This weekend, I did what I do every weekend: make a bunch of bad tweets and sleep. However, I also made a good tweet this weekend. It was promptly stolen without attribution and credited to someone else by CBS Sports. The Internet is fun!
After LSU, Michigan, Alabama, and Oregon all lost in this week's college football games, I thought it'd be funny to use their logos to laugh my ass off at their poor play. So I crudely photoshopped and tweeted the following.
I figured I'd get a couple of favorites for it, because it's really nothing special and didn't take more than fifteen minutes to make. But that wasn't what happened at all. A lot of fuggin' people retweeted, favorited, and manually retweeted this thing.
Normally, I hate the manual retweet unless the manual retweeter adds a joke or something else of value to the original tweet. It reeks of desperation and generally looks like the manual retweeter is looking for retweets (and the added exposure those provide) through the content of others. Lana Berry is a serial manual retweeter, and is the goddamn worst for it.
With that said, the manual retweeters I encountered over the last 24 hours look like saints compared to those who outright stole my image without attribution. Which brings us to the fine folks at CFB Nation.
CFB Nation is, for all intents and purposes, a spam account. The vast majority of its tweets feature photos they steal from various sources, and start with "RT if," in an attempt to get fans of the teams they're tweeting about to retweet them to increase their reach and follower count. Accounts like these are a dime a dozen.
Last night, I was lucky enough to have an image stolen by them, one that was retweeted 5,000 more times for them than it was for me.
Well, that sucks that this happened despite the timestamps on the tweets above showing my tweet was sent eight minutes earlier. But I guess it's the cost of doing business on the Internet, right?
Of course, that wasn't the end of this, as actual sports news/reporting/programming entity CBS Sports decided to also repost the image, giving credit in exchange for its use. The problem? CBS Sports credited CFB Nation, who stole the image.
So, what we have here, is a legitimate news organization not knowing how to trace the path of a tweet that was stolen by a shitty spam Twitter account, while people who produce actual content on the Internet can just go fuck off instead of being credited by fucking CBS Sports. Brilliant.
Not that this is anything new. For, as long as non-creative dipshits have had access to a retweet button, garbage spam accounts like CFB Nation and Not Bill Walton have been there to take advantage of them by stealing content that they then promote as their own. And since 99% of Internet users are morons, what do they care as long as they have something to laugh at? And so it goes.
When Keith Law, who is kind of busy with the baseball playoffs one would assume, is the unlikely voice of reason in the world of Internet content theft, we all probably need to get our collective shit together.
NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL LAYIN' DOWN THE LAW, KEITH. AMIRITE!?
So what do we do here? Do we all just ruthlessly steal content like these awful Twitter accounts and manual retweeters? Do we just give up and accept that if we're not willing to steal from people that we'll never make a name for ourselves and reach the goals we want to reach in the ever-growing world of digital content production?
I don't know. But what I do know, thanks to a well placed manual retweet, is that CFB Nation thinks that 9/11 was good.
Header image by Mangini In A Bottle
EDIT: Why does anyone put any effort into anything? This has given birth to some serious existentialism from yours truly. More fun with plagiarism below.