Why Is Hailey Baldwin Being Sued Over An Instagram Post?




A lot of us use Instagram, and we don’t think about the consequences of what we share. But there are consequences sometimes, and they’re not always pretty, as Hailey found out.

She shared a photo that contained some thought-provoking text around the time that #SelenaEndedJustinParty was trending on Instagram. It was meant to voice her feelings on the matter, but it’s ended up landing her in hot water.

The quote began: “We’ve all had our fair share of things we’ve done, both good and bad. What makes the present so powerful is when we take complete responsibility for our actions, we allow ourselves self-growth. Misplacing the blame onto someone else isn’t going to get you to the next stage in life, so try no to manipulate a situation to make yourself look better.”

At the time, it was widely reported as a quote she had written herself. Now, according to Page Six, author Melissa Molomo is claiming that Hailey stole the quote from her 2015 book and didn’t credit her.

“In copying and using Ms. Molomo’s work without permission, you have taken credit and caused confusion as to whom the original author of this work is,” a cease and desist letter sent to Hailey says. And then tells her she could be sued for up to $150,000.

Most times, when using a quote or an illustration on Instagram, the original author or artist will be more than happy with a tag. 21st-century copyright is getting a bit blurry at the moment, I recently read an article about plagiarism, and about all the authors who have been guilty of it in the past. And while a simple tag would have sorted this one, there is also something called cryptomnesia which happens when a forgotten memory returns without the brain recognizing it as such. Which means something you write that you think is an ingenious new idea, could be something you read years ago.

Scary, right! That’s why it’s so important to research what you’re quoting from, regramming or writing. And always add credit!


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Managing Editor

Beth is the Managing Editor of CGD. She is a graduate of the Penguin Writer's Academy, has published a short story and loves to read creative writing manuals in her spare time.

  • Stephanie Hartley

    This is why I always try to avoid using quotes on IG! I also worry that pretty quotes made into images never get the full credit given to the original illustrator. Worrying news!

    Steph – http://www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

    • Jen

      I’m the same way when it comes to quotes. Unless I’ve found it myself in writing (book, magazine), I generally don’t use it. It’s too easy with the Internet to misattribute something.

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