Sunday, September 8, 2013

Article Spinning : Hey! I Just Spun Your Article So Sue Me! I Also Copy-Pasted So Let Me Burn in Hell!

Wazzup Pilipinas!

"What do you do if a famous blogger "spins" your blog post and passes it off as his/her own at his/her blog site? Do you call his/ her attention, do you let it pass, or do you call an all-out war?"

I was intrigued by a discussion seen at a thread looming at a certain Facebook bloggers group. The members were having quite a long discussion about a blogger that has allegedly spun an article of another blogger, and how the PR firm, after being notified, belittled the situation.

They go on talking about how article spinning is under the crime of plagiarism since the content or idea is the same as the original article.

But the real problem is on how to confront the blogger being accused of article spinning.

The discussion continues to become a very long thread. I actually stopped reading and it must have died down since I no longer see updates or new post form the thread. Here below are selected portions of the discussion with very minor revisions just to correct or improve the flow of the discussion.

"Article spinning means "rewriting" an article but the content  is the same. Article spinning is just one rung below copy-pasting in the hierarchy of plagiarism. I worry about how productive it is to confront a fellow blogger who has plagiarized your work. A blogger who plagiarizes is already one who doesn't see anything wrong with it, so if anything, it's like catching a thief or a liar: It's bound to be ugly and/or unpleasant. Worst if the blogger who copied your work is one of the bloggers also commissioned by the PR firm to help in a project both of you are working on."

"Imagine that you're all in one team, and then you discover that one of the bloggers also working for that project has "spun" your blog post. Other lines were even copied verbatim. The way the blogger took photos even had almost the same look and angle as the original.

Who do you confront? The PR person or the blogger? I feel like I shouldn't put the PR firm out of the loop because it's THEIR project.
Kausapin ko ba muna personally yung famous blogger and ask for an explanation? If he doesn't answer then all hell break loose ba?.

Declaring an "all out war" against a famous blogger isn't gonna do anything other than bring his/her hoards of followers to your site and directly/indirectly have them leave mean things in the comment section.

I notified the PR firm already but it's been over a month. I honestly don't know if there's any action at all. Still waiting for a response. BUT I won't hesitate to confront the blogger if the PR firm doesn't do anything. I'll do it nicely, of course.

I could "prove" that I own the content because I was the very first one who blogged about the project - and it was announced via email to everyone involved. Two to three days after that, the "spun" blog post appeared. It was easy to prove, based on the timeline and the emails, who wrote the content first. Swerte ako coz I had emails to back me up and everybody was in the loop, hehehe.

It's highly recommended to notify everyone about your post thru e-mails pala. Kasi if you use something like Wordpress, you can change the publication date kasi and pwedeng gawing mas nauna yung date kesa sa date ng publication ng original content.

There's a code na pwede gamitin para hindi pwede i-highlight yung written content sa site mo at hindi rin pwede mag-right click, but you can still CTRL+U to view the source code and copy-paste everything. I don't like that code because I do want people to right-click when they copy snippets and promote it on their social networks. Installing the anti-copying code is not social network-friendly, so I don't install it.

At the very least magbigay man lang siya ng link going to your original post para pambayad sa perwisyo. But t
he blogger just passed it off as his own. The way he took photos was even based on how I took mine. Yung format ng blog post, pareho - pero binago lang yung wording. Sigh, kalungkot.

Sabi ng PR firm, di daw nila masyadong maaksyonan kasi "normal" daw ang copying of blog posts. I also didn't imagine that the PR firm I'm with won't see this as a serious issue. Akala ko, they'd think it was horrible that one of their other bloggers is copying MY content. Jaded, maybe? But disappointing altogether!

Gah. This isn't good. When PR companies themselves think it's alright for a blogger they work with to copy someone else's blog post WITHOUT permission, it's not going to be pretty. Dapat, from the get-go, hindi tinotolerate ang plagiarism, especially by firms representing major companies.
I'm sorry that you're in this type of situation and the poor response you got from the PR firm, I think that's appalling. Solution for the problem: Should I add Copyscape or Tynt on my blog? But walang magagawa ang Copyscape or Tynt kung gusto talagang kopyahin ang article natin. Maski ang pag-disable ng right click, walang kwenta kung marunong ang mangongopya...I'm just so GLAD that many value their work and believes that plagiarism is a no-no!

I was just bothered by the fact that any client/ PR firm thinks it's "okay lang" that content is being copied. Hearing from all of you is like getting an itch scratched, haha!

Also, I already submitted to the PR firm a blow-by-blow account of how my post was copied and "spun". As in pati photos, pareho. There are exact sentences/ phrases that were copied from my blog post. It's hard to say hindi kinopya because there's no other site with the exact same content EXCEPT from my blog. Hahaha.

I plan on discussing this with the blogger in question very SOON. If he denies it, it's not my problem na because I know, the client knows, and anybody who compares our blog posts side by side will also know.
I asked everyone here what they think. Kasi nga, hindi man lang ako sinabihan na, "Wow, mali yun ah." It was saddening that the PR firm said, "The client thinks it's normal for bloggers to copy each other's work. But well, if you feel so strongly about it, then we'll talk to the blogger next time we get the chance."

Parang ako pa yung dapat ma-guilty na na-plagiarize ako and that I'm doing something about it.

I can't imagine ever working with a group, whether it's a public relations company, a corporation, or a small team of bloggers where plagiarism is considered normal. That's just horrible. No pride in own work. Malamang pati sa school, nangopya lang ang mga yan kaya pumasa. I would take action as soon as possible rather than leaving it for later. When I saw my work being copied online I immediately sent a message to the said blogger and asked her to take it down. If the blogger didn't take it down, I would have pursued the matter further wherever it would take me. We spend time and effort into writing an article and for someone to only copy it, that's unacceptable - whichever way I look at it. You want readers to read that article on your site, not on his, so its either he writes his own and just put a link of your article as referral or he takes it all down (that's how I would go about it) full stop.

Sa world wide web since yung content mo is publicly published then it became a source. So since it was publicly published then the possibility is to be copied or to be spun by other bloggers. So that's why Google pushed the Panda updates to lessen the percentage of those who spin articles.

Plagiarism / content copying shouldn't be seen as normal. It should be seen as an online cancer. It grows and grows. We try to cure it but there's no definite way to get rid of it.

Plagiarism is an academic issue. You lose respect and face by merely getting accused and a lot worst if you were proven guilty. But when one refuse to put some weight in the offense and takes it like it's not a big deal then it becomes more like a violation of moral preferences. Kapal ng mukha!

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