Plagiarism - My 2 Cents | Alexia's Books and Such: Plagiarism - My 2 Cents

“Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.” ~ Mark Twain

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Plagiarism - My 2 Cents


Well, the book blogosphere has had another scandal. Was going to keep my mouth shut and wait for it to blow over but, for whatever reason, decided that I wanted to add my two cents. Maybe because it deals with plagiarism? Or maybe because it involves one of the bigger fish in the book blogger pond? Or just maybe because the backlash is getting so ugly?

I first got the whiff of scandal when I saw some strange posts in my Google Reader. Several of the blogs I follow mentioned that The Story Siren was accused of plagiarism, so I followed the trail to see what all the fuss was about. One of the most interesting posts was from Smart Bitches Trashy Books, which led me to the posts by the victims, Beautifully Invisible and Grit & Glamour.

Wow....

The evidence presented by the victims seemed pretty damning, but I wanted to wait and see what Kristi had to say before making up my mind. Have to admit that I found her original explanation and apology a little....lame. The clarification she posted this morning is a little better, but I found it to be too little, too late.

It's a shame that this happened, because Kristi seems like a nice woman who is passionate about YA books and just wants to share her love of reading. Did she make a mistake? In my opinion, yes. A huge mistake. And that's why I wanted to see how she responded to these accusations before making up my mind.

So now the Story Siren fans are circling their wagons and attacking anyone who wants her to stand up and take responsibility for her actions. One of the victims posted a response to Kristi's apology. Accusations of bullying are being flung by both sides. It's turning ugly...

This is an extremely serious issue and I feel that there should be zero tolerance for it. This is why, after researching the facts and reviewing all of my options, I decided that I could no longer follow The Story Siren's blog. I will no longer participate in her In My Mailbox meme either, which is a shame because it's a great meme. But zero tolerance is zero tolerance.

There's a much better post at Ten Cent Notes about why we shouldn't ignore this issue just because Kristi is so popular, that I feel is worth reading.

Deciding that I could no longer follow The Story Siren is my personal decision. Everyone should make up their own mind after reviewing the facts. And in my opinion, the facts are pretty damaging.

I feel for Kristi. I really do. But she is an adult who made a choice, and is now paying for her actions. I think that she might even gain some new followers because of this.

I hope that the scandal blows over soon and the ugliness stops. In the meantime, I appreciate that some serious discussions are taking place about the problem of plagiarism and I've learned a thing or two about how to protect content. The book blogging community is a wonderful, marvelous entity. It's a shame that it's sheen has been tarnished....

23 comments:

  1. Wow, this just makes me sad. I get that some bloggers might get overwhelmed by the load of review books they get (for the record, I am not one of these bloggers), but to steal a review just in order to keep up appearances, which probably leads to more review books coming your way, just seems like a vicious, and idiotic, cycle. I am sad, because I have followed the Story Siren, but it if I'd unfollow a lesser known blogger for plagiarism than I need to apply the same rules to a popular blogger who not only admitted to the plagiarism but also tried to hush it up. Maybe I'd be more inclined to be tolerant if she'd fessed up when she first got caught.

    Sigh, what a mess for our community. I feel a bit sorry for the Story Siren, but mostly I'm just sad for the impact this is going to have on the book blogging community.

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    1. It is a mess, and very sad. I hope we'll be able to recover soon.

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    2. Quick thing before that starts getting spread around it wasn't a review she stole it was content for blogging tips that 'revamped' and made about book blogging. Not that it makes it any better but just to prevent new rumors from starting

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  2. personally until you made this post I knew nothing about this; i clicked over to the blogs listed and followed them and their posts with the proof, sad it took place. Once I saw the screen captions with "hello nice to see you again" I knew it was her.
    I however am not going to stop following a blogger because they made an error in judgement, I'm not a YA book fan so Kristi isn't really on my list of must read blogs.

    I do however love the IMM meme because I have met many wonderful bloggers and found hundreds of new books to lust over due to this. the way I see it, no need to bite my nose off to spite my face. I participate to drive people to my blog and to find other like minded bloggers.

    I'm not one for drama or bullying anyone, which is why i don't have twitter, and I was just reconsidering get it, but this reminded me why I don't have it, it's too easy for many to jump on the bandwagon on either side when they can do it from a safe place behind a screen, and the name calling will surely soon follow, I'm not down for that.

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    1. I stay off Twitter for the most part because it's such a timesuck, and didn't know about this until people started mentioning it on their blogs.

      I love the IMM meme too, as I find so many great new bloggers thru it, but made the decision that I didn't feel comfortable continuing. It may be biting my nose off to spite my face, but I felt that it was the right thing for me.

