Asking For an Unneeded Linkback is Still Kinda Shady

I really love Unsplash. It’s a site that provides royalty-free gratis images. Their manifesto makes it clear that this is supposed to be a “share for sharing’s sake” kind of thing. According to the license, you aren’t even required to give credit, though I try to whenever possible because, y’know, fairness.

I’ve noted that some companies are sponsoring (or providing) images, which, y’know, cool. If I was on the fence about a service I needed and saw a company that sponsored stuff on unsplash, that would be a huge point in their favor.

But contacting me and asking for a direct linkback to their company site when I use their images from unsplash is not a point in their favor. (If you remember my rants about OmniBuzz and Grammarly, you know where this is going.)

That was my experience with Proxyclick recently.

After using an image of theirs on my post about toxic relationships at work I got an e-mail from them:

I’m Joyce from Proxyclick.

Thanks for using one of our images in your content on You’ve clearly got great taste!

When you have a minute, can you please add a link back to our site: as a credit for the pic?

This would mean a lot to us!

email from Joyce at Proxyclick

See, here’s the thing. I already gave appropriate credit:

Now, they probably found my post either by using a reverse image search or searching for the credit tag, which is totally legitimate. No problem. But asking for me to directly link to – and endorse – their service because I used a picture that they offered up for free? Mmmmmmmmm…not so much.

In contrast, BetterHelp – which I didn’t write a big glowing review of and completely disclosed what they said they’d do for me – had at least directly asked for a linkback and followed through, even though the post wasn’t exactly praising them. Which, kudos to them.

So I hope that this serves to remind Proxyclick about the ethics of the services they support, and hope that they get themselves in line with it.

Featured Photo by Proxyclick Visitor Management System on Unsplash

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