Stolen: A Story of Plagiarism*

I don’t consider myself to be a great writer.

I think I’m a good writer, but I know that I still have so many things I could improve on. I think that I sometimes have great ideas, but that it’s not always consistant.

That’s why I was shocked when I found out that another website had blatantly stolen ten posts that I had recently written.

But let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

WordPress has this neat little feature on the dashboard that lets me sort out comments as they come in. Most are approved automatically, while ones that seem a little “spammy” are flagged for me to have a look at.

It also has a “ping back” feature that tells me when another website links to my blog or one of my posts. I love the feature as it lets me block out spammy comments and I can see who is “talking” about my blog. It looks like this:

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Last Friday I got a ping back. As I was reading through the blurb WordPress gives me, I thought:

“Gee, that writing sounds a lot like mine…”

So, I clicked it. The link sent me to this website:

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As I scrolled down, I realized that every title on the landing page were from posts that I had written recently.

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I still wasn’t terribly concerned as I thought that maybe this person had written on the same topics that I had and was using me as a reference post. I fully expected to see my work credited inside her posts.

Nothing.

It was my work, word for word. She had simply added “Fashion Shoes:” in front of each title, removed my pictures and deleted my signature. There was absolutely no indication on any of “her” posts that she hadn’t written them.

(Click to enlarge)

I couldn’t believe it. I showed the Hubster as soon as he came home, and he began investigating how to report her website.

Upon further investigation I realized that she had taken 10 of my most recent posts, and that every post had been added on the same day… which leads me to believe that they were stolen en masse. It doesn’t even feel like a real blog, it just seems to have that appearance.

I began ranting and posting about the plagiarizer on my Facebook page, and tried to figure out what my options were. I knew I could just leave it and ignore it as her website doesn’t appear to get a lot of traffic, but I was just so… offended. I try so hard to make sure I credit anyone whose work I may be referring to in a post, and I just expected that others would extend the same courtesy.

Even if my writing is not perfect, it is mine. It’s personal, and it’s part of me.

So, I decided to do something about it.

I found that the author had listed an email address on her “contact me” page, and I drafted an email outlining my disgust at her blatant plagiarism and demanded that she remove my posts from her website.

(I also included a definition of plagiarism for her own personal reference. ha.)

A few hours later I received the following reply:

“I am sorry, please let me know the URL of the posts which are your content, so i can remove them.”

…seriously?

Have you copied so much material from others that you can’t even identify which ones are mine?!? I responded immediately and included the titles and links for each post she stole.

It’s been nearly 24 hours, and I’m still waiting for her to remove them.

I’m just so… disgusted by this. I know they say that imitation is the highest form of flattery, but I’m not quite sure what this person’s motives are. The website doesn’t even look real, and really now–are you also 28 weeks along in your pregnancy and worried that you killed your curly hair?

Ugh.

I’ll keep you posted… fingers crossed that she removes them soon!

(If you really want to see the website, the link is posted on my Facebook page.)

 

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4 Comments

  • Julie Bee

    This upsets me deeply. I think it would be wise of her to take it down if she doesn’t want your blogging community to gang up on her and virtually tar and feather her.

  • Teacher Girl

    This seems so weird. Perhaps this is really some sort of spam site? Did you report her to WordPress? They are usually very helpful since the community is run by fellow bloggers and developers. I would send them a link to the posts she stole and include the fact that you e-mailed her and the response was very strange. Your writing is great, but I still have a feeling more is going on here based on the fact that she didn’t “seem to know” what posts you were talking about. Let us know what happens and good luck! I know that it must feel horrible to know someone stole your stuff. It is something I think about often. 

  • Faith

    I doubt very much that this person is looking for readers. I suspect this is about trying to get traffic for ad revenue purposes. It seems shady all around. I hope I’m wrong, but you might have a fight on your hands to get whoever it is to bother with taking down your stuff. I would advise trying to get WordPress involved if you can.

  • Aparna Radhakrishnan

    I have a similar experience with one of my “poems” on my Mumbai that I had put up..It is still up on the net but not on my blog. However, I have no idea how to track the person or get in touch with the person. And as you said I am still offended. I empathise with you and hope you fight till you get your credit.

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