I wasn’t going to talk about this here, because I think the horse is beaten and dead on the ground. But as I continue to see the drama unfold on DAY THREE, with accusations flying that Beautifully Invisible and Grit & Glamour are bullies and Kristi Diehm of The Story Siren simply made a mistake – well I have to call BULLSHIT.
To you, her followers: She didn’t make a mistake. This wasn’t a case of “Oops! I just accidentally CTRL +V’d six blog posts worth of content and then re-worked it a little, MY BAD!” This was a deliberate and calculated attempt to give you, her reader, additional content so that she would continue to receive traffic and affiliate clicks. YES, I am saying that. Hell, she basically said the very same thing here:
Was I feeling pressure to do something new and engaging? Something helpful and interesting? I was.
This is a blogger who gave you an anti-plagiarism post* and then BROKE. EVERY. RULE. IN. IT. She behaved completely unethically and needs to be held accountable for her actions. I am holding her accountable by not participating in her blog anymore: I have removed the Debut Author Challenge button from my sidebar and Challenge Page, and I will also no longer be participating in In My Mailbox. That’s a done deal. I cannot support a blogger who would knowingly and purposefully steal from someone else. What’s to stop her from stealing from you?
Yes, you say she’s sorry and she apologized – TWICE! Save it, because I’ve already heard that argument and frankly, I don’t agree. Her first apology is self-serving:
My biggest worry was the authors and publishers that I host.
and her second is circular at best:
When I first received the allegations of plagiarism, I was presented with the information and could not deny the facts. While the content was not identical the subject matter was. It was a confusion of inspiration and plagiarism on my part. I am not denying my actions. I was in the wrong. … To Grit and Glamour and Beautifully Invisible, I extend my deepest apologies. Please do not judge the book blogging community by my mistakes.
She never actually says “I’m sorry for stealing your content and that is wrong.” You know, had she actually done that in the beginning, things could have gone differently. She could have gracefully and humbly come forward and admitted what she had done, but even her second apology, as Parajunkee so aptly points out via Twitter, smacks of “I can’t think for myself”:
This isn’t a rant against Kristi or her blog. Please don’t mistake this post for jealousy either (since that’s being bandied about between other bloggers, too). I’m not. Did I admire her blog? Yes, I did. Do I now? No. I don’t admire people or places with stolen material. I also don’t excuse it.
I know what you might be thinking: I should get off my high-horse, because who am I to judge? Yeah, I’ve made mistakes. I’ve tripped and accidentally spilled red Kool-aid on white carpet (also candlewax), I’ve rear-ended someone who stopped on a green light. THOSE are accidents, those are mistakes. But I have never set out to deliberately steal from someone and hurt them.
And that’s the point of this post.
At the end of the day, if she had plagiarized YOU, you would not defend her. You would not excuse it. You would not sweep it under the rug and you most certainly would want to hold her accountable. So my question to you is, what makes you want to defend her so badly? How can you defend someone who would do such a thing?
What makes this specific instance OKAY?
If you would like to help stop plagiarism, please do not support bloggers who do it. You can also click the image at the left to digitally sign a petition agreeing to never participate in any form of plagiarism.
Links To Follow This Story:
Buzzworthy News: April 23, 2012 I Think We’ve Been Plagiarized… Sort of: The Story of the Content Thief! B*tch stole my content! Plagiarism: How to Deal with a Thief Plagiarism and The Story Siren *Thanks to Radiant-Shadows for finding this.