Recipe for Disaster

Have you ever stumbled across something like this on Facebook?


screen grab of a stolen recipe with ingredients blacked out

Sure you have.  People all over Facebook are liking and sharing these recipe status updates so they can “find them on their wall”.

What many people don’t understand is that these types of status updates are stealing.

When you like and share a stolen recipe you are taking money out of someone’s pocket.  Bloggers make money from the traffic to their blog.  Also, recipe photos are copyrighted property and should never be copied without the owner’s permission.

But Why Would Anyone Steal Recipes?

  1. Likefarming.  In likefarming scams, the more people that like a spammy recipe post, the more likes the likefarmer gets on their Facebook page.  According to this Facebook Scam Alert on Yahoo News:

    When the page gets enough fans (a hundred thousand or more)the owner might start placing ads on the page. Those ads show up in your news feed. They could be links to an app, a game, or a service they want you to buy. It could be a “recommendation” for a product on Amazon where the page owner gets a commission for every purchase made through the link. Or more nefariously, the page owner could be paid to spread malware by linking out to sites that install viruses on your computer for the purposes of identity theft. Bottom line: access to your news feed is lucrative.

  2. Trying to drive traffic to their own blog.  I have seen people start a blog built exclusively on stolen recipes.  Seriously.  You could even see the watermark from the originating blogs on the stolen photos.
  3. Ignorance.  Although this is the least likely reason, I know there are people out there who ignorantly copy recipes and repost them.

I am begging you NOT to like or share this type of status update.  Here are some tips on how to distinguish between a good recipe share and a scammy status update:

  • A good share stands on its own.  The owner does not have to beg you to “like” or “share”  A bad status update will have the phrase “share on your wall so you can find it later”
  • A good share does not contain the entire text of a recipe.  This is because the blogger or person who originally published the recipe wants you to read it on their website, not in a status update.  A bad status update will not only have the full text of a recipe, but will also link you to the spammer’s own website where they want you to sign up for a new diet plan or the like.
  • A good share, if it includes the original photo of the recipe, links back to the website it came from.  A bad status update will copy and paste the photo and there will be no link back to the originating website.

 And that’s my rant for the week.  Thank you for listening.

If the stolen recipe in the graphic above sounds appealing, you can check out the original recipe at The Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife.

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