2008-07-26

A general article on my general thoughts on Plagiarism on blogs

I wonder how you all will react if tomorrow you find out that a lot of my blog entries were plagiarised?

Copied wholesale from other sources. Other people's jokes, opinions, information etc... all passed off as if they were my own ideas?

Personally I think that the lowest a blogger can hit. A blog is meant to be an outlet for your thoughts and opinions - so if you have none, why bother to have a blog at all?

Why would anyone's blog be sewn together by bits and pieces of other people's ideas? That's just unfathomable to me.

Excuses people commonly give:

"I don't know how to write so I have to copy" - Better write shittily, or don't write at all; rather than copy.

"It's a personal blog" - Blogs are never personal, even the locked ones. Besides, as my current saga has taught me, it is NOT ok to anyhow write whatever I want on my "personal blog", right?

"I didn't know I had to cite" - Sorry, but ignorance is not an excuse. I doubt anyone older than a Primary Schooler would not know that copying is wrong.



I remember back in school, whenever someone gets caught for plagiarising, it is an immediate fail grade. Not only that, the plagiariser will be announced to the class to be shamed.

Passing off someone's else hard work as your own. Disgusting.


When applied to blogs, is just as grave an offence?

Or is it not that big a deal, because words in a blog are not used for academia measurements, therefore are not so important?

In this technological era, it is so easy to copy. Just a click of your mouse to select your favourite line, and a ctrl C and crtl V. Voila! You can sound as intellectual as you please.

I think it's an even bigger deal. Why? Because blogs are meant to be a platform for your opinions, and plagiarism just goes ahead to give this spirit a sharp slap on the face. Blogs are meant to be for you to express yourself... not pretend to be somebody else.

So in a sense, plagiarism on blogs stands for much more than that on acadamic papers.

On an exam answer sheet, plagiarism is done for an A.

On a blog... Why? It feels like something way more sinister.


By letting plagiarizers get away scot-free, we are endorsing the act of plagiarism.

Imagine you scored 80% in a test because you studied hard and wrote well. Tommy, your classmate, scored 80% because he cheated and copied.

Your teacher knows about this, and yet, Tommy still gets his 80% grade, although everyone knows he is a cheater.

Is this fair? Should Tommy get expelled and shamed?

In your opinion, what should be done?



WHY would bloggers plagiarise?

I can understand if you are lifting off paragraphs full of information, ie if you wanted to describe a movie, and you copy the movie's synopsis from somewhere.

What I cannot understand or tolerate is the lifting of other people's opinions, for example, copying someone else's movie reviews.

When someone reviews a movie it is his/her own opinions! How can you just copy the entire chunk and call it your own? Underhanded, lowly, and worst of all, EMBARRASSING when found out.

Do plagiarisers not have opinions of their own?
Or maybe they are so incoherent they cannot piece their own opinions together into a decent blog entry?

A blogger IS his content. Without my words and my photos, I will be nothing. Who ARE plagiarisers then? Is he/she still considered a blogger if it has been proven time and again that his/her image and opinions are both dishonest and copied? What is this Frankenstein of a blogger considered?


I cannot emphasize how much I detest copiers and plagiarisers. As a writer (yes, I am a script-writer and I wrote for several columns before), it is an unforgivable offence in my book, and I hope to see justice served to such offenders all over the world.


Plagiarism is serious and should NOT be downplayed.


Remember: Plagiarism is tantamount to stealing.

Stealing an idea; it's the same as stealing a wallet.

It doesn't matter if you plagiarized only once, it is still wrong.

But in my opinion, people who resort to plagiarism are people who disrespect originality. People like that rarely resort to copying/cheating only once. It was probably done HUNDREDS of times already before it was finally discovered.



p/s: This article is not referring to anyone in particular, just felt the urge to blog about plagiarism suddenly, dunno why.

I am trying to change for the better by making my blog full of kindness, respect, charity, love and pancakes.

So I urge no personal attacks on anyone. If you wish to do personal attacks, please kindly make it anonymous by using the name, erm, "Monkey".

For example, you can write something like, "Monkey plagiarised more than 50 blog entries and he/she is so shameless can?!"

If your Monkey works under someone, the company can be called "The Zoo". So for example, if you are pissed off about your classmate Lilian copying work, and you're studying in RGS, you can write,

"This Monkey in my class plagiarized! The stupid ZOO still allowed her to get full marks! I am so angry!" --> Like that la.

I would of course have no idea who you are talking about, but it's ok, it's your comment and not mine.

Any mention of any names in the entry will be deleted.


p/p/s:
I just want to thank my law firm Keystone Law Corp for their excellent job so far. I don't know how I would have gone through this without you guys, and couldn't have asked for better lawyers. (This is not written in exchange for a lower rate or anything btw.)

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