Continuing on with the series of blog-related regrette rien I bring you the big bad P-word …plagiarism!
So this post has been sitting in my drafts for quite a while now, but then Facebook brought it to my attention that this drama happened one whole year ago! I took that as a sign that the time to speak up was now, because things like this don’t just blow over.
So one year ago today somebody (I debated about naming names but hopefully that person has learned their lesson and is now behaving) shared a post that they had written in a blogging Facebook group. People were commenting saying how great the post was. Then I opened it up and had some serious deja vu – I could have sworn this was the same post I had read the night before, except she had only just posted it that morning.
So I did what any decent human should do – I called her out on it.
Now I did have screenshots that I was going to share, then I realised that that was just going to bring in all the names and a whole lot of people who probably are comfortable that this has blown over and moved on with their lives, so I have relegated those to somewhere that is not the internet.
When I cautiously commented to say that I could have sworn I had just read a post like this the day before – written word for word – the blogger just replied with a disinterested “that’s interesting”. Clearly she thought she would get away with it or I would just be one commenter and it would all blow over, but then all the other people who had read the same post as me came out of the woodwork and called her out on it too.
Some people’s comments were quite nasty, and I in absolutely no way support that. She had a different audience to the blogger who shared the original post months before and obviously thought that she would get away with copying what she presumably thought was a great post. The problem is that the blogosphere is often much more closely connected than people realise, even bloggers themselves don’t always realise how far the cross overs go.
A few hours after sharing her ‘new’ post the Facebook post was deleted and we can only presume that Little Miss Copycat went away and had a long hard think about what she had done. As far as I know there was never an apology, but then as far as I’m concerned that would be a personal matter between the original poster and the plagiarist.
So what is the moral of the story here?
Don’t copy other people’s work. Be inspired by it, yes. You see that happening all the time and that’s how these tags and challenges and many ‘standardised’ posts come to be and they can all be equally as successful, but you absolutely cannot copy somebody’s work word for word. You can’t get off with it at school and you definitely can’t get off with it in the real world.
If you want to check out the original post, pop over to Elena Peters’ blog to read about the Ugly Truths Of Blogging – isn’t it somewhat ironic that that was the post that got copied?