Study Shows Facebook, Flickr Delete Photographers' Metadata

20th Mar 2013

The International Press Telecommunications Council released a study this week, revealing some of the most dominant social media websites remove photographers’ metadata images from the images they host. 

The report reveals Facebook, Twitter and Flickr are among the worst offenders out of the 15 sites analysed.  These and many other social networking sites remove all embedded copyright, caption, description and additional information, leaving images stripped of any reference back to the original photographer should they be saved and shared following the original posting.  

Google+ and Tumblr came out of the study reporting the best protection of photographers’ data.

"Professional photographers work hard to get specific information -- like captions, copyright and contact information -- embedded into their image files, therefore it's often a shock when they learn that the social media system they chose has removed the information without any warning to them", said David Riecks of, a member of the IPTC test team in a press release. Riecks also noted the potential for these works to be considered ‘orphans’ without copyright protection, as many countries are currently in the process of passing “Orphan Works” laws. 

The full results of the study are available here.