Bloggers Accuse PopSugar of Stealing Content in Latest Data Scandal

Bloggers on Instagram have accused PopSugar of stealing their content and switching out RewardStyle affiliate links for its own.

According to an article on Fashionista, bloggers on Instagram have accused PopSugar of stealing their content. The publication allegedly took photos and switched RewardStyle affiliate links for its own.

Bloggers and a representative for affiliate linking service RewardStyle said PopSugar had taken content from blogger on Instagram without their consent and used them to make online profiles. The images seem to have been taken from bloggers who use Liketoknow.it, an app that allows to shop items that they screenshot on Instagram from participating bloggers’ accounts. Bloggers then get a commision when people purchase the items.

The publication also removed the RewardStyle affiliate links and changed them to ShopStyle affiliate links through which the publication would receive commission.

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ShopStyle, which was once but is no longer owned by the publication, released a statement saying,

several influencers have let us know that PopSugar may have used their content without the influencers’ consent. It is important for you to know that ShopStyle is not currently owned or operated by PopSugar. At ShopStyle, we take content creators’ rights seriously. Using another person’s content without consent is a violation of our terms of service and those who do so will be terminated from our service.

The company’s continued to say, “we are conducting a thorough investigation. As part of the investigation, PopSugar’s ability to create ShopStyle links has been disabled effective immediately. We will provide an update as soon as we have additional information to share.”

CEO and Co-Founder Brian Sugar released a statement responding to the accusations saying it was a project that resulted from a hackathon using “publicly accessible API’s to gain an understanding across brands, retailers, and categories,” and that the affiliate links were changed so that the publication could “track clicks to retailers and understand trends internally.” The company didn’t finish the project but the links were left in the content and profiles. He also says the publication made $2,695 in commissions from the links and plans to pay bloggers what they’re owed.

RewardStyle did not respond to requests for comment.

So, what do you think? Did PopSugar steal bloggers’ content on Instagram? Let me know in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to get new posts sent directly to your inbox and follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.


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