A natural-looking image of the glamorous Khloe Kardashian was shared “by accident” by her team.
As a member of one of the most famous and glamorous families on the planet, Khloe Kardashian is rarely pictured looking less than a million dollars.
The TV star and social media influencer and her team usually know how to produce the impossibly perfect image.
So after an unfiltered picture was shared to her social media “by mistake” they were keen to have it taken down.
They have asked social media platforms to remove it, although their efforts have spurred others to repost it.
The natural-looking family photo showed the 36-year-old by a pool in a bikini.
The star appeared unusually unairbrushed: more like an image you would see from your friend’s lockdown lido swim session than from any of the Kardashians’ previous personal campaign shots for their various brands.
Kardashian’s team said this week the photo infringed her copyright.
“The color edited photo was taken of Khloe during a private family gathering and posted to social media without permission by mistake by an assistant,” Tracy Romulus, chief marketing officer for KKW Brands, told Page Six.
“Khloe looks beautiful but it is within the right of the copyright owner to not want an image not intended to be published taken down.”
According to Twitter, the photo is subject to a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice.
“Per our copyright policy, we respond to valid copyright complaints sent to us by a copyright owner or their authorized representatives,” a Twitter spokeswoman told BBC News on Wednesday.
Some users who posted it found the picture had been replaced by a message saying: “This image has been removed in response to a report from the copyright holder.”
It also disappeared from Reddit, with a message saying it was “removed in response to a copyright claim by a third party”.
But others reposted it, while media websites including Page Six also published it.
Elizabeth Ward, the boss of intellectual property lawyers Virtuoso Legal, said any attempts to remove the photo may only serve to draw more attention to it.
“Quite frankly they’re trying to put the finger in the dike that’s already broken,” she told the BBC. “If this is so widely spread they’re never going to put the toothpaste back in the tube.
“What’s quite interesting about it from a legal perspective is it doesn’t actually say who was taking the photograph – it says she owns the copyright. The first owner of copyright is normally the photographer, so if I took a photo of Khloe Kardashian I own the copyright, so it would be my copyright to do as I wanted.”
Speaking as a mum of a teenage daughter, Ms Ward said she felt it was “so sad” this was an issue at all, due to the widespread use of approved images online that appear to have been “tampered with” in some way.
“They’re not natural, they’re all photoshopped, and every teenage girl that you ask seems to know,” she said. “But it’s in their face day in, day out, so it must have an effect on them – that unnatural, unrealistic sort of image.”
Eric Schiffer, chairman the Los Angeles-based Reputation Management Consultants, agreed that the key was to never let what he called “digital spill” happen in the first place.
But once it has occurred, too much press attention, he said, “can create an amplification that can [cause] tremendous heartache for a period of time”.
“Ultimately the law and the tools are on the side of a firm that is able to eviscerate any digital history, but not without some cycles, because the media can take a shot of it [and then] it becomes a public domain issue,” Mr Schiffer added. “And then the press is not likely to delete an image because it falls under fair use.”
The issue of whether there was any problem with the image itself was down to how Khloe wished to be perceived, he added.
“Does she want to relate to fans on on the most authentic level?” he asked. “Overall the brand is oriented that way, but she does have an aspect that is hyper glamorous and depending upon her own discretionary desires, this picture may just made bother her.
“I mean, there’s a narcissistic element to these things and I suspect that this is one where it’s just not the image she wants for a host of reasons.”
He added: “The last thing she want is the media talking about the process that she’s dealing with. But the public is fascinated by this.”