Friday, March 23, 2012

Plagiarism: Offensive or Flattering

It has come to my attention that one blogger's recent blog post is apparently VERY similar to what I wrote a week and a half ago regarding Beauty Box 5, one of the newer beauty subscription service that is available to Canadians. I didn't want to accuse her of plagiarism right away, so I had several secondary opinions to see if I am not the only one seeing these similarities. Everyone that I asked to compare said that it was extremely similar but in a more condensed version.

So similar, that she even titled the post the exact same way as me, almost formatted the same way, mentioned the companies in the exact same order, made the exact same points and expressed the same opinions regarding the independent brands and packaging. 

The sentence that made me extremely suspicious that she may have copied from my post was when she said this:

"The brands that were featured in the launch box included: Weleda, Smith's, Comodynes, Priti NYC, and Personally. I have hear of maybe 2 of the 5 brands in this box. I feel that is an awesome idea for Canadians to try out this box considering the products being received maybe that of something we dont even have here or have heard of here!"

Whereas I wrote:

"The brands that they featured in the February inaugural box were: Weleda, Smith's, Comodynes, Priti NYC. Personally, I have never heard of any of these brands. I feel that the cosmetic industry in the US is much more competitive and saturated, so there are a lot more cosmetic companies out there."

She must of thought that "Personally" was a brand from reading my post, where as I used the word "Personally" to express my experience and opinions. I pointed this mistake out by commenting on a post she made in the Beauty Box Review Facebook group

I just want to say that if you're going to take people's ideas and pass it off as your own, I hope your changes are drastic enough so copying doesn't seem so obvious or at least give them the credit that they deserve. I'm starting to wonder if I'm the nameless "Facebooker" she mentioned in her post. 

If you are curious to see what she wrote and compare it to what I wrote, here are the links:

(March 20) http://ashleyschoicexo.blogspot.ca/2012/03/another-beauty-box-subscription-beauty.html


Perhaps I'm overreacting, or maybe it's wrong of me to write a post about this situation, but this just doesn't sit right with me. I wouldn't care if it was was 50% similar or 75% similar. The fact is that in my eyes, being the originator of the post, it's at least 95% like mine and I'm not the only one that sees that. I wouldn't mind if she kept her post up, but it would be nice if she showed some acknowledgement that she did take some points from my post. 

Anyways, let me know what you think. Is it a coincidence that it's so similar or do you think she might of copied and condensed? 

Update: Apparently this isn't the first time (so that answers my question). 

Check out these links: 



Update: She apologized and credited me and Aleeza as a sources in her respective posts. I appreciate her acknowledgement and I hope this doesn't happen again. 

17 comments :

  1. while i would *try* to view it as flattery, i would most certainly feel annoyed at the very least. especially if it's this obvious - the "personally" brand blunder is a dead giveaway. copy-and-paste (even if a few details are changed) is a big no-no in my book. :(

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  2. I had the same experience (with the same blogger actually). Someone PMed me on Twitter over a month ago that they came across this post and how it was very similar to my post. The blogger even used the same picture -- and I know because when I took the screenshot, I edited out the top right corner to hide the social media links.

    I was really annoyed at first, but I just let it go. I probably would've taken more action if the blogger had plagiarized a post that wasn't so generic.

    But I totally understand where you're coming from. You did your research for this post and it's a little unsettling to have someone just blatantly copy.

    Imitation is a sincere form of flattery but not when they botch it with spelling/grammar errors.

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    1. Oh wow, so it's not her first offense. Jeeze!

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    2. i just checked out the links you added to the glossybox posts and i am flabbergasted. i shudder to think how many more there may be. good on you for calling her out.

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    3. Does anyone find it interesting that this same blogger is now actually pretty popular now that her blog has been redone after the plagiarism incident? Do you think people know it's the same person or does it just not matter?

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    4. It is definitely interesting, but judging by her blog stats that she posted up, I think her success is due to her youtube video. I don't think people know its the same person, only the people who encountered this post. Sucks that this happened to me twice, but the second one was a "blog designer" who plagiarized. But it's been over so many months now that it doesn't matter to me anymore. She placed my acknowledgement into that post and that's all I wanted from the very start.

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    5. I refused to follow her based on what happened because to me, the fact that someone even thinks it's OK to do what she did says something to me about her character. I ended up having to follow her because of blog hop rules and like you said, it's all in the past at this point. She's not a little girl, but a grown woman who should know the rules of the Internet playground!

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    6. Exactly! I hope she learns her lesson and that you can't get away with plagarism that easily!

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  3. That is pathetic and just plain unacceptable! You have every right to create a post about it! I really hope she sees this post and thinks again before plagiarizing you or anyone else!

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  4. This is plagiarism in its truest form. The grammatical errors just make it even more insulting. Sometimes I don't know if people are truly unaware that as easy as it is to copy and paste things on the Internet, it's still wrong to copy and not credit the original source. We see this with pictures all the time. If this blogger is going to copy your sentences verbatim, they should be in quotes with a reference to your blog. People get thrown out of university for plagiarism, it's a big deal! You have every right to be annoyed!

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  5. Truely agree. good for you for calling her out Sam cause clearly it doesn't seem like this was her first time. Continue with your posts cause i love reading them! <3

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  6. I actually follow her blog, and I noticed that her BB5 post seemed like deja vu to me! Now I know why.

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  7. Check out this link from the blog Beautifully Invisible. It shows what she did about plagiarism in detail and is quite interesting to see the steps she took.

    http://www.beautifully-invisible.com/2012/01/i-think-weve-been-plagiarized-sort-of-the-story-of-the-content-thief.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BeautifullyInvisible+%28Beautifully+Invisible%29

    Good on you for calling her out, though.

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  8. Thanks everyone for backing me up on this! Let's just hope she doesn't do it again!

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  9. I would like to make an apology to anyone I offended. I did not mean for much harm and I wish for you to take it as flattering.

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  10. I came here on a google search about plagiarism - I just had someone take my photo of my nails (an old one that I stupidly hadn't watermarked, and was on weheartit and I can't delete it, I think) and put it on their popular facebook page. So far it has 60,000 likes, 8,000 shares and 2,500 comments. Very very angry - I have only 2000 views on my blog and she's not replying to my emails or posts on her wall!!! Any ideas on what do to? Here's a link to my blog post about it (I don't mean to spam!) http://nailedit1.blogspot.co.nz/2012/08/new-zealand-flag-olympic-nails.html

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