Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Not so perfect, are we?

I'm a writer<3You never know what you'll find in the blogging world...

Today I log on to find quite the turmoil swirling around Plagiarism. 

Some insight from Plagiarism.org:

According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to "plagiarize" means
  • to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own
  • to use (another's production) without crediting the source
  • to commit literary theft
  • to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.
In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else's work and lying about it afterward.

The trail I followed was pretty insightful, if you want the entire scoop:

 * Parajunkee's View with lots of helpful links to everyone
 * The Story Siren apologizing
 * The Story Siren clarifying her apology
 * "I think we've been plagiarized" back on 1/31/12 by Beautifully Invisible
 * Some thoughts by The Book Lantern - how it all went down, twitter explosion, sizes of blogs or authors changing how plagiarism is viewed... very interesting stuff.
 * How to deal with plagiarism if you are a victim by Grit & Glamour

And my favorite:

 * Radiant Shadows comparing The Story Siren's apologies with her policies on plagiarism.

I like Kelly's view best (at Radiant Shadows) because she points out how Kristi @ The Story Siren has yet to confess wrong. Most of the other posts I read are pretty emotional, having experienced raw pain over being victims. As much as I sympathize (deeply, heart-wrenchingly) that wouldn't stop me from supporting The Story Siren, necessarily, 'cause I've done stupid things myself.

'Cause ...if she is wrong, so obviously (nearly admittedly) wrong, she regains my respect by owning up to it and... not doing it again.  You know?  'Cause who doesn't do stupid stuff?

The problem is, she's not doing that. She's using some apologetic words while avoiding blame, too. She's acting as if she's the victim of complicated coincidences.  Which.... Wha?!

That bothers me.  Suddenly, plagiarism is inky-black ugly and hurtful and my respect & support for Kristi has been suspended until further notice.

I don't think anyone's perfect (or close) by long shot, but character is developed going thru stuff and coming out better on the other side. Character is earned & valuable and I have always thought Kristi was thick with it, so I'll be waiting & watching what happens next.

I titled this post "Not so perfect, are we?" because anyone can do something stupid (everyone does from time to time), but what we do about it matters. I'm posting about it 'cause sometimes people need a little encouragement to do the right thing, and we can all help with that!  :-D


  1. I probably wouldn't have posted anything if she had just admitted fault, apologized, and promised it wouldn't happen again. I'd still be disappointed, and hesitant to trust in her future posts, but I'd be able to walk away, shaking my head (and maybe later do a general post on plagiarism! lol).

    Like you said, we all have the ability to make mistakes - no one's perfect. But it's how we handle those mistakes that define our character, and so far I've found Kristi's response to this situation to be subpar.

    1. Yep. I think my jaw dropped dropped lower & lower the more I read. I went from "no way, not possible" to "no way!! she's actually doing that!!!" And I'm glad you posted. Very calmly, I might add!!

  2. Thank you for the shout-out -- didn't expect it to be such a big deal. Everything could have been handled so much better -- I guess that is why celebs hire PR people. Because good behavior is not always common sense...

    1. Ha! I guess.

      This is not the first time I am happy to have your blog as the first one I see opening my email in the mornin'. It was your enthusiasm to quit supporting unrepentant plagiarists that got me researching. THANKS for posting!!!!!

  3. I liked the balanced view you gave in this post. This is seriously blown out of proportion. And haha, guess it's not just politicians and celebs who need PR.

    1. Thx!! I skimmed some when the drama got thick. I think the order I researched made a difference 'cause I got the full shock-value of the "apologies" before seeing the reactions. Plus, I assumed she was innocent and tried my darndest to prove to myself she was.

  4. Thanks for providing links into this intriguing story! I saw a couple of mentions on Twitter and on other blogs, and I was curious about what exactly happened.

  5. Um, wow! I just waded through your post and all the other posts you used for research. I feel like I need a shower. Why is integrity and expecting it so hard these days?

    Thanks for keeping us in the loop and for showing both view points. Ironically I read one of those purloined posts and commented on how great it was. Hmm!

    1. Lol - great way to put it!!

      I commented on some of the posts, too - or most of 'em. I feel badly. Can you imagine the shock of finding your own post not even rewritten? That would've been really tough and they didn't black-ball Kristi back in February. I think the timing says a lot for the plagiarized, actually. They've grown more emotional over time. Rightly so.

