Thursday, March 15, 2012

Blogger Confidential: Plagiarism

Have you ever been faced with an issue while reading or blogging and thought: I wonder what other bloggers think about this? No matter what genre or audience you blog for, we all face the same problems. Are you a publisher or author wondering what goes on in a blogger's (and by extension a reader's) head?

Blogger confidential is a series of 10 questions asked to 13 bloggers about the nitty gritty details of blogging. Everything from what prompts a blogger to pick up a book, to what happens when a book doesn't live up to its hype. This series was inspired by Wastepaper Prose's Author Insight series. Learn more about the Blogger Confidential series on its main page.

What are your thoughts on plagiarism now that we are seeing more of it in the blogosphere? Have you ever been a victim? Do you feel there is anything the blogging community can do to combat it?

"A few of my reviews have been republished but I’ve been able to have them removed from the other site(s). The only thing bloggers can do is to be both vigilant about spotting and reporting content that has been plagiarized." Jenn from Jenn's Bookshelves

"Having someone steal something you’ve created in any way, has to be horrible. Maybe in some way you feel honored that someone thought your work was good enough to steal, but you worked hard to write that review, discussion post, feature, or meme and having someone else take credit for it isn’t right. I currently have not been a victim (at least to my knowledge). I think the only way we can combat it as a whole is to TALK. If we see something plagiarized, we need to tell the person who had their content stolen." Jacinda and Jasmine from The Reading Housewives of Indiana

"Plagiarism is not cool. Period. Thankfully, to my knowledge I’ve never been a victim of it but I have seen others who have been affected. I’m not sure that there is anything the blogging community can do other than being vigilant and supporting one another. If you see plagiarism happening, then I think you have a duty to report it at least to the person who has been plagiarised. You don’t have to get involved in the whole thing if you don’t want to but at least let someone know about it." Lynsey from Narratively Speaking

"Plagiarism is, essentially, stealing – and I find it (a) highly offensive and (b) really lazy. I’m also shocked by the number of people who don’t understand what plagiarism is and why it’s wrong. (What are they teaching in schools these days?!?!?) I have been a victim of plagiarism, and it just makes my blood boil.

I think the best thing the blogging community can do is to have each other’s backs. I’ve discovered cases of my work being plagiarized thanks to other bloggers or authors spotting my work on another site, and pointing it out to me. (And once I get my raging anger under control, I shoot off a polite but firm email to the offending party, asking them to remove my work from their site.)" Sara from Novel Novice

"Plagiarism is wrong. Thankfully, we’ve never been a victim (to our knowledge). As a community we just have to be diligent on calling out the plagiarizers." Stacy, Shannan, Nancy, and Sarah from Girls in the Stacks

"I don't get it. At. All. I mean what's the point of even having a book blog if you're just going to steal other people's reviews? It's not like a homework assignment where you are getting graded... I mean if you don't want to do it.... than DON'T!

I have been a victim, I didn't discover it myself a fellow blogger did. I never really thought my reviews were good enough to steal, but I guess they were. I've had other things taken from my blog too... like my policies and such. I don't have a problem with people using content if they ask and if they make it their own. Sure it may just be a contest policy, but it still took me time and effort to write that thing up!

As far as combating it, we just need to educate each other. Sometimes people don't even realize they are doing it, or what they are doing is wrong. If you've found that a blogger has plagiarized you contact them, try to work out in a professional manner." Kristi from The Story Siren

"Um… totally speechless here. I don’t understand it. I’ve never been the victim of plagiarism (as far as I am aware) and I’ve never had anyone close to me be a victim. I just don’t understand why people would do it. Is it so hard to write your own review? Is the other blogger’s review that good? What kind of blogs post plagiarized reviews? Do they actually have people who follow them? I’ve got more questions than answers for this. It just baffles me." Enna from Squeaky Books

"It’s pretty simple. Plagiarism is stealing and stealing is wrong. If you steal, no one is ever going to trust you.

