27 July 2012
Let's Talk About... Plagiarism
You're probably thinking this topic is talked about too much after the whole drama concerning one of the 'big' blogs. I won't be going into that since it happened months ago and I don't really want to be caught up in it. I wasn't even planning on talking about plagiarism here... But I was plagiarized and I feel if I don't let it all out, I'm going to explode and do something rash like stop blogging for a few weeks.
So... plagiarism. I didn't think much of it when the topic went viral across the blogosphere. I was still in my happy bubble surrounded by a bunch of other lovely bloggers, thinking it would never affect me. I mean, who's gonna want to plagiarize me?
This all changed. I was scrolling through my Dashboard and saw a review for a book that I had recently read and enjoyed. Interested to see what this blogger thought of it, I clicked on it. To my utter shock, the review felt startling familiar and upon further inspection, I discovered at least half of it had the EXACT same words as mine with some other sentences tweaked here and there. First I was horrified followed by complete rage and utter FURY. How dare someone copy my review?
I emailed the blogger with a request that she take down the review immediately. The next day, I got her reply... I think this bit pissed me off as much as her copying my work. She said, 'I know this may sound lame but sometimes you don't realise you are plagiarising...' Her words, not mine. *Holds in anger* The second part of her email said this: 'I do admit that a tiny bit I did know I had copied; but that was genuinely because I knew what I wanted to write but I couldn't think of any other way of saying it.'
*Lets out anger* What the hell?! If she had taken full responsibility and made it clear that she acknowledged she was frikkin' plagiarizing, I wouldn't be this angry since she did apologise and she took down the review. But still. Do you think I'm stupid? Do you think I actually believe you didn't know what you were doing? Don't even try to deny it. I am absolutely sure you were fully aware that you were copying me, how can you copy someone and not know? You made the conscious decision to take my work and pass it off as your own. Even taking someone's writing and tweaking the words a little is classed as plagiarism (as we all learned a few months ago) let alone taking huge chunks and leaving it totally unedited so that parts are identical to mine. If you really need to plagiarize, at least don't be lazy about it.
And that second part made me want to pull my hair out and laugh at the same time. Plagiarizing proves that you don't have your own ideas or thoughts at all. Oh, because of course my way was the only way to say it. Personally, I think my reviews are a bit cheesy and I do try to make them more intricate so I am 100% positive no one writes exactly the way I write because I'm a bit weird when writing reviews :/ And OH MY GOD, I always find it hard to put my thoughts into words but do I go and look up someone else's review and think to myself 'Oh, she pinpointed my thoughts perfectly so I'm just gonna copy and paste.'? No, because I don't want to be labelled a cheat or a thief. No, I sit at the computer drumming my fingers and make the effort to write an honest and thorough review. It's a bloody cheek to say you had to copy mine because I had managed to word your thoughts. I'm sorry but plagiarists know more than a 'tiny bit' that they are copying. What compels you to take something that someone obviously spent a lot of time on and claim it as your own? It's just un-believable... It's also unacceptable. School doesn't accept it, the exam boards don't accept it. No-ONE accepts it!!!
And how can you say you write honest reviews when the words you post aren't even your own? Another thing, when someone emails you to let you know you've been guilty of plagiarism, at least have the decency to take full responsibility and don't give them a lousy excuse. It's pretty low -.-
I detest all the blogging drama that's been going on and I'm still wondering how the hell I got caught in this one. I have so much respect for bloggers and to be honest, I fully trust everyone. I'm not wary at all that someone might come along and 'snatch' my review. And there are so many amazing people out there who never fail to impress me with their hard work and dedication and I hate how some people completely ruin the image of the blogging community. I don't appreciate people who betray my trust. I am just thankful I have a bunch of wonderful blogging friends who would NEVER do such a thing to hurt people like this.
This discussion kinda turned into a rant -.-
What do you think of plagiarism? Have you ever been plagiarized before? How did you deal with it?
I hope this never ever happens again. I don't think I'd be able to take it without busting a vessel or something. So yeah, if you even try to plagiarize me or anyone else, think again. Would you want someone to plagiarize you?
**Update: Something has just been brought to my attention. This blogger has 're-written' her review: I sent her an email with a document which highlighted in colour the identical-ness of our reviews and she has only bothered to change around the words of the sentences that I highlighted. Wow - plagiarism at its peak -.- Sincerity would be appreciated**