Over the weekend, a vicious battle broke out on Film Twitter. This time it wasn’t about a controversial movie or a problematic director. It was about a Twitter account sharing fan art without crediting the artist. This should have contained a pretty obvious solution: credit the artist. But @RareHorror instead decided to go to war with its followers.
As you might guess from the Twitter handle, @RareHorror tweets about horror movies, or more specifically they tweet images of horror movies, horror movie merch pics, and horror-inspired art. Recently, they shared this pic of creepy embroidery of The Ring’s Samara, from Stab and Stitch, a shop on Etsy.
But as you can see, @RareHorror doesn’t credit the shop or its owner Claire Mcdougall. While the tweet got plenty of likes, it also got a slew of replies requesting that @RareHorror credit the artist. Some even went so far as to call @RareHorror out for theft, as the photo and content are Mcdougall’s for use to sell her product.
Rare Horror: “Finding the original artist is not always easy.”— Max Tonight (@DanMoffTarkin) June 16, 2019
Also Rare Horror: “It’s easy to search for and find the stuff we share.” pic.twitter.com/xz6WrzKwN8
220 of you follow this piece of shit account and um, you shouldn’t pic.twitter.com/T6SpSwy5wq— Jason Bailey (@jasondashbailey) June 15, 2019
the righteous refusal to credit artists, the ignorance displayed by not getting why crediting artists is the baseline right thing to do, & *then* these disgusting replies, are abhorrent. a terrible look @RareHorror (link is here btw) https://t.co/vUE1yCs300) pic.twitter.com/eXt0HRL8AG— Katie Stebbins (@_katiestebbins_) June 15, 2019
@RareHorror did not respond kindly to any of this. Instead of just adding a tweet that credited the artist, they replied to criticisms by calling respondents “morons,” telling them to “f*ck off,” and mocking them for having fewer Twitter followers. @RareHorror went on to declare that even without crediting the artist, the tweet is free advertising for the unnamed artist. As I write this, many of the offensive @RareHorror tweets I saw this weekend have been deleted from their account. However, here are some screengrabs from Katie Stebbins’s tweet (above).
In these replies, @RareHorror also suggested their tweet can’t be theft of content because they don’t get paid to run the Twitter account. However, here’s a screengrab from their blog that suggests that’s not the full story.
This incident drew attention to how this isn’t a misstep for the account, it’s how @RareHorror operates. They post plenty of art and products without attribution. Unless you pay them.
it's literally their entire account. & they *are* making money off other peoples work bc they offer advertisements in the form of tweets on their site….for fees of $25 or $80 pic.twitter.com/h8EgA1RNn6— Katie Stebbins (@_katiestebbins_) June 15, 2019
Many in Film Twitter, Horror Twitter, and beyond joined the chorus of criticisms of @RareHorror’s behavior, sharing the Etsy link in support of the artist whose work they’d exploited. As things heated up, Dread Central’s Twitter account offered this subtweet.
And that really upset @RareHorror.
Rather than concede that they were total dicks, @rarehorror doubles down today, claiming anyone who has decided to link to artists’ work are “stealing their content idea”. These guys are the worst. Why do so many of you follow these asshats?! https://t.co/Qc93Y17ARS— Ted Geoghegan (@tedgeoghegan) June 16, 2019
Somewhere in all this, @RareHorror did reply to a commenter asking where they could find the Samara embroidery with an actual link. However, that tweet seems to have been deleted in their purge. But here’s one of Mcdougall gently asking for credit.
Hi there this is my art if you could please link my etsy I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks!https://t.co/YBXWszlxyw— Stabandstitch (@stabandstitch) June 15, 2019
Things got wilder when @RareHorror called on Mcdougall for help. Note: they still chose not to use her name, calling her “the original artist.” Here’s a screenshot of a DM exchange with Mcdougall (@StabandStitch) that @RareHorror shared.
For all the hatred I've got today. Here's a message from the original artist. pic.twitter.com/eiJSQP2S7U— Rare Horror (@RareHorror) June 16, 2019
And here is our screenshot in case they delete more tweets.
When users asked for fuller context, @RareHorror called on Mcdougall for back-up.
I stand by the response I sent you, I am grateful for the exposure, I've met some badass supportive people because of this, but let's learn from this onslaught and credit in future. That's all man. Have a great day everybody. Stay spooky 🖤🖤🖤☠— Stabandstitch (@stabandstitch) June 17, 2019
Mcdougall also shared fuller context of the exchange with @RareHorror. (Tweet followed by screenshot for ease of reading.)
Then it got weird.
When users pointed out that Mcdougall may not have been angry, but did want her work credited, @RareHorror lost their chill again. First, they retweeted @StabandStitch’s thank you as if it was meant for them, and not the Twitter user who she replied to above. In the retweet, they also called their critics “idiots.” When people called them out on that, @RareHorror deleted the retweet. But hey, look, a screengrab:
Screengrabs are forever. pic.twitter.com/vEDcRzPtfK— Kristy Puchko (@KristyPuchko) June 17, 2019
This morning, Mcdougall tweeted an update on the DM convo from @RareHorror, sharing a screengrab (posted below the tweet) and the caption “I did nothing to deserve this.”
I literally did nothing to deserve this pic.twitter.com/gLhs49JHIK— Stabandstitch (@stabandstitch) June 17, 2019
In this DM exchange, @RareHorror blames @StabandStitch for the “hate and grief” the former’s tweet earned. They also blamed her for their loss of 1000 followers, concluding “thanks for f*cking us in the ass for a kind deed.”
Then @RareHorror blocked her:
This morning, @RareHorror is in damage control mode. And to their horror, it’s not going great.
When you log in to Twitter to take your shift and you look at what's been going down when you've been away. pic.twitter.com/O9WBYmBeO8— Rare Horror (@RareHorror) June 17, 2019
Maybe next time don't set the room on fucking fire before you leave. Crediting artists is simple, courteous and would have saved you more time and effort than you've spent trying to drag someone who asked for a simple amendment.— Sabwones (@Luke_Stratford) June 17, 2019
Also don't spend an entire day behaving like a maniac.— Sam_Fields (@Sam_Fields) June 17, 2019
They just keep going and going and going…. pic.twitter.com/yLRixYZ0Pu— HorrorDesignChick 🎃🍭 (@shannon_mcgrew) June 16, 2019
To think that posting a simple link and wishing them success is harder then being a flat out bellend.— Crotchety Oldman (@HoserVersion9) June 16, 2019
The good news here is that Mcdougall has gotten a lot of eyes on her work, and now boasts some big supporters, including horror icon Barbara Crampton, who gave her a retweet, and horror auteur Mike Flanagan, who gave her a commission.
Wow… wow. Really sorry you were put through this. Just bought Samara from your Etsy shop though! Great work!— Mike Flanagan (@flanaganfilm) June 17, 2019
For more of Mcdougall’s creepy cool works, check her Stab and Stitch shop at Etsy.
@RareHorror has locked their account, which is why embeds of their tweets are not showing up like the rest.
Image sources (in order of posting): Stab And Stitch, screenshots: Twitter, RareHorror.com