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Black Death by Plague-rism

Nowadays, with the power of the advanced technology, we have easy access to whatever information we need. We can find information from “how to build a rocket?” to “how to blow your nose?” No matter how great we have reached the advanced future, it has made us extremely lazy. I think as the technology is moving forward, use of our brain is going in backward direction. It reminds me of the human characters from the movie Wall. E and I am afraid that we are slowly moving towards that future (but just imagine how great it would be to just sitting whole day and doing nothing?) 😛

Believe it or not, this is one of the main causes of PLAGIARISM!!

Plagiarism refers to using someone else’s idea and presenting it as your own. While writing a paper for academic purposes, stealing someone other’s idea is an academic offence. Since we know how to “Procrastinate” so well, we don’t start working on the assignment on time and at last moment panic mode, don’t really think twice before copy pasting someone else’s information from the Internet and use it as is in our paper. While plagiarising student doesn’t really give much of a thought regarding what are the doing, however this can cause the student to either get zero on their paper or they can be kicked out of the university/college.

Those small innocent Command+C and Command+V  keys can ruin student’s life.

Plagiarism and Social Media

Plague-rism (get it??) is a virus that is not only limited to the academic world; it has been affecting every sector that mankind know of! It existed during per- Internet ages, however it got stronger as we entered the Internet era. I think every person on this planet who uses the social media has plagiarised at least twice in a day. People retweet, reblog, share quotes they like without knowing the original writer, where it generated from or even if it is true.

Don’t_Believe_Everything_You_See

In olden days, certain people had the authority to put their word out there in the media. Their words had weightage and were respected and known by everyone. There was a limit on whose thoughts will be published for public reading and are the writer given proper credit for their work. Everyone knew the authorities and respected them.

Social media changed this situation; everyone got freedom of speech and ability to send out their thoughts. But just like a coin has two sides, social media also has a bad side of it. Because of a free pass to the accessibility, everyone started writing, sharing their ideas and expressing themselves. Since these people were not famous, they lost the creditability because they were not considered as experts. Other people started copying these ideas for their benefits, thinking that it is not plagiarism since we are not copping work of an expert. Nonetheless, no matter the writer is famous or not, if you are taking ideas or quotes from him/her it is very crucial to cite their work.

Another example of plagiarism in social media would be free and easy buttons to share other people’s thoughts. Many videos, images, blogs go viral every day. If you find something on facebook or twitter that you like, all you have to do is to click one button and your app will do the rest. Everyone who are on on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr etc. atleast has more that two posts that are not their own. Generally people find something relatable to their personal or professional life and they share it with the world. No one knows the origin of those images or videos. While everyone is busy watching viral cat video, no one even wonders about whom does the cat belongs to? Where is it? And who is taking these videos? Because of easy access to the Internet, people have started using less and less brain and not caring about anything.

Many times this carelessness leads to stealing credits, cyber bullying and harassment. Many people share various artworks by extremely talented but unknown artists without their consent just because they can. Even though the artist is careful about protecting his/her work by putting watermark on the artwork, people have been introduced to the magic of Photoshop. As said earlier, because of the negligent behaviour of all of us, we don’t really stand up against this act or rather doesn’t really care. It is the same reason why many embarrassing videos go viral; we don’t understand the truth behind such video, we just share it just because they makes you laugh but we do not realise that we are being part of cyber bullies.

How to avoid Plagiarism?

Ultimately, it is everyone’s personal opinion and how concerned they are about giving credits to other people. Before you steal someone else’s work you should think that it could happen to you as well. Students avoid plagiarism because they know that they will get zero in their assignment but what about people who are not getting graded.

Before you plagiarise, you should think that what if your paper gets super famous and you get recognition for it and later everyone finds out that you have copy pasted someone else’s work. Can you imagine how humiliating it would be? The Prime Minister of Romania, Victor Ponta had plagiarised in his doctoral thesis. Even though he denied the blame, people probably have lost respect for him.

So it is your responsibility to give proper credits to people who have inspired you. It is always good to express yourself with your unique ideas instead of stealing someone else’s ideas and thought. There are many websites and softwares that can help you check for plagiarism. It may take some time but will help you be ethical and do right thing.

Future of Internet

How to prevent others Plagiarising your own work?

 Plagiarism works both ways, no matter how ethical you are, you will come across people who will try to plagiarise your work as well.

This is where our friend Google comes to the rescue. Google is good at detecting who is the original author of the article is. If you have original content and SEO, Google will inspect all online content during ranking for originality.

There is another tool by Google called “Google Alert”. Google Alert tracks all your original content, if it detects a content from your website it will immediately alert you.

Google is very particular about plagiarism. If you find someone stealing your work, you can file a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) complaint with Google and Google will remove the offender from their search results.

How does plagiarism affect your personal brand? (Fashion Edition) 

For all my life I have studied and worked in the fashion industry. Plagiarism is a quite controversial topic in Fashion World. Many big designers take plagiarism as an inspiration. If a big design house copping your work, it is considered as a compliment. The fashion industry is quite twisted in a very elegant way. It can convince you to look at a serious offence like plagiarism as a beautiful muse.

Left: Geoffrey Beene 2004; Right: Celine 2013

Big fashion brands like Prada, Channel, and Dior have been part of a plagiarism scandal. Some of them survived by giving “being inspired” excuse but some did have to face some consequences had to go through some law suites. Céline had a big scandal during 2013, as the fall-winter 2013 coat was almost identical to Geoffrey Beene’s coat from 2004. Roberto Cavalli has made ongoing statements on style.com about how Michael Kors always copies not only him but also many other designers.

There have been many other plagiarism examples in the past that have been overlooked by people just because it is a famous the brand. Such scandals disappear quite soon as but it stays in people’s mind. Plagiarism is an ugly disease that scars the brand for life. It changes people’s perspective about you and they will always look at you as a criminal, no matter how many good deeds you do after that.

Why is Plagiarism not acceptable?

In conclusion, Plagiarism is never acceptable. Before you consider copying someone’s work, think about a project on which you have worked really hard, you have put all your heart and soul in it and someone steals it.

Plagiarism is a very heinous act. It is not worth risking your education and your future. Once you get the bad name, you will have to live with it for rest of your life. People forget all the good things that you have done but they always remember that one bad thing forever.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment!  😀