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Facebook censors article critical of its business partner Shutterstock

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Shutterstock, one of the largest providers of stock images, is now at the receiving end of backlash as it recently cut the contributor compensation on the media to $0.10 per download. In an effort to highlight the low prices, several contributors to Shutterstock have taken to social media to express their frustration, and are collectively known as “The Stock Coalition.”

Inside Imagining, for instance, recently posted an article titled: “Shutterstock contributors unite to form a coalition”. Facebook, however, ended up limiting the reach of the article. It is worth noting that Facebook and Shutterstock share a strong business relationship.

“I’ve never heard of a new article ever being barred from Facebook, let alone enjoyed the honor of it being something I’ve written. But I’m fairly disappointed Facebook would block the article, and also surprised. I have no idea how this happened, so if you have any theories I’m all ears,” said Will Shipton, editor of Inside Imaging.

(For the record, while Shipton may not see it, we see news articles get censored every week.)

RELATEDStock photo company Shutterstock is censoring images to appeal to Chinese Government

Diving deeper into Shutterstock and Facebook’s business relationship, it is to be noted that Shutterstock’s API is integrated in Facebook, allowing millions of advertisers to gain access to images for no cost.

With respect to Inside Imaging’s article, Facebook ended up restricting the shareability of it. Elijah Lovkoff, one of the site’s readers, wanted to share the Shutterstock article on Facebook. But then, she was sent a message by Facebook sharing the article was against “Community Standards on spam”.

We got the same message when we tried it.

Lovkoff also received a message about the above-mentioned restriction on sharing, which read: “Your message couldn’t be sent because it includes content that other people on Facebook have reported as abusive”. Apart from Lovkoff, several other Facebook users who are a part of the ‘Stock Coalition’ also reported having faced the same issue.

Moreover, the Stock Coalition’s call for a global boycott is now extended till the end of June. As of now, several thousand contributors to Shutterstock have stopped contributing to the platform.

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