Friday, November 5, 2010

If You Steal This, You Should Edit It Before You Use It. And Don't Bother To Even Let Me Know.

I learn so much from Twitter.

A few weeks ago I found out from some Aunt Becky (and others) tweets that a woman had ripped off some blog posts.  Turns out her entire blog is compiled of posts she lifted one at a time to use to support some fake identity.  I just think that woman was batshit crazy.

Then today, DaMomma starts tweeting about this Cooks Source fiasco.  She linked here, and as I read my mouth was quite literally hanging open.  I actually stopped reading to try to get my mind around some of it.  A woman in the position of editor thinks it's okay to just lift anything on the internet for publication in her for-profit magazine without permission.  And if she edits it for you, then you should be grateful and you owe her money.  BlogHer's post summarizes well also, and links to others.

I mean, seriously, WTF doesn't even come close.

I also think this woman is batshit crazy, but worse than that, she is uneducated and chronically wrong, and in a position that most uneducated and chronically wrong people don't get to.

I'm not a professional writer.  Obviously, since I've said "batshit crazy" twice, and ended that last sentence with some kind of word it probably wasn't supposed to be ended with.  And that one too.  And that one ...

As a college professor, it is my job to teach students the definitions of "cheating" and "plagiarism".  Two students can do an experiment together, can collaborate on their work, and each turn in an original lab report that doesn't contain paragraphs that are close to identical.  I often have to help them do that.  Two students can study together for an exam, but when they have copied off of each other when answering the essay, I can tell.  I have had to confront students for plagiarism and cheating.  I have had to write memos to the dean, and memos to the student, and document everything, and listen to their appeals.

Did this woman not go to college?  All the people that are digging stuff up from her publications?  Why don't you look at what she submitted for whatever degree she has.  My guess is that this all started well before she became an "editor".

Don't editors have someone to answer to like the rest of us?  Or are they boss-less Masters of the Universe?  In which case, how do I get a gig like that?

A teensy part of me feels bad for this woman.  Her entire career is completely ruined at this point.  The more I read about her actions and her words, she really doesn't seem to think that there was anything wrong in what she did.  She was naive and uneducated about her own profession, then condescending and mean when confronted with her mistake.

Unless this is all an elaborate hoax.  In which case I wasted a blog post about it.  That someone could steal.  I suggest editing, if you do.


Serifm said...

Reminds me of a phone call my mom took while working for an insurance company. "Yeah, um...a tree just fell on everything I own...I don't have insurance...what would it cost to buy me some comprehension?"

Serifm said...

Also: doesn't surprise me that she was condescending and mean when confronted. Have you noticed? The more ignorant someone is, the snottier they are when confronted. Law of nature. You see someone making a complete and utter ass of herself, you can be 99% sure she hasn't got clue.

Funky Mama Bird said...

As an editor, I try to make it abundantly clear to my writers and duplicated, plagerized content is wrong and will not be accepted. Period. Full stop. I wish everyone acted that way.

MommieV said...

If you just read the repeatedly quoted paragraph that the editor wrote ... the one that begins "Honestly, Monica" and started the whole twitterstorm with that hashtag - she really seems to think that it's perfectly okay to use other people's work since she gave them credit by putting their name on it. She thinks the internet is her personal menu to pick and choose content at will and try to make money off of it, without even sending the author an email. The more of this that is found, the more it seems that she completely misunderstands the role of "editor".

I've heard that advertising has been pulled because of this. It's a shitstorm, that's for sure.

Laraf123 said...

As soon as I stop laughing at Serifm's first comment, I'm going to cut and paste it to This May Be a Dream Come True and my facebook page. Hilarious! Your post? Not so much funny, but sad and alarming. The internet brings out the mean and crazy. (Present company excepted, OF COURSE!)