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Can Your Social Media Post Get You in Sh*t?

  • July 18, 2017
You’ve seen it before. As you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed, double-clicking away on those mouth-watering meals your foodie friends are posting, you see it. It’s a famous picture from one of your favourite movies and a quote or marketing message with it. And you wonder, how can this person or company be using this movie image to promote their business? The answer is simple.

They can’t!

And yet, it happens. All…the…time.

The Internet can be confusing. There’s all these photos and articles and videos and blogs and quotes out there ripe for the picking. It’s easy to copy and paste. It’s easy to download and save. And it’s all right there.

But it’s there for a reason. Someone created it. Someone, other than you, created it. That means you can’t use it without credit or attribution.

In fact, some of this content could get you in serious sh*t if you do use it, and you’re caught.


  • Go to Google, search for images, click “save as” and use the image you just saved. Just…don’t.
  • Copy and paste content verbatim that was written by someone else. It’s plagiarism plain and simple.
  • Screenshot someone else’s post, then crop out their watermark or logo, and then post or share it on your own sites. It looks like you created the content, which is bad, bad, bad.
  • Post a photo and then caption it as though it’s your work or project. It’s not, so don’t deceive the good people following you.
  • Post a photo or video and make it sound or appear as though you took that photo or video. If someone else took it, tell people who took it.


  • Subscribe to an affordable stock photo site. I like to use Canva, Pixabay and Pexels. Or better yet, hire a photographer to capture exactly what you want to use or post.
  • If you’re using someone else’s words, credit them. It’s not that hard. You can use their words and share it. You can’t do it without telling people it was done by someone else.
  • Share someone’s post but give them credit for it. Hey, they will love that you loved their post enough to share it. You have to cite the source through a shoutout though. It’s polite.
  • All you need to do is tell people who took the photo. You can even use the little camera emoji to make it cute, then tag the person who took the photo. Easy peasy.
  • Cite sources and give shoutouts. If you didn’t create the content, just make sure people know who did. It’s not rocket science, right?

Okay, so there’s a lot more that we could get into here, but we’ll leave it at the basics. This is no brainer stuff, and if you do this you will reduce your chances of getting into sh*t big time.

There’s actually a lot of info online that can tell you exactly what can get you in deep sh*t – legally! Do your due diligence and take the time to learn about this stuff – especially if you are a business owner doing your own social media, or hiring someone to do it for you. You really don’t want to get sued for copyright infringement. It could be costly.