Plagiarism is still plagiarism online

I want to address an issue that is very often conveniently forgotten online, plagiarism (well not just online, as Shia LaBoeuf recent case of plagiarism shows).

It is not necessary to be an academic or an university student to understand that any time you quote something out of an article you found online you should quote the source too. Academically speaking that is defined as plagiarism. ‘Internettelly’ speaking, that is plagiarism too, but instead of getting a bad mark or failing an essay, there is no punishment apparently and some posters and bloggers feel there is no problem to steal something written by someone else and pass it off as theirs.

Well there is a problem instead. People who write well-written and documented articles probably spent a great part of their time researching the subject, because if you want to write something accurate you have to do some research. If you want to write something inaccurate, well.. don’t write it at all 😉

Soooooo…. the inspiration for this article came from a blog I also follow as a blog on Facebook, our two pages are linked. I will post the status as it was written, translating it below (it is not translated word by word, but rendering the content as best as I could).

Vi ricordate il mio post sui siti per cercare lavoro all’estero? Quello che ho scritto per il giornale con cui collaboro???
Quel post mi è costato tempo e ricerca…e mi scoccia vederlo “rubato” senza la citazione della fonte…non per questioni di “arroganza”…ma perché io stessa quando prendo informazioni da altri siti cito SEMPRE la fonte…per rispetto del lavoro altrui.
Ora mi è capitato di ritrovarmi l’elenco preso pari pari dal mio post, trasformato in file, senza citazione della fonte…anzi all’inizio dell’elenco c’è anche un altro nome!
Vi sembra corretto? A me no…
Condivisione delle informazioni è anche rispetto per chi ci lavora…

(from: https://www.facebook.com/Einespressobitte)

“Do you remember my article concerning the websites to consult if you want to look for a job? The one I wrote for the paper I collaborate with?

Well, I had to research a lot to write that post and it also took a long time… and I am really pissed when I see it quoted by someone else without any references to the source… it is not because I’m presumptuous but because when I do some research myself I ALWAYS put a reference to the source, that is respect for somebody else’s work. Now, I found my own same article copied on Facebook (- on a Facebook group), converted into a file, without any references to where the original file came from…. at the beginning of the file they even named somebody else!! Do you think it is right? To me it doesn’t seem so….  To share information is also respect for who collected the info in the first place.”

You can find the ‘stolen’ blog at www.einespressobitte.com .

Right. This blogger is quite right in addressing a problem that is considered the norm on internet. Copy and paste and everything is fine.

Well, no, nothing is fine actually.

It is not fair and in some cases you should have take precautions against risking a lawsuit for libel (especially if the original blogger is from U.K.). So, after a crappy figure in front of anyone following your blog or Facebook group, an ensuing bad reputation afterwards, you will be forced to remove your ‘illegal’ article too and… was that worth it? I don’t think so.

I know that internet is the last frontier for the criminal minds, a place where many think everything is allowed. Cyberbullying becomes ok, harassing is considered fun and plagiarism is entertainment. When the hell will people understand that internet mirrors life and bullying is still bullying online and abuse is as bad online as it is in real life?

And no, plagiarism is NOT ok online either even though who copied the article felt  super-cunning and cool because out of laziness he/she found an idiot who did the work and research for him/her.

Some people never learn.

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