seems in the week since he posted it (and only a few days since the stolen versions have been posted) it had been firmly established at making someone else more popular.

google search for key words

One must always be careful, and even thoughtful before one launches into a series like this. While I’m sure it was easy for the artist to think that this was just a simple project, and he used some best practices, he wasn’t ultimately prepared for something to be viral. So now all the attention that he as a creator, and a person who offers graphic design services, and even with the inclusion of “You can use this design with proper courtesy” seems it was overlooked by those that shared it. Not everyone knows or will use proper courtesy.

So again what would have made this piece more valuable both from a marketing standpoint & social media perspective would have been to shared it on a website you own, linking to it for all the social media shares, and also checking to see how & where it ends up is very important. Hopefully he can reach out to those people who have shared (with no attribution) and get them to link to his own post. That would be a start.

This is a standard enough problem that I see it all the time, both from novices and from the savvy. It is also easy enough to fix, but that has to be done before hand not after the fact. Also paying close attention to the analytics that come with it (on Facebook as is the only possibility in this case) is also good at finding out where & how people are finding your content. Then making it easier for them to do so, and removing any barriers there are to them contacting or hiring you directly from a piece of content like this. That should always be the goal for content creators, while being mindful that others will gladly usurp your work and share it as their own, thinking their “curation” is somehow the ultimate goal.

In this case with the guy who got hundreds of thousands of shares, it didn’t seem as if he was offering anything. He has a blue check & is a “Public Figure” supposedly an entrepreneur and columnist. Yet maybe that means he doesn’t have to attribute anything? That seems unlikely as most of his feed was filled up with ‘follow me on…” and others work which he then quickly passed off as his singular contribution. It is great that so many connected with it, but surely some small amount of the people there would have sought out this artist, and it is a shame that this is made even more difficult by unscrupulous sharing.

read the Update: One Month Later

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2 thoughts on “Stop Bullying or Stop Stealing?

  1. Hi, This is Sachin Parekh from Ultimate design. I really appreciate your Blog over my designs #stopBullying. You made so many observation and findings on the same. Really great post I have ever read.
    Kindly contact me on my personal account.

    Regards.
    Sachin Parekh
    Ultimate Designs

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