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June 27, 2018

What Would You Do: When Other Accounts Steal Your Work

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Advice On What To Do When Other Accounts Steal Your Work

Nothing ruins a daily Instagram scroll quite like spotting your own work posted (and uncredited!) by another account. Is flagging the post enough? Should you call the account out? Or do you need to take it a step further and contact Instagram directly? One stylist who recently discovered her work was being stolen wants to know what her best course of action is, so we reached out to the BTC community for their advice. Keep reading to see what they had to say!


“I have recently discovered other Instagram accounts displaying my work as their own! UGH! Has this happened to anyone else? Why would another stylist do this? I have messaged them and they haven’t replied. Should I contact Instagram? Do they reply?”


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Report Them, Simple As That


“Report them and then post on your Instagram or Facebook about it with the name of the account that is using your pictures. Just let everyone know that it’s happening. That’s what I would do.” – @_beth_meth_


“There’s a woman in my area that advertises doing hair out of her home, but she steals the pictures from behindthechair.com and posts them as her own work! I would definitely report her!” – @sara_marinara_


“Ugh I’m so sorry. This happened to me too! I commented in the comment section politely at first, then she said sorry, that she should have credited the pic and that she was using stock photos she found on Pinterest (Ummm no. She was a follower of mine.). Then, she deleted both of our comments and kept the photo up, so I commented again. She DM’d me and said I was being unreasonable and rude for calling her out and that she would take the picture down in hopes that ‘My huge Instagram following doesn’t get their feelings hurt and you’re welcome for the exposure.’ No honey, exposure is something you get when it’s credited. Not when it’s stolen. Report the person and think of it this way—your work is so good, someone wishes it was theirs.” – @beautybyjeannie


“A guy from India stole my work and put his number on top of my name lol. I just happened to look on his page and saw my work. I couldn’t stop laughing. It’s on my page and then he blocked me when I messaged him.” – @blessed_hands28


“The only way you can stop them is to put their name on full blast. Why are you protecting a thief? Be nice for what? Put that name out there and other thieves will think twice.” – @make._.lemonade


“No one should be stealing work and claiming it as their own! Report the photos or demand credits.” – @manepainters


“There’s a girl in my town who steals pictures from Instagram (you can still see the screenshot) then turns around and uses the images as advertisement for her shop! It’s very annoying and honestly I’d love to see someone call her out. It’s just so insulting to the original artist. If you execute quality work then you shouldn’t have any problem sharing your own stuff. That is plain stealing credit. That’s not what this industry is about.” – @dapperbycaitlin


“I had a similar circumstance happen when I was getting married and looking for a makeup artist. The artist I was looking to hire had stolen someone else’s work. I only found this out by reverse image searching. At the time it was on Facebook, so I messaged them and they removed the person. Please, please, please go and report them, especially if they’re claiming it’s their work and they have clients who believe them!” – @_heathroberts_


“Report the pictures and have other people report the pics so they can take it down. If they keep doing it, report the account and Instagram will take them down. If they do that, then they don’t deserve to have an Instagram that promotes false advertisement.” – @hair_by_elliot



Contact Them Directly/Get Help From Instagram


“Yuck! I hate that! I would definitely reach out to the person and ask that the take it down. If they don’t, I would then take further measures.” – @joiewallacehair


“This happened to me. I contacted Instagram and they removed the pic from another Instagram account. You have to report the image and then follow the instructions. They ask for you to send the link from the fake poster as well as the original link from your post.” – @brunosodre


“I would definitely contact Instagram and try flagging the photo. So uncool.” – @jegabrelcik


“This happened to me on Facebook and it turned into a big ordeal because the user used a different name and Facebook claimed they didn’t steal identity. But it’s called FACEbook, not NAMEbook.” – @azbalayageugh


“This happened to me! The stylist took their own photos after cutting the guest’s hair but promoted my color instead of her haircut…I found my work with the hashtags #fantasycolor #colorspecialist on not only the stylist’s page, but the shop’s page as well as our school’s page. The school and the shop removed the photos immediately. The stylist, however, had a terrible attitude and took her time. I suggest privately messaging them and always remain professional.” – @sorlando_hairdesigns


“Contact Instagram! That is wrong. I believe you should never post someone else’s work unless you give them the credit. That’s respect. There’s a difference in being inspired and stealing someone’s work. I’m sorry that happened to you! That would be very frustrating and almost violating.” – @spalonkrystal


“It happened to me on Facebook and the girl had the nerve to use it in a paid advertisement. So I started private messaging her to take it down. She refused and argued with me, so every time I saw the ad both my dad and I would comment with my name and salon info. From here on out, I watermark everything!” – @breannepilkey