      The drama and bullying is very sad, as I've always found the book blogging community so friendly and willing to help each other out. Hoping people will rationally discuss the issue, then we can all move on.

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    2. i really feel bad because this couldn't have come out at the worst time, with World Book Expo coming up in June and I know she's going, it's gotta sting knowing that when you show up that other bloggers are going to be giving you the side eye from hell, as well as the way the publishers are going to view you. Yes I know she did it to herself, and that's gotta sting knowing she might lose everything because of her own actions.

      I feel that not tolerating the plagiarism is fine, okay if that's what everyone is going to do it's fine let's do that; but some of the things people have begun to say in the comment sections of different blogs, including hers have gone from productive to just plain nasty, what happened to "hate the sin, love & counsel the sinner"?? It seems like several people have taken this as an opportunity to bash Kristi personally, which to me, looks just as bad to the publishing world.

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    3. The name calling and bullying is horrible! Just read that the two ladies who were plagiarized are receiving hate mail. This this is beyond ugly now, and incredibly sad.

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  3. Thanks for you two cents! I feel the same way and I think a lot of us of like mind have concluded to not let it just pass. There are other great memes out there similar to IMM, in fact Mailbox Monday came before IMM, it just didn't get as much attention in the YA world. We do have to take a stand for something with our blogs and a no tolerance for both plagiarism and bullying sound good to me.

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    1. Thank you Rachel! And thanks for your kind email, as I was paranoid when I saw we had similar titles for our posts. :)

      I'm going to check out Mailbox Monday, and Grace at Livre De Amour was thinking about doing a In a Goodie Bag meme, so that might be an option as well.

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  4. it's the bullying that I can't get down with, sure, I would love to say okay I'm down with walking away from IMM, but if others are going to follow that with nasty personal comments about the person 'we' are boycotting due to plagiarism, do I want to be associated with that?? Heck Naw, so I'm doing what works for me.

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    1. I think you can "boycott" her blog or find a way to make it clear you're not okay with what happened without it being seen as bullying. At least, I hope so, because that's what I'm planning to do.

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    2. I haven't seen any calls to boycott her blog, and I hope everyone just makes the decision that's best for them. I don't want to be associated with nasty comments either, but I also don't want to be associated with a plagiarist. We all have to do what works best for us.

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  5. The shame of it, you are right about the followers. The publicity she is getting from this. Even though bad, is still huge. Her visits have to be jumping off the charts right now.

    It is a shame, that her being a big blog that other inspire to be like, has pulled something like this. Wrong. And she won't really feel any wraith of it once every one stops mentioning her. Sad. Just sad.

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    1. I know! The whole thing is just plain sad. I really hope it doesn't tarnish the book blogger community at BEA this year...and hope that Kristi can attend in peace. This isn't high school.

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  6. Well, thanks for leaving links back to the original posts! I had no idea what exactly had happened until now. However, I don't read The Story Siren's blog so it makes very little difference to me. It's just sad when anything like this happens.

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    1. Thought it would be better to just link the posts instead of rehashing everything again. Let everyone make up their own mind about it. I'm just sorry there's so much bad behavior going on, and the hate mail the victims are receiving is disgraceful IMHO!

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  7. I didn't know about any of this until I read it on your blog while i was in bed last night! What's happening is really horrible but also fascinating at the same time. Human nature really is unpredictable. I can't help but think that there are some people out there who are sort of loving the downfall of one of the big book bloggers.

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    1. There does seem to be a gleeful quality to some of the nastier comments, which is a shame. I think the publishers are looking at this whole mess and shaking their head at our behavior. Hope they don't decide to take it out on us by rescinding our BEA invitations.

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  8. Not that I know any of the blogs let alone individuals involved but this seems so sad to me. Perhaps I'm a bit/very naive but I like to think of blogs as places were people 'play fairly', a place free of any kind of bullying and yet this kind of thing obviously goes on.
    As you say everyone concerned really should take a good look at the facts and then make their own decisions as they see fit.

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    1. The whole thing is sad, but the bullying is really getting out of control. I keep hoping that people will calm down and let it go. Yes, it was horrible. Let's move on now....

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  9. Like you, I have a zero tolerance policy and I have stopped her site and entering giveaways ect.
    A lot of bloggers are doing a new version of IMM. Which is great, because we still get to see new books.
    The only positive thing out of all this is how I've met so many new bloggers!

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    1. You're right, as I've discovered several great new blogs to follow too (including you)! Guess there is a small silver lining to this cloud after all. :)

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