Creepy Content Doppelgangers Plagiarize Personal Bloggers

Posted on September 19, 2006

Even personal blogs are not immune from plagiarism. Plagiarists steal the lives of personal bloggers. These creepy content doppelgangers may even change names and places as they try to make another blogger's life their own. This Boston Herald article from earlier this year talks about how some bloggers have found their posts and Flickr photos copied and used by someone else.

Anna from London logged on April 18 to find, through the referrer logs for her blog Little Red Boat, that a post in which she idly mused about what to do on a holiday weekend had been plagiarized by a blogger. Anna immediately did a screen grab of the stolen content and published it in a post called ''Tuesday morning. It's the new Monday morning."

''If people are going to nick your content, then why not do it logically and nick a well-crafted classic piece of writing rather than a bored musing?" Anna blogged.

Most of Anna's posts bring from nine to 30 comments, but this one quickly drew 66. In the ensuing discussion with her regular readers, Anna noted, ''Someone else did this once, copy and pasting my life and changing the names. The same thing's happened on Flickr in the last week -- someone's downloaded a couple of my photos and reuploaded them as their own -- but, and it's very similar: They're Not Even Some of My Best Photos. They are, in fact, BAD photos. WHY?"

The Boston Herald article also says a personal blogger named Beth found that a plagiarist had copied dozens of her posts. This plagiarist had even taken the trouble to change people's names so the plagiarist's blog would appear more original.
Last month, an alert reader informed Beth that her blog was being plagiarized. Dozens of Beth's blog entries had been stolen, word-for-word, over six months. Names of people in her life were changed to the names of people whom the plagiarist apparently knew, creating the impression that she had lived Beth's experiences and had thought her thoughts.

"What's the point of having a blog if you can't even write your own original content for it?" Beth -- who like many bloggers requested that her full name not be used in order to keep her blogging and professional lives separate -- wrote in a post about the theft.

Unfortunately the saying that "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" really doesn't help people like Beth who get betrayed by a plagiarizing reader. The blog Plagiarism Today, a great blog about plagiarism and content theft, is quoted often in the article. On the right hand side of the blog you can find a list of posts about stopping Internet plagiarism.

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