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Fuck Jerry is not popular among, well, most creatives on the internet.
The Instagram account was recently called out for its shady practices in a video created by Victor Berger. The video, which shot to the front page of Reddit on Monday, details how Jerry Media—more specifically the Fuck Jerry Instagram account—has been stealing content from people for monetary gain. Ironically, however, Fuck Jerry seems to have silenced this criticism on YouTube with a copyright request.
The Vimeo version of the clip likewise shot to the top of Reddit’s r/videos community on Tuesday.
As the video notes, Fuck Jerry has been making money off other people’s unattributed content for some time now. The Instagram page makes money through advertisements, which are attached as tags to amusing posts. These posts, however, are not created by the team behind Fuck Jerry. Rather, they are created by genuinely funny people on the internet, only to be stolen and reposted without credit by the Fuck Jerry account.
The business that would become Jerry Media started over six years ago, according to a Forbes interview with creator Elliot Tebele. What began as a Tumblr account became more than 20 accounts across social media platforms.
Berger created the video in part prompted by a 2016 exchange with Jerry Media’s Chief Content Officer James Ryan Ohlinger. In screenshots posted to Twitter, Berger reveals how he requested that the account credit him for one of his videos, which they reposted. In response, Ohlinger, who goes by “Krispyshorts” told Berger to “shut up.”
FuckJerry doesn’t like it when other people use their content. Please download my #FuckJerry video and ru-upload anywhere and everywhere you can. Thank you. #FuckFuckJerry #FuckKrispyshorts https://t.co/xLX6pw82Am pic.twitter.com/fNtFsvwqyB— Vic Berger IV (@VicBergerIV) February 5, 2019
Not long after Berger’s video went up on YouTube, it was removed. According to a screenshot shared by Berger, the reason given was a “copyright takedown request” from none other than Krispyshorts himself. In response to the video, as well as rising calls for FuckJerry to be boycotted, the hashtag #FuckFuckJerry continued to make the rounds. The hashtag has previously brought to light stories about how Fuck Jerry has screwed over comedians and creators for years.
Such ABSOLUTE FUCKING BULLSHIT from @FuckJerry. No “established norms for re-posting”? LIE. Flat-out fucking lie. They did EXTRA work removing creator’s names from Tweets to steal credit. They knew what they were doing. They got caught and they’re gaslighting. #FuckFuckJerry pic.twitter.com/GEWaZ1gnMu— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) February 4, 2019
I'm currently a writer on a tv show because the creator saw a tweet of mine, liked it, and sought me out. Accounts like FuckJerry make money by stealing content, which robs opportunities from people like me who are just out here trying to write jokes about Arby's.#FuckFuckJerry https://t.co/CUB8cH7ao3— Alice Moran (@Alice_Moran) February 1, 2019
A recent Medium column penned by Tebele claims that Fuck Jerry is changing its policies, and will no longer take content without permission, but people aren’t buying it. In fact, people are so angry at the Instagram page a quick search yields not one, but two roast-tracks about the “joke stealing jerks.”
As Tim Heidecker put it in his track, “shut those fuckers down.”
Fuck Jerry and Berger did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Nahila Bonfiglio reports on geek culture and gaming. Her work has also appeared on KUT's Texas Standard (Austin), KPAC-FM (San Antonio), and the Daily Texan.