Yesterday I found out yet again that my content was being used without my knowledge or permission by a company with nearly 1 million followers on twitter, half a million on Facebook and not to mention their other social media pages. They took a collage I had assembled with images I had received from a press release and they just bluntly copied the title and the intro of my blogpost and posted it on their site to promote their beauty section. The worst part: my site wasn't linked, meaning I missed out on possibly thousands of potential new readers.

Somehow the internet has become a place where everything is handled just like 'take as you please' or 'as long as you give credit', where it's okay to download and distribute someone else's work and you know what .. why not even claim it's yours?! It's making me sick to my stomach to see my hard work blatantly being abused right and left. I cannot imagine what it must be when you're a blogger with a much greater audience. Yes, my images can be used under certain conditions (not anymore) but no matter how many rules I make or how many times I perfect my terms, I'm still being treated like a bag of dirt. Online respect is far to be seen these days. Often times when my images are being used I am given credit but my name is not tagged, so people can't find my profile/content. Often times I am tagged but at the very bottom of the post, where no one will be even bothered to look, so who's going to see the image is actually mine? I'm sorry, but taking something without asking and then simply giving credit is not enough anymore. Not when it's done having no respect for the owner and the effort that went into making that content. I've been taken advantage of way too many times, and I'm so over it. It's incredible how some companies, successful companies, just hope you won't find out they're using your stuff and even if you do, already know you won't fine them cause you're poor and they can crush you like the little miserable ant you are. Or they just employ the absolute dumbest social media people on the planet. Do I want my images to be circling around the net so I can gain a following? Yes, but not like this. I work enough for free as it is and this is not okay. I see my images being used to make a profit while the only thing I can do is ask to take them down.

I often rant about this on my instagram stories, mostly because I find my content on Instagram pages where it doesn't belong, but when I found out about this I was very upset and hurt. I know this won't be the last time but in my heart I just always hope that people will do better and instead it just goes from bad to worse. For example, I'm very hesitant to tag brands nowadays when I share my content. I've noticed many social media managers take that as an 'ok' sign to, in some way, use the image that is attached. Some hashtags online also have terms and conditions connected to them (which I didn't even know was possible, the hashtag YESmaybelline is a great example). Some companies claim that whoever uses 'their' hashtag gives permission for the image to, almost, become royalty free. I just can't believe how everything is just always turned and twisted into something it is not. I understand brands need to protect themselves, but asking a blogger to give up the rights of their own image? I think it has gone too far. Everything will be on my terms now and on my terms only.

PS: I don't know the company and they don't know me. I've never tagged or used their name anywhere. I issued a take down notice and the content is gone. When I write posts like this I prefer not to mention the company, it eyes unprofessional from my part even though they're clearly in the wrong. Thank you for understanding. And for those asking: I found out my content was being misused simply by googling my content/name and installing google alerts.