  6. This is very well said. I feel that if someone is brave enough to admit their mistake, they should be forgiven. But I have yet to see her write, "I took content from someone else, and it was wrong." Her apology is very confusing! Did she or didn't she? If she didn't, why apologize? If she did, well.. fess up, because a real apology would be met with so much more grace and forgiveness. We all know everyone makes mistakes, sometimes BIG ones like this.. but the apology seems so defensive. :/ Sucks big time, for everyone.

    1. yea I agree. I'm glad I started with her apologies. They are clearly confusing.

  7. I like your thoughts on this, since it pretty even sided. I was hesitant on opening this, because I was afraid it would be a bashing of Kristi. Although, I don't agree with how she has handled the situation I feel her wishy washy apology makes it worse for her. I would rather her say either a ) " I didn't do this, sorry you feel I did, End of story" or "sorry, I suck, I am being a hypocrite" giving one straight answer is pretty then an in between one. However. I am not entirely convinced she did it. I think the examples. Were something that all of us bloggers could have posted. I mean for example last Top Ten Tuesday we did "advice we would give new bloggers" All of us more or less said the same things. We didn't plagiarize each other. We just have the same thoughts. I don't know. What worries me more, is how it will affect the community.

    1. I think you're right. We all read each other's stuff and get ideas from each other and don't always know where we saw it first. Plus... people come up with the exact same thing more often than seems possible, yet it is!!

      I linked to the posts detailing why it's plagiarism vs. copying or loving ideas. They're long-ish and emotional, but the evidence isn't exaggerated.

      And, like you said, Kristi's answer doesn't clear anything up one way or the other.

  8. Hey Laura! Thanks for posting all of the links. I recently stumbled across Kristi's website, The Story Siren, and I had absolutely NO CLUE what was going on when I checked out her blog this morning. Thanks for the info (even though I don't completely get what Kristi plagiarized exactly!?)

    1. your comment made me laugh.
      No one's discussing WHAT she plagiarized 'cause it's complicated and requires lots of research and reading and comparison...
      'cause she was writing about blogging - like blogging tips, which we all like to read and follow and chat about, like last week's Top Ten Tuesday!!! She just copied some stuff straight over, day after day without giving credit where she pulled it from, only changing a few words. It's pretty obvious, but shouldn't have gotten so blown out of proportion.

      I don't think.

  9. Thanking you for writing this as I had no idea what was going on. I won't be subscribing to the blog or dong IMM anymore because she did not apologize at all. She did not deny or admit to it and I found her apology extremely confusing! Also, after looking through things she just changed a few words and totally plagiarized. I am so shocked considering she is one of the people that made me want to start my blog in the first place. I will be not be doing IMM anymore. Thank you so much for putting all this together. I will be posting why i wont be doing IMM and linking to you and your awesome post!

  10. Thanks Burgandy! I have not read the blog you are referring to.Yet thanks for all the information & for being so gentle towards the end. You are right, sometimes even inadvertently we all tend to think on the same lines, using the 'collective consciousness' or the free spirit as I may call it. The free spirit sometimes goes on through vibrations in space. That's why many 'like minded people vibe easily' and vice versa. Sorry to sound philosphical. Thanks & best wishes and regards.

  11. Thank you for sharing this Laura!:)

    I'll be honest, I wasn't "@" TSS or sending any hash tags her way but I was enjoying the gossip fest yesterday! LOL! The sad thing is that TSS sympathizers and the non sympathizers were bullying each other and arguing amongst each other and though it was pure sideline enjoyment I had to play mediator a few times amongst friends because they're taking their hurt, anger, betrayal whatever it was on the wrong person. I myself do not feel comfortable participating in IMM anymore because in my opinion it comes across as supporting a cheater, and an unapologetic dishonest book blog....I'm so torn and dissapointed though because I LOVE IMM! :(

    Thank you for sharing!!

    1. Ah... I read some comments after her apology today that make me want to RUN!!!! the other way!!!! Wow... what a lot of emotion and not a lot of sense!

      If I'd've seen all that, I probably would NOT have posted anything. I must run around with my ears plugged humming to myself!! lol

  12. I agree that everyone makes mistakes, but it's very important to own up to them and deal with it. Instead, so far, TSS has just glossed over it and handled it poorly. I am still very interested in seeing what happens next. Thanks for stopping by my post, there are so many different opinions and thoughts out there... Book Savvy Babe

  13. Hello! SO happy to meet you! :) Got your blog from my twitter followers... glad to follow your blog too now! Looking forward to your posts! Hopefully you can come visit and join my blog as well! Thanks and see you around! :)
    S.O.S. Mom

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