Author’s Rant: Plagiarism

If you expect to read one of my whimsical ramblings, this one isn’t it.

Apparently, I have been a victim of plagiarism.

Let me just say how disappointed I was when I stumbled upon a post that was very similar to mine in content. Not word per word but the key elements were there.

Oh let me rephrase that.

I wasn’t disappointed. I was OUTRAGED.  And I still am.

It began on one beautiful Sunday afternoon when the aforementioned post suddenly appeared on my facebook newsfeed due to one of the people in my friends list liking it. If said friend hadn’t liked it, I wouldn’t know.

In reality, this wasn’t the only time it happened. The first time it happened, I thought it was just a simple coincidence, so I winked it and moved on. The second time made me wonder. Still, I gave it the benefit of the doubt. Great minds think alike after all. But the third? That’s just way too many occurrences to be classified as a coincidence, and there’s the convenient timing at which these new posts seem to materialize, all appearing after the publication of mine, that made me doubt more. I knew then I’ve been had.

Do you know what is plagiarism?

If you don’t, here’s the dictionary definition:

“the act of using another person’s words or ideas without giving credit to that person : the act of plagiarizing something”

And then there’s this, which is specified as the definition for Kids:

“an act of copying the ideas or words of another person without giving credit to that person”

Both definitions were taken directly from the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary.

You see, the general definition doesn’t only cover the written part of the work but also the ideas, the thoughts that go into the work. This is the part where a lot of people seem to miss, that it has turned into a huge blind spot which can easily be used by some opportunistic individuals to their own benefits. They think ‘borrowing’ ideas is acceptable; and they’re free to use those ideas as long as they present them in their “own” words, in a different way from which the original ideas were extracted. Well, it’s NOT if the proper credit is not given, according to the definition above. Stealing is stealing. And that’s a serious offense in my book.

I have no tolerance for plagiarists, in particular the repeat offenders. These people have no respects for other people, and I doubt they even possess a conscience. I refuse to call them writers or authors–they’re NOT. They’re copycaters, idea snatcher, or just plain thieves.

I believe it’s the writers responsibility to verify the originality of their own works. Real writers take pride in their creations, the fruit of their creative minds, and they’ll take the extra efforts to do research to ensure their works don’t plagiarize others. Fake writers, on the other hand, have no regards for originality whatsoever. They’ll do anything for the sake of gaining popularity, even if it means resorting to a thievery act. What a shame!

This is the first time I’ve ever written such a caustic public post. But I’ve had enough. This must be done. I’ve invested way too much time, energy, and more to search for topics and gather the supporting materials to just let someone swoop in and take them as though they’re free for grabs. It needs to stop. To deter future incidents from occurring and to protect my intellectual properties, I have no choice but to implement some counter measures to the site immediately–so expect to see more changes to the site soon.

Despite the reproachful tone, I hope this post makes you become more aware of what constitutes plagiarism and know how to recognize it so that you can protect yourself and other writers from falling victim to one–and more importantly not to become a plagiarist yourself. And please don’t ever reward those thieves. What they do is completely wrong. It’s a serious offense; although it’s not exactly criminal in nature, the behavior is grossly unethical and there are real examples where it can actually lead to a course in legal action, such as a lawsuit.

While there’s a chance plagiarism may have been committed unintentionally due to various reasons, including ignorance, we should never give the perpetrators reasons to continue what they’re doing. It’s still WRONG, and they must be stopped. The best thing to do in such a case is to alert (confront) the writer whom you suspect may have committed the plagiarism and/or to notify the original author. Conversely, please don’t hesitate to let me know if you think I might have plagiarized someone else’s work, as that will be the last thing I want to do.

BUT if the act is committed repeatedly, such as the one I mentioned in the beginning of my post, you have every reason to believe that it’s deliberate.

If you want to educate yourself more about the subject–as I certainly do–you can refer to the wikipedia. More definitions and references can also be found here.


This last message is ONLY for those who feel offended by this post:

You know who you are.

And the only reason why you feel offended is because you’re the guilty party.

Go ahead scour my blog and fish for inspirations, or whatever you call it.

Isn’t that why you’re here in the first place?

Oh don’t bother trying to deny it.

It just proves the kind of person you are: a blood-sucking leech that has no regards for other people’s feelings.

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