Exposing the Ugly Side of Facebook

Who’s ready for some drama?  Not just the geeky dental drama you’re used to, but also the blogging, copyrighting, Facebook kind of drama?

If you’ve spent any time on my blog, you’ve probably noticed that I like to be pretty open about what’s going on.  I recently discovered that someone was using one of my posts on Facebook without my permission.

First, my awesome, loyal readers alerted me.  I received 4 messages in one day.  Have I mentioned how grateful I am to you?  Well, I am; and for reasons that go far beyond this, so thank you!  Anyway, I found this:  10 reasons theftA

10 reasons theft2A10 reasons theft 3 10 reasons theft 4A

When I first found it, the likes and shares were around 3000 and 5000 and rapidly growing.  This made me panic.  My blog was going viral on Facebook, and there was NO link to my blog at all.  Time was of the essence, and I needed to act quickly.  I contacted them, and they eventually added a link, HIDDEN at the bottom after all of their other links to their own sites (some of which have since been removed.)  However, this was not good enough and not what I had requested.

Then the following conversation ensued:

Before I start, note that the only changes I made were removing Facebook links, names, and profile photos.  Oh, and my smart-ass comments in red were just added now.

  • Conversation started Saturday
  • 4:18 pm

    Please change your 10 Reasons Your Dentist Probably Hates You Too post to say the following, or remove it. You have stolen my intellectual property and benefited with over 10,000 hits to your page using my content.

    If you choose not to change it or delete it, I will report it to Facebook as a violation of the copyright rules.

    Thank you.

    if you want to post the first 3 reasons on your page, that is fine, but at the end of that, there should be a link back to my blog that says “more…” It can look like this:

    1. The first thing you say when you sit down in my chair is, “I hate the dentist.” Really?!? Did your parents teach you any manners? Did they ever teach you that it is impolite to tell someone you hate them the moment you greet them? What I really want to say back is, “aww, I hate you too.”

    2. You come to your appointment, and it’s obvious you haven’t brushed your teeth in days. I’ve had some people with great hygiene come in and apologize because they’ve just eaten lunch and couldn’t brush. This is not what I’m talking about. I mean food and thick plaque everywhere. After 10 years of seeing blood and rotten teeth and some really nasty things, this is still the 1 thing that makes me dry heave. You know when you come to us that we have to be in your mouth. Would you clean your home before having company? Additionally, I have spent hours literally bending over backwards repairing your teeth. Could you at least pretend that you are caring for the work that I have struggled to complete for you?

    3. After we have spent hours of meticulously repairing your teeth, you complain about the bill. Would you walk out of the grocery store with a bag full of groceries and expect not to pay? I’ve just helped you to continue to smile and eat comfortably, two pretty valuable things that help your quality of life.

    Read more at http://lolabees.me/2011/11/28/10-reasons-your-dentist-probably-hates-you-too/

    I don’t mind if you add your own links to the bottom in addition. This way you can generate traffic to your page, but also generate the proper traffic that my blog deserves from it. Thanks!
    Lolabees  Pretty clear instructions, right?  And I think I was being generous here.

  • Sunday
  • Them:

    hi…Dont forget tht you are talking to group of doctors .we have not stolen it .we got it from other sources.If You want us to update that source we can do it.we attributed your source becoz some doctor referred it and we felt it as genuine.  Eek.  Where do I begin here?  A group of doctors?  Soooo… what?  Do you have some special power, or influence, or intelligence?  Should I have addressed you with more respect?

    also we are running paid campaigns.we are not getting traffic just becoz of one post.

    when you come online plz reply.

    also we are least bothered abt the traffic from this post as it from US

    our target is only Bangalore, India.  I’m relieved to see you are least bothered by this traffic.  Then why haven’t you taken it down or sent the traffic to my site?

    the way you are approaching is as if you are threatening us.plz dont behave like that.being a writer try to gain as many fans as possible  Really?  You are playing that card?  Now I’m getting a lesson on behavior from you?

    If this work is genuinly done by you , hatts off to u

    we appreciate tht  *Blush* Are you trying to flatter me?

    but we need solid reference saying tht it was first written by u

    becoz there are hell lot of sources claiming as theirs

    and if everyone starts messaging like this i have to redirect to so many blogs  What!?!? Should I highlight this?  Did you just say “are hell (I think you mean whole???) lot of sources claiming as theirs and if everyone starts messaging like this i have to redirect to so many blog”?  Did you just admit that you have so many other blogs that you should be redirecting to, or in other words crediting for the content you use?  Besides, if you don’t trust that I am the source, why did you agree to put a link at the end of it?  You are a group of doctors, right?

