19 Real Stories That Can Make You Stop Posting Photos Online So Recklessly

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Reddit users shared their stories of how they found their personal photos in the most unexpected places (and not in the most pleasant ones). This popular topic was discussed not only by the people whose photos were posted in social media without their permission but also the people whose photos were legally sold as stock photos. Nobody wants to see their photo as part of an illustration for an article about men who are losers or in an anti-AIDS commercial.

We at Bright Side clearly realize that we cannot convince all of our readers to not publish their photos online. But at least these stories will be some kind of a warning for you.

  • In college, a photography student took some pictures of me playing classical guitar. I ended up in a Viagra ad. I was 19. @E-iz
  • I didn’t even know I was in a stock photo until my grandma bought a picture frame at a supermarket with my t-ball team picture in it. @thecontinental80
  • I know this dude in person, he put his photo up as a stock photo for a joke and now it gets reused for all Reductress articles featuring loser men. Luckily he’s pretty nice in real life. This is the photo. @abirdofthesky
  • This took place many, many years ago when foreigners were a rare sight in Japan. I’m a big, friendly-looking white guy, and I was asked to do some photos of “a couple on a date.” So I go around to some scenic locales with a beautiful Japanese woman, the photographer, and his assistants. Fun day. Took tons of romantic photos. And that was the end of it…

    Until a month or 2 later when my “date” and I showed up on posters all over the subway as part of an AIDS awareness campaign (because you can catch that from foreigners, y’know!)

    Needless to say, my friends and coworkers thought it was hilarious, and amazingly it didn’t have any noticeable impact on my dating life. Looking back, my only regret is that I didn’t steal one of the posters. @SuRoAwAe

  • I let a photographer friend take a stock photo of me. I looked sad in it and it ended up on some website about victims of abuse. @deleted

  • That time I modeled for a clip art and stock photo company at 16 years old and years later, I ended up on dildo batteries. @lrngully

  • I have some friends that found one of their wedding pictures from Facebook somehow printed on a pillow in a market in a middle eastern country. Like… they just randomly happened upon their wedding photo in a random street market and they are from the U.S. @ScoobyDeezy

  • When I was a kid, my mom took me to a photoshoot, then a month later I was on a pamphlet that said, “Millions of children don’t have homes, adopt one today.” @chiefMNM

  • A strange thing happened to my trainer a couple of years ago. He was running a marathon for an AIDS benefit. One of the things people don’t realize is that your participation often includes a waiver for all photos taken at the event. His finish line photo became the face of overcoming AIDS adversity in a big ad campaign. The problem is, he trains a bunch of boxing and MMA guys. You cannot participate in those sports if you have AIDS (or any other blood transmitted diseases). So it created a big issue for him with some of his pro clients. @carzoomer

  • My photo has been published a bunch of times everywhere. I was in line at a job fair. It’s 6 years later and I’ve been employed since a month after this photo was taken. But it doesn’t stop my friends from sending me applications to work at McDonald’s every time it pops up on Business Insider. It’s used in like 1000 articles about unemployment. @Finalyst

  • My cousin took a photo of me wrestling my sister at a family reunion a few years back and it somehow wound up on an online forum about domestic abuse, I had a few friends message me who were obviously very confused. @tfurnzo
  • My best friend did a photo shoot in some construction-worker garb and a hard hat. We live in North Carolina. I’m on a business trip in Chicago and I stop by a Walmart for some supplies. I’m in the men’s work clothes aisle and there’s my buddy, prominently on the packaging of 50 or so packages of work shirts. It was a weird “Wait, where am I?” moment. I knew he did some modeling, but I didn’t know the specifics. I sent him a pic and he had no idea it had been used. This guy is in every Walmart in the country and had no idea. @Boris_art

  • My whole family modeled back in the 80s. Somehow my dad ended up in a brochure for some “born again” church that said he was a sinner and adulterer until he found Jesus. @greaper007

  • One of mine is frequently found on the home page of major news outlets. I wake up to messages from people that think I did something special. “Hey, you’re on the home page of MSN” or “Hey, you’re on the home page of Forbes.” I’ve been on almost all of the big ones. I did not expect any of that when I took it. I also just found out I’m being used for female Viagra. Here are some ways it’s being used. @MarcyDozer

  • I googled my husband’s name and a picture of him has been mistaken and mislabeled as Ann Coulter’s husband. @KReedDub (Note: Ann Coulter is an American community leader and conservative columnist).
  • I won a body transformation contest on a bodybuilding site when I was 17. 10 years later, I, and other people I knew, started seeing my photos in ads for random supplements that I had never heard of. @corianton

  • My friend was in a stock photo where he held up a baby picture, and it got used for an anti-circumcision ad campaign. I was pretty shocked when I saw his face on the side of a bus. @skippinglives3

  • I have some friends who seem to be the ideal portrait of a diverse trio. In the last 10 years, I’ve seen photos from their one random photo shoot on everything from billboards, to busses, to printer packaging. Here are a few. @whiteknives

At the end of the article, we will show you Marley Bennet’s tweet. Bennet found a stock photo of himself on a pack of cigarettes with a warning that said smoking increases the risk of impotence.

Would you agree to take part in a photo shoot that you would be paid for, but you would have to agree that your photos could be used anywhere?





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