How to Correctly Credit Content Creators

NOTE: This is NOT a post where I’m complaining about people copying a tweet of mine - I’m over that. This is about a MUCH LARGER PROBLEM on social media where people - especially thought leaders and influencers with large followings - are continually sharing the thoughts, ideas, quotes, artwork - the literal I-Spent-Time-Coming-Up-With-And-Creating-This-WORK - of others WITHOUT giving them credit or attribution.

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Here’s how to credit content creators correctly:

  • You should always credit content creators when sharing their work online. No, Google, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and “Source Unknown” are not sources.

  • If you can not figure out where the content came from, do NOT share it - it’s not yours. Also, just because other people shared it without attribution doesn’t mean YOU have permission to share it without attribution.

  • Check your motive for sharing - sharing because you think it’ll get you lots of likes and comments isn’t a good enough reason. When you do that, you’re profiting off of someone else’s creativity - STOP PROFITING OFF OF THE WORK OF OTHERS!

  • Asking permission before sharing is the easiest way to CYA online.
    Sharing directly from the source (by sharing with the airplane on Instagram or retweeting on Twitter, etc.) is always preferred.

  • Screenshotting and resharing or quoting is fine if you MUST; but, it’s NOT THE BEST way to share content because it breaks the content source trail.

  • Don’t edit, reformat, recolor, or change content you’re sharing - it’s not yours - leave it as is.

  • Don’t remove attribution and do NOT add your name, branding, or username as the source of content you didn’t create (even if you don’t know the source).

  • Always credit the source conspicuously - that means you mention them in the caption of the post above the fold (before any “...more” or “Read More” in the caption).

  • If you mess up and you get caught - own it, apologize, don’t make excuses, and make it right. If that means you have to delete your post and reshare with proper attribution - do it!

Thanks for reading y’all. Let’s support our fellow creatives and help each other out!!

Oh, and if you enjoyed reading this, make sure to Pin it on Pinterest and see what else I have to say on my Instagram!

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Tyler McCall