  • Them:

    and almost all sources have mentioned all points without any reference to your work as you have said.atleast I have given attribution at the end …becoz being docs we know the importance of copyrights and most importantly we have ethics.So think twice before addressing anyone as if they have stolen the content  Oh, this again?  This is like the cheating spouse who gets mad at the other for even suspecting they are cheating!  I’m glad you feel you did the right thing by “at least” hiding my link  on “your” post where no one can see on it.  Again, why did you do that when you still have no proof it is mine?  But you are a group of docs, right?  Oh yeah, thanks for reminding me of that again.

  • Them:

    we all discussed and come to a conclusion tht if you can give us genuine resource saying tht its written by you we will remove this post.because tomorrow it shd not be a problem to us from others if they too claim it as theirs .  Wow, aren’t you thoughtful!  (Readers, they never removed the post.)  Tomorrow it shd not… huh?  What?  I don’t understand.  Regardless, I’m sure people are lining up to claim this post as their own.  Um… you are a group of doctors, right?

  • Me

    Hi, I do appreciate a reply. I am unclear the relevance of the fact that you are a group of doctors. Could you please clarify?

    You did not ask me for permission to use the content. I apologize that my initial correspondence with you has been aggressive in tone, but I addressed you that way because I had already told one of your doctors specifically how I would allow you to use my content as I have done with my initial message to you. She did NOT follow my instructions (and I feel I have been very generous in allowing you to use the content up until now.) It is unclear to me how she was able to add the link, but had to check with admin to change it any further. This seemed suspicious to me, and she told me to contact you directly. So, yes, I was upset about it by that point and directed my anger at you.

    With that said, the truth remains, that this is my content, and you are using it in a way that I did not approve.

    As of yesterday, you had over 8000 shares of my post and over 3500 likes. That adds up to 11,500. This is over 10,000 hits to your page just for this post alone. You may have many more hits from your other sources, but these are all hits that should have been directed to my blog. My blog is international, not just in the US, so this does matter to me. I have had 4 different followers of mine report this to me, and they are not just in India.

    Like I said in the first message, I am more than happy to share my content if you share it as outlined in the first message I sent you. I think this is very generous on my part. I am not satisfied with a link at the end that is followed by your other links that is not very visible.

    You must be very careful with using content on line. I do believe that most people who cut and paste content do not realize they are stealing content. Perhaps this post I wrote will enlighten you. I have already linked you to the original site. I don’t know how else I can prove to you that this is my content. Now, you might read this recent post of mine and please do what’s right and prove to me that you haven’t stolen my content, but instead have made an innocent mistake.


  • Them:

    hmm gud one…infact we have done more research than this including fb
    infringement protection…many page owners and bloggers try to divert traffic from other fb pages by imitating as owners of the content.also we contacted fb regarding this .they said we have to follow the genuine owner’s rules if its proven that the original source is genuinely from the same user .so i am asking you for the proper source or article with your name or registered website attached to it.if possible let us know if your work has been published in any media/pubmed/newspapers/tv channels/reliable websites with reference to your website.anything which is reliable.  Why do I have to prove myself, when it is YOUR responsibility to check your sources?  You’re a group of doctors, right?  So you should be good at research, and while you’re busy researching ways you can try to make yourself look like the victim, you should also research the source of this post.  And, yeah, I’ve actually targeted your site because it’s so original that I’m trying to divert traffic from your page to mine.  Hmm, hello pot.  My name is kettle.  Quit stalling already.

  • Them:

    we just now paused the sponsored ad.now u can see the no of shares declining 😦      Is 1000 new shares in 1 day a decrease?  You are a group of doctors, right?  Again, how kind of you.  But, seriously?  Do you actually expect me to feel sorry for you that your shares are “declining”?  And did you actually have the nerve to frown-face-icon me about this?

    we can highlight the source till you give us a genuine resource by mentioning on top of the description.we dont want to feel guilty later if it truly belongs to you  (Readers, they never did this.  I guess “can” doesn’t necessarily mean “will.”)  Oh, I would never want you to feel guilty either.  Guilt is not a good feeling.

    is that fine till then  I think that’s a question.  An empty one at that, but I still think it’s a question.  Didn’t they say they were a group of doctors    Yeah, that was a question too.

    We will mention it as originally posted on your website (with a link)/hypertext .

  • Them:

    also we will help bust the ones which are using u r content on the net and fb .because we have huge database of dentists . if u r interested u can work with us.also we can work on something which can mutually benefit us on the internet.  Bahahaha!  This just keeps getting better!  Not only do you want to partner up, but you’re also going to bust the 9000+ (probably innocent) people who shared the content from YOU?  Besides, I’m not sure I like your definition of “mutually benefit”.  Wait, are you trying to distract me?  I thought you said the content wasn’t mine.

