In school, you were taught to not plagiarize work. It’s something we’re taught early in life and in college, you learn about it, even more, when you are writing papers, that it needs to be in APA format, quotes and citation need to be correct. You cannot, take someone else’s work and call it your own.
Guess what? Not all bloggers share their own story, some bloggers will take someone else’s story. I’m not talking about similar events happen to two bloggers. I’m talking when a blogger takes another bloggers work and change only a few details, like name, dates, location, etc. Simply put, another blogger steals your content; plagiarizing. Also known as content scraping.
I came across this on my lifestyle blog, Life of Creed. I have my regular contributors to the blog who write, but I also get submissions for guest blog posts (this can lead to you becoming a regular contributor to the blog). In one of the FB groups I’m in, a fellow member asked if anyone accepts guest blog posts on their site. I viewed the link to her blog she shared and I liked her writing style so, I said yes in the comments. The blogger reached out to me and I told her she could guest blog. I publish the post on my blog and also shared it on ALL of my social media channels.
Well, I go to check how the post is doing and there are comments and even messages via the contact form on my blog that the blogger had plagiarized the work of another blogger. Those who sent in comments/messages even sent me a link to the original post. Soon as I saw the name of the post, I couldn’t believe my eyes.
I went to removing the post from my social media channels and unpublishing it from the blog. In a message from a friend of the blogger whose original post that was plagiarized, I thanked her for letting me know and sharing a link. Apparently, the guest blogger has been copying her work for a while, changing a few details, but copying the main idea, storyline, even title of the work with minor changes. The changes are so minor that it gives it away immediately that the work was copied.
What do you do if a blogger steals your work?
First, I would reach out to the blogger ask them to please move your work from their site. Not “May you please take my content down”. You have to be firm, This article needs to be removed… Sometimes the blogger will do so, just to not have to deal with emails from you asking about taking it down. But not all bloggers will be that willing to take plagiarized work off their site. They will ignore your email or block you on social media.
But you have to ask them. Sometimes a second email may be warranted to ask them in a kind, but very firm way to remove your content from their site. Also give them the option to pay a reprint fee, to use your work. It does not have to be some astronomical number it could be a small fee like $50.
Other options to consider if your request is ignored.
You could file a DMCA complaint. You could also do a WHOIS search and find the contact email address and resend your request to that email. It’s important to protect your work, so this may seem like it’s a bit much, but it’s you just protecting your work.
Has your work been plagiarized? How did you handle the situation? Let me know in the comments.