Some months back, a dear sister of mine mentioned my name in a comment on a post that I had authored and someone she knew had posted and passed off as her own. People were commending her for having written a beautiful piece and she took the accolades with pride.
This sister of mine had called the person out on intentionally removing my signature from the post and a lot of word exchange had gone on before she decided to invite me to see what was going on. The poster tried to justify her action and some of her friends also joined her in doing the same. I was flabbergasted. I felt honored that my sister stood up for me. But I had to plead with her to let it pass.
The most recent was when a friend on social media sent my own original write up to me as a broadcast message with my name intentionally removed from below the message just few minutes after I made the post. I couldn’t help but wonder.
This has become a norm. I have seen this happen to a lot of people on social media and I think it is not right. I personally find it funny being fed back with your own stuff.
I am really passionate about inspiring others so I love seeing my post being shared. For me it gets the word farther and that is good for achieving the aim of touching/inspiring more people.
Actually this is me advertently asking you to share my posts.
However, I wonder why people intentionally decide to take lightly wrongdoing. Some even pick fights with those who tell them to amend their ways.
The reply that baffles me most when people who engage in stuffs like this are called out is “What’s the big deal with writing?”
If it is no big deal why don’t you just put your own words together and ignore those ones that had put in no effort in to their write-ups according to you.
So what is plagiarism?
The dictionary defines plagiarism as the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own.
Being an academic has made this issue of plagiarism mean so much to me personally.
It is called intellectual theft.
Refusing to acknowledge the source of an intellectual material and passing it off as yours is stealing in case you don’t know it.
It’s fine if you don’t agree with me.
But that does not change the truth from being the truth.
It’s just like passing off words of Scripture as yours. That’s how it feels like to me. We quote Scripture and say who said what. I have identified this truth for some years now and I try my possible best to do what’s right by sources of materials that aren’t mine.
That’s why the share button is there please.
And if you prefer to copy and paste on your wall directly or have to broadcast on Whatsapp or BBM, please acknowledge the source of the post.
If you don’t know the name of the author you can write “author unknown”.
. . . And don’t lie you don’t know the real author when you do. Don’t intentionally ignore the author’s identity.
Just make it clear that you are not the source of what you are sharing. It is that simple.
This is simple honesty.
Maybe you have been practicing plagiarism because you were ignorant.
Well, now you know!
-OMOSEBI Mary Omolola (PhD)
Picture source: Internet