  • Me:

  • Me:

    Thank you for trying to cooperate with this matter. I am willing to reach an agreement, but until then you said you would “highlight the source till you give us a genuine resource by mentioning on top of the description.we dont want to feel guilty later if it truly belongs to you.”  That has not been done.

    Shares are still rising rapidly, and the more they rise, the more damage done to my site.


  • Them:

    I am in favor of circumstances that are mutually beneficial and am open to that, but please know that as it is right now, this is very beneficial to you, and very detrimental to me.

    That last message to them was Sunday morning.  At this point, my hands were tied.  On Monday morning I had enough sense to get some screen shots, so I could at least have some fun with the situation.  I’m guessing the Facebook copyright team doesn’t work over the weekend.  At 11:50 a.m. Monday I finally received notification from Facebook thanking me and informing me that the post had been removed.  An hour later, I received this message:


    hi…! hope we will benefit mutually !we have verified your links.if you are interested we can share it .but u need to take your infringement report back.we don’t wanna argue with fb about it by submitting a DMCA report.because its a black mark to our page.  Um! I’m! Speechless!  Yes, I owe you so much gratitude for finally verifying my links!  You are a group of doctors, right?  I’m sure you did such thorough research that it took 2 whole days to complete.  Thank you for slaving away at this over the weekend.  I hope we can benefit mutually too!  Wait, are you threatening me now?


    anyway u spoilt your own traffic to your blog.u just hurried up without waiting for our reply.all the best with your work.gud night  Oh no!  What am I going to do?!?!  Will anyone read my blog now that I can’t partner up with such a power player?  I’m worried.  I might have to quit blogging because now no one will read.  Did you say you are a group of doctors?

    And that was it.

    Aaahhh… I feel much better now.

    I was never too terribly worried about copyright infringement until I started seeing how rampant this problem is.  I continue to learn more everyday, and this experience alone offered me a lifetime of lessons.  But all snarkiness (is that a word??) aside, those of us who produce commentary, stories, art, photos, etc,. work hard at what we do.  Please respect our intellectual property rights.  If you see the share buttons below, use them.  If you want to use the content in a different way, just ask the author.  You may be surprised by how generous they will be.

35 thoughts on “Exposing the Ugly Side of Facebook

  1. i proudly took pleasure in using the ‘LIKE’ button! i hope that your story reaches many, and that others remember to be courteous and respectful and to always ask first – and yes, to give proper credit – always.

    i found it ironic that you and i posted at the same minute, though mine was a sundry tale – a polar opposite of what you’ve been dealing with this week.

    thanks for showing us how you slayed one dragon!


    1. Oh, that is too funny! We definitely must be on the same but opposite wavelength right now. Thanks for the support, z. Once I decided to have fun with it, it was easy. Heading over to your site now…

  2. That entire conversation made me cringe. Sorry you had to deal with that, but thanks for sharing. It’s motivating to see you take a stand!

    1. Thanks. It was no fun for 48 hours, but then I decided to use it to fuel my creativity, and all is right in the world again. 😉 I thought that people should know what goes on behind the scenes.

        1. I know. I think they were trying to intimidate, bully, and manipulate me. Totally bizarre– which is why I thought it would be interesting to share!

  3. This is absolutely absurd! I am so sorry you had to go through this! What a nerve! Good luck with the whole thing – I hope you can at last get the attention it deserves..

    1. Thanks. It’s hard to know if you’ll ever recover 10,000 unique readers, but somehow I think it will all work out in the end. I’m just relieved their shares aren’t still growing!

  4. Nice work. You held your ground with the plagiarists, in spite of how much easier it would have been to just give up and give in. That’s what I call character!

    1. Thanks, Kristy. It’s so much easier to be complacent when only 1 or 2 people read it, but with those numbers, there was no way I was backing down! Character… I like that. That’s a good word for it! Haha!

    1. Thanks! Great to hear from you again. It is crazy. Just this morning I was looking on my wall and a friend had posted a delicious recipe. I looked a little further, and the poster had done the same thing– just cut and pasted all of the info, and then begged everyone to share, saying it was the only way to save the recipe. This post had 65,000 shares on it with no credit to the creator!! Crazy! I informed the author, of course. 🙂

  5. Bravo! I’m beyond words though as I read your story about this piracy, I couldn’t help but feel anger towards these poseurs. Conversely, I’ve sent a boat load of prawna to you! This type of piracy, unfortunately, is part and parcel of the social media world. I see it in my marketing and photography world and it’s often entangled, exasperating and more. Kudos for your tenacious persistence!

