As influencers grow their audiences and photographers showcase their talents on Instagram, stolen pictures are growing at an increasing rate. Just like a company defending a patent, brand managers, and those managing their personal brands, need to defend their own intellectual property from being stolen and copycats.
Reporting stolen photos on Instagram
I’m flattered someone stole my photo, but no, it’s not yours, we didn’t agree to anything, and more importantly, you didn’t pay for it.
A previous client added a picture to her Instagram story last night calling out an influential Instagram account that simply steals pictures from prominent outdoor photographers and influencers and then posts them as their own.
As she found out, reporting the account or reporting the picture as SPAM doesn’t actually remove the picture, and since the account is not behaving as SPAM, flagging it probably won’t do anything to shut them down.
What you need to do is file an Intellectual Property Theft claim with Instagram. I’ve had to do this several times myself recently.
Getting to this form is pretty tedious and unless you know where to look; I’m not sure how anyone would ever find it. And why Instagram doesn’t make this feature as easy as “reporting an account as Spam,” I have no idea.
The form is extremely self explanatory and easy to fill out. You just need to provide some contact information, a link to the stolen picture, and a link to your original picture.
Once you click “continue with report on the bottom,” the form will expand and you fill in the rest of the necessary information.
The Account Stealing Pictures
As for the unethical account in question, I hate to give them any traffic or free publicity, but if you’re an outdoor photographer or influencer in the outdoor space, you might want to take a look and make sure none of your pictures are on there.
Until there’s a way to easily report stolen pictures or report an entire account like this one (which there’s not), this problem won’t go away. All you can do is defend your brand or the brand you represent.
Once again, the form to remove your stolen picture on Instagram is here:
I found myself getting stressed out by seeing things I didn’t want to see on my Facebook timeline for a myriad of reasons. That statement alone is pretty sad if you think about it (Getting stressed out by Facebook? Do I not have a life??), but rather than doing a deep psychological dive, I’ll just tell you about the two things I do on a regular basis to avoid getting stressed out over a ridiculous thing like Facebook.
Unfollow but don’t Unfriend
Getting annoyed with the same person complaining about their relationship problems? Do you know more about others’ kids than your own? Sick and tired of seeing someone constantly posting about living in a van? But at the same time, terrified they might get mad at you if they found out you unfriended them? There’s a solution. Just unfollow them.
On Your Computer
As you’re scrolling by the post you don’t like in your timeline, click on the upper right-hand arrow. Then Unfollow XXX.
Go to the person’s profile that you’re going to unfollow. To the right of their profile picture (but still on their cover photo) is a button that says Following. Click it.
A drop-down box appears. Click on Unfollow.
On Your Mobile App
Same deal as on your computer. As you scroll past, click the arrow in the upper right-hand of the post and then tap Unfollow XXX.
Go to the person’s profile. Under their profile picture, you’ll see Friend, Following, Activity Log, and More.
Tap on Following. Tap on Unfollow.
Turn Off Notifications
I follow a lot of social media celebrities. That means if I leave one comment, I’m going to be bombarded with notifications by the next 32 people that comment. Likewise, if I just want to be sarcastic on someone’s mundane Going to the Grocery Store status, I don’t want to be notified about the 3 people that actually care and reply with, “Me too!” Sometimes I’ll leave a comment and immediately turn off notifications because I know nothing good will come after my masterpiece has been left. It’s the equivalent of leaving a flaming bag of dog poop on someone’s doorstep and running away.
On Your Computer
Leave your flaming pile of poop from your timeline, and then immediately turn off notifications. Go back up to that friendly drop down menu in the right-hand corner. Click it; then click Turn off notifications for this post.
If you forget to turn them off right away, or if you intentionally left them on but then the comments get dumb, you can also go directly to that post from your notification center and follow the same steps.
On Your Mobile App
Same story. You can turn off notifications directly from the timeline or go back after you get a few notifications. Same arrow on the post but an ever so slightly different looking dropdown menu. Either way, tap Turn off notifications for this post.
Now with those things out of the way, you can find something else to be mad about. Like red Starbucks cups.