Opting out of Sniply
Sniply is a service that permits advertising and promotional messages to be tagged to publishers’ content without their consent. It aspires to permit its customers to “add a call to action” when they share links on social media. When a link is shared on social media through Sniply, a user can add a message, a button and a link to their website to the original content. This service permits others to monetize our content, and it likely infringes on our trademarks and violates other rights of publishers.
In addition, because the users of the service can add a message/link to your content that you have no ability to approve, there is nothing to prevent a Sniply user from adding content that is offensive -- and the public likely will perceive that it was your decision to add that content. For example, one Alliance member reported that a subject of a controversial news story that appeared on their publication used Sniply to attach a message to the article directing readers to the his legal defense fund to support his cause. Needless to say, readers undoubtedly thought that our member had taken a side in this controversy, which undermines our independence as journalistic organizations.
What You Can Do
We have considered legal action against Sniply, and believe that we would have valid claims that could be raised. However, Sniply permits publishers to “opt out” of its service, and Alliance members have successfully done so. As a matter of principle, of course, you should not be forced to “opt out” of anything to protect your legal rights. However, in this case, opt-outs appear to work and would accomplish our result much more quickly and less expensively than litigation. Instructions on opting out can be found at https://snip.ly/publishers/. The “Contact Us” tab at that page provides the option of opting out “manually” by sending all website addresses you would like to block from Sniply in an email to email@example.com. We encourage you to consider whether this is an option that would be appropriate for you.
If you are not the right person at your company to respond to this issue, please share this alert with the appropriate person at your company. If you have questions or comments on this matter, please contact Kurt Wimmer, News media Alliance general counsel, (202-662-5278; firstname.lastname@example.org) or Paul Boyle, News Media Alliance, senior vice president, public policy (571-366-1150; email@example.com)