    1. Thank you, thank you. I was so angry all weekend. These people were clearly trying to stall and get as many shares as they could. I’ll take all the prana you want to share. 😀 It is neverending, but as with anything else, we can all do our part. One thing about me is that I’m very principal driven. Had these people been sincere, I would have happily worked with them. They obviously weren’t, so I felt the need to right this wrong the best I could. FB makes it so easy to do. In fact, I just reported another one of the same post with 5000 shares today. Within 30 minutes it was taken down! I learned these other guys are probably of the same ilk and not to try to reason with them.

  6. Hi and well done for standing up for yourself . They sound very pompous and I doubt they will change much in the future.
    You have a huge number of supporters and no doubt your readers will increase .

    1. Thanks, RInku. That is so sweet! They have not changed. I did a little research before writing this post and a lot of their content is not properly sourced. I also doubt it’s being done without permission. I may have informed 1 or 2 of the authors about it. 😉

    1. I was thinking the same thing, Mary Beth. Not the kind of behavior you would expect from a bunch of dentists who claim to be ethical, is it?

      1. That is EXACTLY the type of self serving, pompous, dousche’esque’ behavior I would expect from a dentist(s). (and I am one..ughh)
        “Hey… let me use your stuff, take full credit for it, then you can thank me for letting you be on our dental team”..
        – I would revoke acess to said party on the Lido Deck……( lido deck….hey, that might be a great name for a blog I could write… glad I thought of it!)

  7. It’s truly gross how they handled this. I’m SO happy that it worked out in the end, thank goodness for FB reacting appropriately and quickly.
    Wow, this really makes me think about how vulnerable everyone’s work really is. Just a copy and a paste away from not being ‘yours’ anymore.
    Way to conquer!!!

    1. Thanks, Andrea. It was pretty appalling. FB is really good about reacting quickly. It’s good to get the word out about what’s happening. I found a food blogger who told me that one of her recipes was stolen and shared on FB over 500,000 times! That’s bad news.

  8. FB can be a bad place..too many crazies out there! I had a young friend there once, we became good friends. We shared everything. She got ovarian cancer and died. Iwas So sad over this. Then I found out she never existed. She was made up by a bored kid in the UK.

  9. Well, geez. Don’t try an’ get rough with you, huh? I’ve gotta tell you, as soon as they played the doctor card, well I’d’ve caved. I mean, how do you one up that?!?? Doctors are notoriously just so big and tough, you know. That’s a little like a kid saying “don’t steal my candy cuz my dad works in the IT department”. I’m just saying. And all the kids run screaming.

    I think it’s possible that these “doctors” have very little understanding of the psyche behind the american woman. First thing is this.., no american woman really gives a rat’s ass about the “doctor” title unless this fellow is being considered as a potential date. 😉

    Am I right!

    (notice that was not a question) 😀

    And I don’t really have a second thing, but I wonder how many days this was from start to finish?
    Has your blog seen any bump in traffic from the good Doctor’s inconspicuous link?
    Lately I’ve thought a lot on the subject of justice. I think that it’s my #1 priority in life. You know all of the bad guys always get away with their jacked up antics, and what about the good guys? Nice people can go hungry while greedy bastards can milk billions from a shit company like… I don’t know, maybe like all big companies these days. Take Walmart. Take Ford. How about Direct TV? Jesus. I’m off topic now, but the point that I’m making is that it’s awesome when somebody steps in and brings justice to these big ophs… ofes… oghfs… how the hell do you spell that?

    But stories like this one are like Junior Mints® for the soul.

  10. How do you one up the Doctor card? By fighting them with good grammar, I guess. As you can tell, that just killed me. What a stupid thing to say. Hilarious– doctor/husband comment.

    I had emailed one of their docs Fri afternoon or Sat morning. when I found it. She was avoiding me but sort of complied by adding the link. When I badgered her a little more, she sent me to these other guys. I emailed them Sat night, and they got back to me on Sun morning. Then they jerked me around for a few hours. I had already reported them Sat night when they didn’t get back to me, but clearly FB was closed for the weekend, so I thought I’d see if I could appeal to their doctor/healer/people in the business of caring for other people side. Clearly they are lacking that. it was a bit of drama, and I thought this post would be right up your alley. 😉

    I think Oaf??

  11. definitely oafs! I have to say well done Lolabees for winning the grammar battle, can’t believe these people are really doctors. Having been an OR Theatre sister for 20 yrs prior to my present career I can attest to the fact that Dr’s are arrogant narcissists with God complexes, but they can spell! Am glad FB took down the post for you. Do you ever wonder what our world would be like if Mr.Zuckerberg had not been born!?

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