How Artists on Twitter Tricked Spammy T-Shirt Stores Into Admitting Their Automated Art Theft

Yesterday, an artist on Twitter named Nana ran an experiment to test a theory.

Their suspicion was that bots were actively looking on Twitter for phrases like “I want this on a shirt” or “This needs to be a t-shirt,” automatically scraping the quoted images, and instantly selling them without permission as print-on-demand t-shirts.

Dozens of Nana’s followers replied, and a few hours later, a Twitter bot replied with a link to the newly-created t-shirt listing on Moteefe, a print-on-demand t-shirt service. –Andy Baio, Waxy

I did something similar back in 2011, when another blogger scraped my site and started reproduced my blog posts without permission. (Their site scraped and re-published the blog post in which I complained about the unauthorized scraping and republication of my content.)

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