So, Lindsay at BABble noticed that there’s a blogger out there plagiarizing entire posts from other fatosphere blogs, AND their comments (delightfully, he even changes female names of commenters to male ones), AND… drumroll… the friggin’ NYT article on the fatosphere. Into which he’s inserted himself, at the expense of FatGrrl. (“Smart, sassy and irreverent, bloggers with names like Big Fat Deal, FatChicksRule and BigBoyMark [“Now with 50 percent more fat!”] buck anti-obesity sentiment.”)
I have no idea if “BigBoyMark” has stolen any of my posts, ’cause I’m not even going over there to read. But according to Lindsay, he’s at least ripped off her, TwilightRiver, Paul, Thoughtracer, Fatty McBlog, No Starting Point, and The Rotund. And, you know, Roni Caryn Rabin.
Maybe I’m just incredibly naive, and people are out there starting blogs just to steal other people’s content every day, but man, my jaw is on the floor. I think it’s the comment-stealing that really blows my mind — especially the part where he turned Fillyjonk into “Phil,” and The Rotund into “Raymond.” ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?
You know, a while back my beloved wrote a 10 Tips on How to Blog post that included this:
9. It’s OK to link to stories by other folks, but don’t steal. One of the biggest bummers I’ve had to personally deal with as an aspiring web-based author is people ripping off my content. It’s not okay to republish my entire article, just because you kept my name on it. You’re taking traffic away from my site, which I can track, and sending it to your site, which I can’t track. Quoting a few sentences and linking to my article is acceptable. And I welcome it! Send traffic my way and I’ll try to return the favor. But duplicate my content elsewhere and you’re going to confuse Google into thinking we’re trying to search engine spam, or people are going to visit your site and think it’s my site. Not cool.
You want to talk about naive, at the time I read that, I was like, “SERIOUSLY? People just republish your ENTIRE posts?”
Then it started happening to me. I’d click on a link in my referral log and find that someone had cut ‘n’ pasted a whole post of mine into their own blog or livejournal. There was always a link back here, and sometimes even a bit of gushing about how much they liked the site — so far, I haven’t seen anyone trying to pass my work off as their own. But it still pissed me off for the reasons Al lists above. You’re stealing traffic from my blog, which is a valuable commodity, considering I do this for free and would eventually like to parlay it into some paid writing work. You’re confusing Google. You’re confusing readers. And most of all, you’re USING MY FUCKING CONTENT TO FILL YOUR OWN BLOG.
I know that most of the people republishing entire posts just don’t get it. I worked as a writing tutor long enough to realize that plenty of college students don’t understand how to attribute quotations properly, or how much they can quote before they’re actually stealing rather than just responding. That fact hurts my brain a lot, but it is a fact. Most of the time, there’s nothing more nefarious than ignorance going on.
But an entire blog full of other people’s posts, and other people’s comments, and New York Times articles, all without attribution? That’s not ignorance. That’s balls of steel combined with brains of oatmeal.
BigBoyMark needs to take “his” blog down right now. Period.