Who Cares? Take It As A Compliment


“This JUST happened to me. Someone used my color client for a bond builder sponsored post (which is for color) but they did a style, which makes no sense because they did NOT do the color. And no credit was given to me! I really don’t know what to do actually, maybe just let it go because people know? And they can’t ever be you.” – @maggiemh


“Newsflash! Instagram doesn’t care. I had people with duplicate pages stealing my work, I reported them almost a year ago and nothing has been done. I just live with it.” – @tali_missunderstood85


“What matters is what we do every time with every client. In today’s world, who cares about one in a million pictures?” – @silvanadno


“It means they love your work. They have done it with my work, too. I take it as a form of admiration. Be proud and move on! Your authenticity will always pay off.” – @houseofgb


“It’s okay! At the end of the day, if they can’t create good hair in real life, using your photos won’t do them any good (as long as they are not affecting you personally or your clientele). But yes, it’s better to use a watermark.” – @mrsjajajones


“We’ve had accounts steal our business name—which I named after my husband—and we’ve had them decorate their salons like ours. Odd. It’s okay though, they aren’t you and don’t have the magic your hands and spirit have. The truth is the universe always sees everything. You must decide if it is worth your time and energy.” – @shirlurgrl


“Do you know this person? Or is it random? If you know this person, just confront them. And if you don’t, who cares? What are the chances you’re going to run across the same clientele? The problem for them is they have to try to recreate a picture that they falsely posted and chances are they can’t, which is why they’re posting someone else’s work in the first place. If they posted a face, have your client send them a private message asking why they have their picture posted.” – @oohlalahairaz


“Let it be. It sounds like you’re doing something right. Up your game, it’s not like they can recreate what you created anyway.” – @bobbythomaswarden


“Well one thing’s for sure—if a client books because of it they’ll be surprised when the outcome isn’t up to the photo’s standard…Don’t sweat the small stuff. Everything changes rapidly in the world anyway! Consider it a compliment and thank them for the admiration in the comments.” – @hair_tripper



Be Proactive


“I beyond strongly disagree with everyone saying to take this as a compliment. Your work was stolen and you should be outraged. You can absolutely contact Instagram. You can report the image and there is an option that says, ‘This is stealing my intellectual property.’ We have this thing called DMCA and it protects your rights to intellectual property i.e. an image you created on the internet. Facebook is really fast about handling DMCA violations so I’m sure Instagram will be fast, too. I haven’t had hair pics stolen but I’ve had my photography stolen and they handled it in less than 24 hours. Also, even if it was a ‘repost page’ they aren’t supposed to repost your work without your consent.” – @guava_goddess


“Unfortunately Instagram doesn’t have a real ‘help’ or ‘support’ team. There is no number to call or anything like that, which means unless the account stealing your work is considered spam nothing will really happen. I’ve seen this happen to so many talented people. The best way to combat this is to post the account in your stories and let everyone know that: 1. That account is not you and, while it is your work, it’s stolen. And 2. Plagiarism is wrong. Make an example not of the person behind the account but about plagiarism. Make it a learning experience for everyone that follows you. The account stealing your work will learn something as well.” – @lindseyellenbeauty


“Just block them so they don’t see your work anymore and start to put a watermark on all your work.” – @jackmartincolorist


“Start branding your photos! Honestly it is flattering but also enraging because that is your hard work, not theirs. You’ve got to feel bad for their clients who think they’re getting a service with your level of experience but are actually getting someone who has to steal others work.” – @hairbyathenamarie


“I personally wrote in the comments on the picture of my stolen work so everyone could see it. In a ‘somewhat nice but stern matter,” I said if they post other’s work, it would be appreciated if they gave a shoutout to the stylist who did it. Then, I told them that it was my work. They took it down in 2.5 seconds and then I blocked her so it wouldn’t happen again to me!” – @jessicascotthair


“You should go to a lawyer and denounce the violation of your pictures.” – @____chiarag


“You could screenshot that account and post it to the public to let your followers know they are being dishonest and stealing your work.” – @hannahalger95


“Watermark your images and report the accounts that are using them. That’s all you need to do. And get your followers to report them, too! Instagram will eventually review it and either block them off Instagram or block them from sharing anything. Lesson learned for them!” – @sophia_aafreen


“That’s happened to me before. I commented on the post and let them know it was fine if they wanted to share my work, but they should properly credit me for it. The post was gone within minutes. You might not be able to stop them but just make sure you comment that it’s yours and hopefully they’ll remove it. In the meantime, start putting watermarks on your pictures—preferably somewhere it can’t be cropped out.” – @kristendana_


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