As far as I know, I have not been a victim of plagiarism. I can’t actually picture anyone older wanting to steal my tweenish sounding reviews. You never know though, huh?

I think the main thing book bloggers can do to combat plagiarism is to encourage honest blogging. When you write a review, it should not only be your own thoughts and words, it should be in your own style and with your own flair. Making the reviews your own is one of the most fun parts of blogging." Melina from Reading Vacation

"I haven't fallen victim to this and hope I never do. People who think this is ok, I hope one day will come to terms with themselves and know that its not." Yara from Once Upon a Twilight

"I don't know much about this topic. I have no idea if I've been plagiarized, though I do know that someone has taken my blog title name. Obviously it's wrong to plagiarize, and I imagine it feels incredibly frustrating and maddening to have that happen, but I have no idea what can be done about it." Wallace from Unputdownables

"As far as having our reviews taken, I don’t think we have been a victim. I do know some of our character interviews for Cassandra Clare’s books have been stolen. Usually Stacey just emails them letting them know they can add a blurb about our interview and link back to us. We personally learned of the blogger etiquette being involved with the Twilight Fandom. As for the community, it would be great to see something like a blogger etiquette vow that blogs can say we hold ourselves to these universal standards. But in general, we just be ever vigilant about it and if you see something let that blogger know." Pixie and Stacey from Page Turners Blog

"To my knowledge, I've never been a victim but I have a bad memory so if I have been plagiarized in the past, please remind me, lol! I honestly think it's just crap though and can't believe people would plagiarize a review. I don't really know if there's anything that can be done to combat it because we can't control other peoples' actions. Just continue keeping an eye out for it and emailing the person who was plagiarized and the blogger who did it to work it out privately. Unless it becomes a much larger issue, dealing with it privately is the way to go." James from Book Chic

"Plagiarism is one of the worst things a blogger could do. Stealing someone else's words and calling them your own is horrible. I have never been a victim (that I know of). I don't know what the blogging community can do to combat it other than make it known. I know some people feel that they shouldn't be called out and they should be emailed confidentially but I disagree. It's not like that person didn't know what they were doing and they should be punished for it." Katie from Katie's Book Blog

9 comments:

  1. And remember, not citing publisher copy is plagiarism, too.

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  2. I had one of my blog posts stolen. It was ridiculous because it was a review of a website and they didn't even link to said site, making the whole thing redundant. Bots.

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    1. I think that the bot thing happens a lot.

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  3. Funny how many of us said "to my knowledge." :) Does the whole stealing of content debate seem to have died down a bit recently? Not really a debate, but I haven't heard talk on Twitter or blogs about reviews being stolen. Hopefully this is a good thing if it is the case. Thanks for having us Emily!

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    1. I haven't heard a lot about it lately. It was a HUGE thing last year.

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  4. I had another blogger steal my ideas and a few of my posts that may as well have been copy and pasted. It was so frustrating.

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    1. The stealing of ideas is another big problem. And it's so much harder to prove.

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  5. I've had two reviews and a feature lifted from my site. The former was immensely irksome and really toed the line between genuine plagiarism and "influenced" reviews. Considering I was able to pick out A LOT of my own review in those others, I'm going with the former.

    But what really angered me the most was seeing one of my features on someone else's site. One of my main features, that people know my blog for, for which they come up to me at BEA and comment on it, was lifted onto another site, claimed as this blogger's own and started to be meme-ized. I was in tears. And this wasn't a newbie blogger. Not by a long shot. Nor were they small. So when people were all like "oh it was an innocent mistake" I was like "you fucking kidding me?" At this point in the game there is NO EXCUSE for ripping someone off. If we've gotten to the point where we're too fucking lazy to Google something to make sure that fantastic idea we had was actually ours, it's severely a sad state.

    Needless to say if it happens again I will lose my shit publicly. Ignorance doesn't mean innocence. What part of lifting something off of someone else's site, posting it on yours and calling it your own sounds like something that's right? When it that ever right?

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