Instagram influencer exposed after 'stealing' photos for her account

Instagram influencer exposed after 'stealing' photos for her account

It's fair to say that Instagram celebrities now wield more power over how people look, what they wear, and what they eat, than any advertiser. In fact, brands are now catering to them instead of consulting agencies when attempting to market a hot new product. With millions of followers watching their every post with eagle eyes, the word of various influencers is now considered gospel. But unfortunately, that doesn't mean that there aren't some people out there who are using the platform irresponsibly, or even maliciously. In fact, some influencers are even guilty of stealing other people's content to pass off as their own, and sadly, it seems that another case of plagiarism has tarnished the reputation of a popular Chinese Instagrammer.

Sadelle Yeung, who describes her profession as that of a "beauty and fashion model," boasts more than 90,000 Instagram followers on her lavish account, and has had the privilege of representing a number of high-profile clients, such as Givenchy, Lancôme, and Estée Lauder. However, recently a number of Yeung's followers noticed that she appeared to have stolen pictures from other photographers online, via outlets such as Instagram or Pinterest, and passed them off as her own without crediting them. 

The reaction on social media to Yeung's alleged plagiarism has been one of outrage and scorn. Things only got more intense when Yeung promptly deleted the offending pictures from her account as a result of the backlash. Soon after, Instagram-user @a.phy messaged Yeung by stating: "Personally I’ve been following for a while now and always thought you were really pretty. Now I’ve found out that you steal your photos and also pretended like you’re a great cook, and when you were exposed you deleted the photos and comments. I really was a fan but now I’m just disappointed."

Yeung responded: "Sometimes I just wanted to use blank photos to space out the photos on my profile. But because everyone had opinions and thought it was wrong, so of course I deleted it straight away. Everyone makes mistakes, but I just don’t think that there’s no need for everyone to blow up one person’s mistakes."

She added: "I accept good feedback and bad criticism, but I just think that it should be fair. Our lives should not just revolve around one thing. Just like this post (the one the comment is on), we have to move on instead of focusing on the same thing over and over again."

Since Yeung's alleged plagiarism has been exposed, a parody Instagram account has been created in an attempt to further expose her image theft. The creator of the account, a 35-year-old woman from the United States, has stated that she wants Yeung to be held accountable, since she is taking advantage of the trust of her followers. I guess it just goes to show that stealing never pays off, especially not on the internet.