Can you tell the difference between these two pictures? The answer is probably “barely.” It’s that little watermark in the upper right corner. Someone took the original image, removed the watermark, and posted it to 9Gag. I’m not angry, I’m just baffled. It’s so much extra work to get rid of it. It’s not obtrusive. It doesn’t change the joke. I honestly don’t understand why anyone would take the time and effort to remove the source.
This kind of thing infuriates me. Let’s get something straight: jokes are not communal property. Enjoying or agreeing with a joke does not mean that you have any ownership of that joke. It doesn’t matter how simple you think the joke was to compose. Even if someone just wrote a funny observational Tweet, even if you read it and think, “Oh, I’ve thought a less funny version of this Tweet before,” it does not mean that you had any hand in creating that joke or have any right to try to pass that joke off as something you wrote.
If you ever even feel the urge to steal someone else’s writing, you are not remotely creative enough for anyone with brains to think you wrote it in the first place.
In short, fuck you, 9gag, imgur, and all the other sites that encourage content theft. You’re making the world a less creative place.
For the love of God, internet. We’re not some faceless comedy corporation. We’re a bunch of young people working very hard to run a successful company so that we can earn a living. Put away your Photoshops and let us get some credit.