This past weekend, after spending all day writing content for upcoming blog posts, I needed a break and went to chat with a few blogger buddies... when I slapped in the face with the most disgusting news.
An influencer had noticed that a picture of her son had been posted on the PopSugar website. When she clicked the link, she discovered that PopSugar had pulled her Instagram feed of the images that were connected to her RewardStyle/LIKEtoKNOW.itaffiliate account. While digging a bit deeper she discovered that there were thousands of other influencer and blogger profile pages that were the same. PopSugar had posted RewardStyle members content without consent and were trying to monetize it. Not just a few pieces, but millions of content. The kicker was they even had a page for Amber Venz, the co-founder and president of RewardStyle ...
Within minutes of learning about this, we began posting on twitter, facebook and instagram demanding that PopSugar take down our content immediately. After several hours (and perhaps another entity that persuaded them), they pulled the pages down.
Why did they move so fast? Because they are guilty as shit.
But this isn't the end of the story.
They've received hits on their website and money off our content. Unauthorized, without consent.
I felt violated when I saw my face and content on their website. I had 47 shoppable posts on their site, some bloggers had over 1,500. Many bloggers, myself included, make a living on creating content. As a reader, you see a great photograph or blog post, but you might not always realize the time and energy that went into it. The fact that this large corporation thought is was ok to steal from us blows my mind.
This is a screenshot from their website of my profile page:
Once you clicked on one of my instagram images that were being pulled, it then took you to this page below, where you could click and then purchase the items. These were all originally linked to my own LIKEtoKNOW.it account, as you can find in my instagram feed.
BUT...they had deleted my affiliate links and inserted their own ShopStyle links instead.
...a pretty sleazy move to make a buck.
The extent and effort that the PopSugar team put into this "new" way for them to try and make a buck, blows my mind and is completely disgusting.
They won't let get away with this though, I promise you that.