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UPDATED (see below)

On friday 1st of July, 2016, Shutterstock seem to have sent to every single contributor (and they are those who actively create images and videos to sell in partnership with SS) this kind of threatening e-mail:

Dear XYZ,

We have become aware that your portfolio now includes titles with spammy repetitive words or phrases. Repetitive titles like “orange, orange, orange” and “icon arrow, icon arrow, icon arrow” create a poor customer experience, and are prohibited under our metadata guidelines. These titles are considered spam and are not accepted for publishing during the review process. Editing them in this manner after your content has been published is not allowed.

You are now required to edit these titles to bring them back into compliance. In the coming weeks, we will review our collection again. If you do not correct your titles, or you continue to create repetitive or spammy titles, your account may be suspended.

To learn more about title spamming, please read How is Title Spamming Defined.

Are conjunction and articles considered “repeated” ? Are “over and over” and similar idioms, perfectly human readable and NOT spammy, considered spam by a very stupid script?
Is a serious company actually serious when it sends thousands of threatening e-mail to thousands of hard working contributors, dedicated, very creative and treating them like kinda “employees” ? They are the solely COPYRIGHT HOLDERS for the WHOLE of the stuff Shutterstock is selling. They deserve RESPECT and careful double-checking.

No one of the contributors seem to have received an example of these supposed “spammy” titles.

There are dedicated, serious people receiving this kind of very bully vague threatening e-mail. People working hard to be creative, that spends lots of money in equipment, personnel (models), HS, MUA, props, sets and time in captioning, keywording, release attach, index. They are committed. They DESERVE respect and serious checking. Not a very stupid script sending insulting e-mail to the masses.

UPDATE: The following day, another e-mail arrived:

Dear XYZ ,

We would like to offer a clarification about yesterday’s email regarding the titles of your content. This email was distributed to a broader group of contributors than we intended. We sincerely apologize for the concern caused. We want to reassure you that no further action is required from you.

The vast majority of our community work hard to consistently create powerful and descriptive titles to support their work. Our goal is to create a fair and level playing field for our entire contributor community and we value the time and energy invested into preparing your content for license on Shutterstock.

We have robust compliance standards in place to protect the integrity of your content and we are investing heavily in developing a new platform to improve the contributor experience. You may have seen some of the new pages recently rolled out. Included in this development will be new contributor tools to help with your content submission process.

We are working tirelessly on creating the best contributor experience for our content creators and we apologize for the communication yesterday. You can expect that any further communication from us will be detailed, informative, specific, and actionable.

Thank you,

Jon Oringer
The Shutterstock Contributor Support Team

So … all right. Alarm reset. I’m sure Oringer wrote it down with his own fingers. He may have received the same e-mail because he’s actually a contributor 😀