OK, color me naive. I know that there are spam blogs whose sole purpose is to harvest posts from other people’s blogs. But today, I experienced a different level of plagiarism.
My blog feed list showed that I was getting traffic from the WordPress tag page for Ubuntu. That happens every once in a while. So, I clicked on the tag. Sure enough, the title of the last post I wrote last night was at the bottom of the first page. The only problem was that my avatar didn’t appear next to the title. Huh? Another of my posts was also there with my avatar, which was driving my traffic from that page. But what about the first one?
When I didn’t recognize the avatar, I clicked on the post link. It didn’t lead to this blog, but to some blog of which I’ve never heard. There was my post, though, graphics and all. What was not there was a single citation back to this blog or any notice that I wrote the post. That’s the textbook definition of plagiarism.
Upon further exploration, I found that an Abhinav Kush in India lifts posts from other’s blogs and pretends that he wrote them. People comment on and compliment the posts as if he wrote them, and Kush does nothing to discourage them. He carefully moderates posts and provides no way to contact him other than twitter, which is how I got his full name.
In an effort to see how prevalent the plagiarism is, I was able to trace almost all his posts to other blogs in a short time. Some of the original articles were written over a year ago, others new like mine. I’m sure that I could trace all the posts to somewhere else if I invested the time. Ubuntulady’s post on sources.lst was absconded. He took The Silent Number’s outstanding and time consuming post on Karmic Koala. Anerd’s Tech Blog post on graphics in gcc, Francesco Mapelli’s Google Search Tips, even Tweakwindows’ post on installing Windows 7 or Vista from a USB – all were copied verbatim, including graphics and format. I’m in the process of contacting as many of these authors as I can reach, as well as WordPress, to inform them of Kush’s plagiarism.
I remember one of Dr. R.C. Sproul’s talks about sin. I recall that he found theft the hardest to understand. That one would take from the fruit of another, something that they did not earn, baffled him. In this case, though, it’s clear that someone with no talent or knowledge is trying to build a false reputation for himself. It’s truly pitiable that Kush has so little regard for himself that he must attract attention using other people’s knowledge and work. Beyond sad.
God commands us to forgive an offense many times, even seventy times seven (Matthew 18:22). He also says the our sins will find us out (Numbers 32:23). As if anyone needed a reminder, lessons in total depravity abound in this fallen world. That includes the blogosphere.