It is good to share, especially on social media, but there are ways to do it properly. We have seen an increase in Social Media content that could be breaking the law or propagating scams.
During the last couple of weeks, we have seen the same photo shared on Social Media by different people. Rather than sharing the original post, people have copied the photo and created their own post, implying that they took the picture.
This way of posting happens all the time on Facebook, but to see this done on LinkedIn was quite surprising. Although I have seen a few posts on LinkedIn recently where people have suggested that their original content has been “borrowed”
Using someone else’s photo or text like this is wrong in so many ways but primarily because it breaches copyright law.
Although we used the euphemism borrowing in the last paragraph - it is stealing. It has happened to us a couple of times. Most notably when one of our photos was used on an A board. We called it out for what it was in the subsequent blog, Who Nicked our Photo.
While having your content used this way is flattering because it shows people like it and have responded, it is also infuriating for the person who created the original post.
Someone will have taken time to create a post designed to get good engagement and a response.
If the post is copied and not shared, the original
- will not get the reactions, comments and shares that should be credited to it.
- They may lose out on business because people have no idea who originally posted it
- Not get the kudos of a post that went viral
There is a further reason not to copy and paste other people’s posts and that is to do with potentially assisting scammers and propagating Fake News.
In the last few weeks there have been many images and posts related to Covid 19 shared. While many people sharing these are doing it with the best intentions much of it has turned out to be misleading and at times dangerous.
Over the last few weeks, I have seen one particular post copied and pasted as an original by many people advising about a scam involving the Government Track and Trace system. A bit of detective work indicates that this is a real scam, but in many cases, these sorts of posts turn out to be scams of their own.
Our advice, whether you are posting to a personal account or for your business, is to share the original post. If you can’t be certain where the content comes from don’t post it.