The digital age where social media has become a huge part of our generation, the opportunity curve is going through the roof for the guy/girl next door becoming famous overnight over an uploaded video, tweet or instagram post.
My Facebook feed had this one article that was being shared over and over again by different people and even made it to a few of my whatsapp group conversations. A YouTuber becomes famous and some of the videos have a word for word resemblance with another YouTubers videos. Some viewers feel cheated and have shown their outrage via YouTube comments, twitter and other social platforms. Everyone has their opinion on whether this is unethical or not. If you ask me, before judging someone online for copying another persons content and resorting to cyber bullying take these points into consideration:
- If you believe someone has done something unethical, being unethical back (ex. cyber bulling) does not make things right
- The person copying others online content may not be aware that this is even wrong (or not allowed) and may not know that they should be giving any kind of credit to the person they were inspired by or copying (if that’s the case)
- Person may have seen creating the copy of the video as their own variation of it
You can learn from making mistakes and either correct or continue to do the same and ignore all negative feedback from your fans and only take the good. Although if you ask me, any kind of criticism, especially bad, can be really good for you if you take it with a grain of salt and use it to build your online image into something even better. After all, if you win all of your fans hearts, it only feeds into your popularity even more. It can even be inspiring to other content makers and they may even follow suit.
Here are some guidelines to follow when sharing or creating content on social media platforms:
On Twitter when you share someone’s tweet it’s called a Re-Tweet. Click on the Re-Tweet button under the Tweet.
You can also start a new tweet and start the copied tweet with ‘RT’ which is short form for Re-Tweet. When you tweet this way don’t forget to also add the person’s Twitter name. Should look something like this:
This is a great way to give the other person credit on Twitter and also you’re engaging with the user. That user might even appreciate you giving them credit and mentioning them in the tweet that they may even Re-Tweet your tweet. Especially if you added your own comments to the tweet.
We are able to easily ‘share’ a post on Facebook by clicking on the share button. When you share a post, viewers of the post can see where that post derived from. (Facebook page, Facebook user, outside Facebook source)
There are a lot of ways you can give credit to Instagram users you’ve either been inspired by or just want to copy the exact image and post it on your account.
- Download a reposting instagram app (Ex. App called Repost for Instagram on Androids) Apps like this will automatically add a side bar with the repost symbol along with the original content creators name.
- You can tag the person in the image before posting when in edit mode
- You can also mention the original image post-er in the edit mode: #regram @piperlime
Vine has a one button share option or just like Instagram you can use a hashtag like #revine.
This microblogging platform and social networking website also allows you to press a button to share or use hashtag #reblog.
On YouTube it’s a bit more tricky because there are no share buttons and most YouTubers videos are not their own original content. YouTube doesn’t have the processes in place like other social platforms to encourage users to give credit. It’s kind of like a free for all. Built up of so many videos that tell the same story by different people/characters. It’s evident in beauty channels with similar looks being created by different beauty experts, comedians with the same punch lines, tutorials teaching the same technique and more. It really comes down to the YouTuber. Do you want to give credit to the content that was created by another that inspired you to re-create? Or would you rather just create the video and put it out there because it’s different enough that you’re in it? How about the fact that the video you created is different in your eyes because you had a different approach, a slight change in the story, different technique…innovative?
Plagiarism is the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own.
With a platform that doesn’t give you the option to tag, share or promote to give shout outs to those who inspired you to create your content, it’s no wonder why there are so many copy cats. Not everyone has come to accept YouTube for what it is. Some viewers demand and criticize YouTubers to admit or share who they copied or were inspired by. However you will rarely read or see a YouTuber mention where they got their content from or who they were inspired by. Everyone wants to be an original, some with little to no effort. To each their own.