Plagiarism keeps rearing its ugly, unimaginative head. In the past few months there have been plenty of instances where people are caught dead on yet them manage to pretend not to know what they did wrong.
Or they didn’t know they were doing anything wrong.
Or they were doing their victim a favor.
Or because they are not profiting from it.
Or they thought it was their own work, how could they know they had copied and pasted the entire thing without attribution in the first place.
Or…anyway, I’m sure anyone with half a working brain cell gets the idea.
For those who are still struggling with the concept, a few pointers: when a person plagiarizes/steals the words/intellectual property of another person, the plagiarist is the thief–the other one? That one is the victim.
And blaming the victim is really, really, really low.
It shows ignorance. Because it’s not that difficult to learn what plagiarism is and what it isn’t, so that you can study the evidence and make up your own mind.
It shows lack of empathy–and lack of imagination. Because all it takes to see how wrong it is to blame the victim is to imagine, for a moment, that someone stole your content.
It shows narrow-mindedness (particularly when the reason for blaming the victims, when the crime has been proven, is that you like the thief).
It shows lack of understanding. Because a few minutes of thought will make you see that, the plagiarist you are defending? S/he lied to you. S/he made you believe s/he came up, all by his/her lonesome, out of the awesomeness of his/her own imagination and hard work, with those words and ideas.
Allow me to repeat that:
S/he. Lied. to. you.
Every time you thanked him/her for all her good advice/ideas from the content she stole? S/he. Lied. to you.
Every time you praised him/her for all her hard work putting together those posts she stole? S/he. Lied. to you.
By defending the plagiarist you are encouraging him/her and others to continue to lie to you.
So if you cannot stop defending the nice thief because blaming the victims is low and further victimizes those whose only error was to actually create good content, perhaps you’ll stop doing so because, every time you defend a plagiarist you are encouraging people to lie to you.
Be selfish–demand that people be honest with you.
Be selfish–demand that people who lie to you stop doing so.
Be selfish–demand that others stop defending the nice thieving plagiarist, so that others are not tempted to start lying to you.