Social Sites Strip Photographer Metadata

Posted on 3/19/2013 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

The International Press Telecommunications Council  (IPTC) has released a new study into the use of images by social media websites. Among those that remove photographer metadata from the images they host are Facebook, Flickr and Twitter.

The companies tested were 500px, Dropbox, Facebook, Flickr, Google+,, Joomeo, Photobucket, Pictify, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitpic, Twitter, and Yfrog. Google+ and Dropbox received the most favorable scores.

The IPTC represents some of the world's major news agencies, news publishers and news industry vendors. It looked at how image sharing, through upload and download, affects the integrity of embedded metadata as defined by the IPTC and Exif standards.

It is interesting that “social” sites purport to want to allow users to “share everything” about themselves. But, given how some operate it seems they have decided that photographers are a separate category of individuals that should be limited in what they can share. Photographers should not be allowed to share information within an image file that supplies added information about the image, or their copyright or how they might be contacted.

Mark Zuckerberg says he, “founded Facebook on the idea that people want to share and connect with people in their lives.” But, much of what people share is content created by others. Facebook, and others, facilitate the sharing of misinformation about the visual content they display.

In a statement reported by the British Journal of Photography Michael Steidl, IPTC's managing director said, "A social networking site is only as good as the information its members choose to share. If users provide rights data and descriptions within their images, these data shouldn't be removed without their knowledge."

For more detail about the study check here and to read the British Journal of Photography report go here.

Copyright © 2013 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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