Approximately a year ago, I started to write about plagiarism and why it’s important to cite your sources. At the time I hadn’t read any scathing reports of people using content from others without the proper citation. The post languished in my draft folder, like so many others, until I caught a thread on Facebook. The thread called out someone for copying content, virtually word for word.
Georgie Fear1, is extremely well known in fitness, she had been dealing with an individual about their use of her writing; specifically an Ebook she provides to clients. Georgie tried talking directly, privately, with the person in question, LeslieHopper.com, without luck. It wasn’t until Georgie posted in Facebook2 when people noticed, a lot. The plagiarist realized they had been called out. As the Facebook thread grew, the plagiarist tried to back-peddle as to why their post(s) in question hadn’t come down or changed. Leslie tried to say Georgie’s request was vague, without explaining what was done wrong.
Copies of the email to remove the post, comparisons of Georgie’s Ebook, and posts by LeslieHooper.com proved the deceit. Georgie’s request to remove the post, the comparisons of the original work, along with the copied work made it very clear as to what was requested and what obviously was copied.
Take this public outing as a warning, plagiarism is stealing intellectual property and is wrong. I’ve been posting for years, long before I knew grammar and the rules of writing. I hope I’ve cited all my sources in the past, I do so now with the citation plugin Academic Blogger’s Toolkit3.
One of the commenters on Georgie’s thread, Sohee fitness4, also mentioned to Georgie Fear that they had struggles with plagiarism recently as well. In her post “content theft is real5” she too provides proof of the theft of intellectual material. In this post there are multiple instances of the plagiarist, Siobhan Bancroft, who blatantly stole content word for word. Sohee, a fellow fitness partner, also mentioned having issues with Leslie Hopper, who apparently hasn’t learned a lesson yet.
In these two instances the person who stole the information had their credibility outed in real life, much like being plastered on a billboard for all to see. Actually, based on the amount of followers these two fitness personalities have, it’s more effective than a billboard.
At the end of the day, it is beneficial to properly cite your sources6 while writing. Bloggers know that links out to other blogs can bring people over to your site, this increases page views. Linking out to people in your field builds relationships with other professionals. If you want more information here is a great explanation of why source citation is beneficial and thoughtful. If you have questions relating to proper citation, this little hubspot 7 post explains a little.
I hope you find this information helpful and that you never find yourself on the business end of being called out for plagiarism.