So today on the blog, let’s discuss something that we are almost always uncomfortable to talk about – SOCIAL MEDIA COPYCATS. What are they? What do they do? What is the impact of them to you and your account?
Socmed copycats are different from digital thieves (although they could be at some point) who just steal your photos and post it as their own. Copycats are people who basically, well “copy” most of your images or everything else you do on social media. They do this by remaking the almost exact same version of the photos you took, repeating your captions, etc. You may be tagged as such if almost ALL your photos are remakes of someone else’s – most often that not, of only one person. This is something that I personally encounter, but is also something that I am most often silent about.
Why? I do not want to appear to be too full of myself – for all I know we really just thought the same concepts - that this may be purely coincidental. Other times, some kind people are honest enough to let me know that they will try to recreate (or tried to) my photos and I am TOTALLY fine with that, most especially if they give me credits.
Now when does it start to get uncomfortable for me? or for some of us?
First, when a certain account post 'consistently' of photos that are blatant copies of mine. It will be obvious believe me. Now, don't get me wrong, I know that when I post photos online, I basically give people some kind of right to recreate these photos because they were inspired by it and AGAIN i'm fine with that. But when I see you and practically all your photos are like photocopies of mine, well that's a different story. I'm flattered in a way but dear, I'd like to see you have some spine sometimes.
Second, when even my WORDS are word per word, copied. Like come on dude - I spent undocumented amount of minutes or hours composing that caption, or bio, or en excerpt from my blog post and you just went ahead and copied (should I thank you that you twicked it a bit?) almost everything. I felt robbed. lol.
Third, when I feel like seeing your posts makes me feel stalked. This is completely subjective as this is a personal feeling but when I posted something and then a minute or a day after you posted the exact same favorite bla bla bla - well, tell me honestly: are you my alter ego? Hmmm.
Am I a Social Media Copycat?
After reading this post, you might begin to wonder if you are a copycat yourself. Because admit it or not, when we see a ridiculously good photo we WANT to recreate it at some point. Now. you'd know that yourself so you don't need to get reassurance from anybody else. If your photos are almost all thought about by YOU and ideas for your posts are a combination of a lot of your inspirations then you don't need to feel guilty about being one. Although this may be considered as intellectual property - as I said, when we post photos ONLINE for everyone to see - we give our followers some kind of right for them to recreate these images, but there are limitations - there always are.
How to avoid being seen as a Copycat?
Do not copy LITERALLY everything. lol that's it, we're done here 😀 but seriously, if you REALLY like someone's photo and you want to try and do it yourself, at least give a bit of yourself in it and not ultimately copy the other's image. And PLEASE - at least come up with a caption of your own.
Give credits to your inspiration. It's not hard and it is the proper way to do. By doing so you are not only respecting their ideas that they put into the world, you also give the person a chance to make their reach and/or audience grow. Do not go on posting a photo that was obviously inspired by someone and act like it's nothing - that's so annoying.
Have lots of inspiration and experiment with these combinations. Some people are unhealthy-ly obsessed with just one account and that will probably not turn out good for them. I go to Pinterest for ideas - lots of them, and then try to recreate photos that I can confidently call a result of my own experimentation. We all go through phases where we lack inspiration and it's totally okay to look for it elsewhere. Just don't overdo it 🙂
Be your own you. You created this account out of your own volition, I'd like to think no one FORCED you to do so. Well then, be creative with your ideas. Do not be afraid to put it out there. Don't think that reception won't be as good - do NOT focused just yet on getting likes on your photos. Likes and audience will come to you eventually once you've shown people YOUR style and not the second rate image you were trying to do.
What to do if you are a victim of copycats?
There is nothing more appropriate to do than to confront the person in a professional manner. One or two or occasional recreated photos is fine but if almost everything about them is eerily familiar then babe, it's time to drop the bomb 😀 You may go and try to message the person to at least moderate their intense gustó on your pictures, lol.
If you've done this and the copying continues (or worse, intensifies) then block them. Let's face it, some of these people will never say they intentionally Xerox your ideas and still go on with their deeds, then might as well block and forget they even existed.
Aaaand that's all there is in this topic that I can say for today. Let me know if this is something you have first-hand experience with and what did you do? I'd love to hear what you got to say! 🙂
Till next post <3