Social Media Today Clamps Down on Plagiarism
Social Media Today LLC has put its bloggers on notice: We won’t put up with plagiarism.
In a posting on Social Media Today’s blogging network, Richard McGill Murphy, the company’s chief content officer, reported that one of its bloggers had plagiarized “significant portions” of several blog posts. As a result, all of the offender’s posts have been yanked from Social Media Today’s sites, and the blogger has been banned from posting on any of the company’s sites for six months.
Social Media Today didn’t identify the plagiarist.
Murphy wrote that “nothing is more important than the integrity of the material that we publish. In particular, we have a zero tolerance policy where plagiarism is concerned. Passing off another writer's work as your own is theft, pure and simple.”
Among the blogs in the company’s network are Social Media Today, The Social Customer, The Energy Collective, Sustainable Business Forum and Governing People.
“We recognize that blogging is a heavily referential medium and that bloggers frequently cite and quote from each other’s work. Such citations are generally protected under the legal doctrine of fair use,” Murphy wrote. “However, we will delete any post that crosses the line from fair use to plagiarism, at our sole discretion. Authors who knowingly submit plagiarized work may be banned from our communities.”
Murphy pointed out that Social Media Today doesn’t have the resources to check every post for originality, which means the company must rely on some self-policing.
“In the spirit of the blogosphere, we rely on our members to correct each other’s mistakes,” Murphy wrote. “In this case the system worked, but we ask all of you to speak up should you find issues with the accuracy or originality of any post on our sites.”
Brent Ozar is one of several bloggers who’ve hammered blog plagiarists. In a 2009 blog post, Ozar emphasized that blog plagiarizing isn’t OK, even if the plagiarist isn’t making money from it.
“Authors work really, really hard to create their original content. Seeing someone else pass it off as their own, whether there’s a charge or not, reduces the value of our hard work,” Ozar wrote.