CTTO: Properly Credit The Owner

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Scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, I often notice FB pages sharing the same content such as quotes and videos. The only difference that it makes is the background or text style and the stamp of the pages. This makes me wonder, who or what page might have been the original author or source of it? Also, I often see Facebook users frequently post contents that are clearly not their own because of the caption “ctto”(credits to the owner) / “pctto” (picture credit to the owner). Personally, this is becoming very bothersome, especially that many Filipinos think that simply supporting a shared content with this caption is enough in giving credit to the owner or source.

There is a growing trend in various social media accounts, especially on Twitter and Facebook where the words “ctto” and “pctto” appear in a lot of posts by Filipinos. Apparently, this is a shorthand way individuals use to admit that the content isn’t originally theirs. It is also a term used to supposedly acknowledge or crediting the owner since they don’t know the original owner since the owner is unnamed or impossible to trace because the content has been re-shared thousands of times. Some similar captions that convey the same thing are: “photo not mine”, “photo from google”, “I do not own this video” and even the disclaimer “ No Copyright Infringement Intended”. In a tweet, netizen Joshua Chua reminded the public of proper citation. In his tweet, he said that putting “ctto” is literally not giving any kind of credits to the owner and will never count as crediting since “ctto” is just as bad as not giving credit at all.

I can’t imagine how the rightful owners felt knowing that many people appreciate and recognize their work and those who shared are the ones receiving great reactions and approval from the viewers. I can’t tell what they really feel, but I’m certain that they have been hurt, disappointed, and insulted because of not getting the proper credit they deserve for their work. From the encounters I have seen from some of my FB friend’s experiences, they posted a content with the caption of not re-posting it unless properly credited for it. Then someone informed them that someone used their works as if it is their own and the others with the citation of “ctto” or “pctto”. Those who were wrong won’t admit their mistake even if someone is already claiming it and they would even question the owners right over it. Sadly, there are just some people who have the audacity to act in such way even if they were approached nicely.

I personally love doing written works like poetry, essay and sometimes short stories and as much as I want to post it on online platforms I decided not to. it’s because I’m well aware of how easy it is for others to use somebody else’s work to use for personal benefits such as re-posting it as their own or use it for a school requirement. I’m afraid that it would happen not because I’m confident about my literary works but because when it happens, I would be very much disheartened and offended. There are pieces of me that are included in my every written work since every time I write, it’s inspired by a feeling, experience, person or thought. Most original creator’s work reflects some of their personal feelings making it a sentimental thing that makes copying of their work heartbreaking. Let’s not make it a habit to post or use something that is not ours for our advantages such as temporary fame.

We should learn and educate ourselves in citing our sources properly. If we saw a post we like on social media, it isn’t that hard to press the share button since it is there to serve its purpose. These actions are more rampant to us young people as we are the leading social media users. I’m sure that our teachers repeatedly taught and reminded us of properly giving citations and asks us to cite our sources in our requirements. Improper citations is not enough to claim that we gave credit to the rightful owner or source since the credit is not actually given because the owner is unnamed. Before claiming that the original source is unknown, we should make an effort to track the original site or owner it belongs to or if it is known, it is not that hard to mention whose is it. The owner of a post, thought, idea, visual works etc.deserves the right to be properly credited as it is also a sign of respect to their intellectual property. Even the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOTPHL) mentioned that: When using/sharing literary and artistic work from someone else, always ask permission from the owner before using their works. If granted permission to use, mention the owner’s full name and the site where you got it from”.

Imagine making a written work or perhaps captured/edited a photo or a video content then someone used or shared it without asking your permission nor giving you proper credits for it thinking “ctto” or the other terms is enough. I’m sure you’ll feel bad and angered by it because no one wants their efforts and ideas to be robbed from them. I hope that someday, people will share their written or artistic works without the fear that someone might plagiarize or infringe on their works, especially in the online community.

Inspiring the youth through creative writing and being outspoken for the disadvantaged