How Should Your Law Firm Handle Social Media Plagiarism? | #FollowAttorneyAmanda

By Law Firm Suites - February 1, 2022
How Should Your Law Firm Handle Social Media Plagiarism? | #FollowAttorneyAmanda

Imitation isn’t always flattering, Amanda deals with a social media account that seems to be plagiarizing her content.

Creating social media content is not always easy and can be quite frustrating. Normally when your content is good or goes viral it’s shared all over the internet, but the original creator is typically given credit. 

So how do you handle it when your content is being shared but is being packaged as if it comes from another individual?

In this week’s #FollowAttorneyAmanda, Amanda deals with the frustration of another social media account that is plagiarising her work.


                                                 Video Transcript

Hi, I am attorney Amanda Shaffer. Welcome to #FollowAttorneyAmanda, where you follow me on my quest for more likes on social media and ultimately more business. Today I want to talk about plagiarism. I was a little shocked today. I got to work. I checked all my messages and everything, and I had an Instagram message from another law firm – another attorney – basically saying, “Oh, hey! It looks like we have –” It was a weird message. It was almost like it was pre-worded. I can’t think of the right language right now, pre-worded message or whatever. It was like, “Oh, it looks like we have a lot of the same interest or we should connect or something. We have a lot to connect over”, kind of like reaching out to the network. So I was like, okay, I get these every once in a while. Let me look.

So I click on her profile or actually it might be a dude. I’m not really sure. And I started scrolling down the Instagram posts and I’m like, this looks familiar. Every Tuesday as is today; I do a #TuesdayTips where I usually – it’s like some type of filing tip for immigration application. So like today I wrote, “make sure you sign your applications before you send them or they’ll be rejected.” Some of its really obvious other things like do, “a joint bank account is helpful, but if you don’t use it, it’s not helpful.” So it goes from really whatever just comes to my mind that day, but it goes from like really obvious filing things, like check the address, check the filing fee to really complicated things. So I started scrolling down this lawyer’s Instagram posts, and I start to read verbatim word for word my posts for Tuesdays, and really when I was really able to tell or knew for sure I wasn’t making it up, is when I linked to something in a post, I go to, think that’s just B-I-T.L-Y. So this site you put in a long URL and it pops out a short URL for free. I can actually change the end of the extension. So I’ll still but for – I talked about employment authorization documents. I made one EAD auto ext. That exact link I found in this lawyer’s post. And that’s how I knew there was not even a question that it was being copied.

So immediately I reached out to my network of colleagues – my inner network of colleagues, my small group, where I run pretty much everything by them. And I was like, “Hey ladies, what should I do? I’ve never experienced this before.” And you don’t – you got to be careful, maybe it might not be the lawyer doing the social media posting. Could have hired someone. They may not have any clue that I’m being copied, so you have to give the person the benefit of the doubt and I got some good advice. Basically, I should call instead of sending a message. I could hear it in the person’s tone, if they really knew or not what was going on or realized it was against the rules because this attorney seems like she or he hasn’t been practicing very long, at least privately. So there’s a lot of things that you’re taking into consideration. You don’t want to start blaming people for things, but at the same time, I worked really hard to put all these things up and as much as Aaron tried to say – Aaron, my partner said, “Oh, well, imitation’s the finest form of flattery.” Great. Except that she has more Instagram followers than us, and she’s using my tips to get them. So this is not okay.

So yes, this is something new. I’ve never experienced plagiarism. I don’t partake in the action, so I’m surprised to have seen it, but it just seems fishy that if you’re copying somebody’s posts to then reach out to them to network, that’s weird. So that’s why I don’t want to go in blaming, but I definitely have to do something. So I’m going to give this attorney a call and just very nicely be like, “Hey, I’m not sure if you’re paying attention to this, but it looks like your posts – I don’t know if you do them yourself or someone else does, or she does them herself. I’ll be like, all right, well, you need – not sure if this is on purpose, but you – I don’t know. I’m not sure how I’m going to say it. I got to be nice though, but I’ll figure it out and hopefully, she’ll take it all down. Otherwise, I’ll have to go to the cease and desist letter, which is not what I want to do. Well, that is all today for #FollowAttorneyAmanda. Join me next time.

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