If you suspect plagiarism, what's the best course of action?

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  1. Sara Tonyn profile image61
    Sara Tonynposted 13 years ago

    Here's the scenario:

    While reading a hub, I found info that made no sense. I did a Google search for additional info to clear things up. In the process I came several articles on the subject and one was nearly identical to the hub, though the article was written years before the hub was. There were a few minor changes (literally one or two words here and there) in the hub version but it seems certain the hub was copied from the older online article. Ironically, the changes were made carelessly and that's why the hub info made no sense!

    So what do I do?

    Ignore it; it's none of my business?

    Report it? Where, how and to whom?

    1. Susana S profile image93
      Susana Sposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I would just report the hub as copied content. It may already be flagged as duplicate on the HP system, but it's really up to the original author to file any DCMA complaints. You could try to contact the original author if you felt strongly about it.

    2. Greg Cremia profile image59
      Greg Cremiaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      When you find it flag it. Why not help each other out?

      1. Sara Tonyn profile image61
        Sara Tonynposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        That was my initial reaction. smile

  2. profile image0
    Website Examinerposted 13 years ago

    This happens all the time, I wouldn't worry about it. Authors know this, they can and should do their own searches. Most likely, the Hub will be flagged automatically by the system and by Google sooner rather than later.

    In case you needed to report anything, that would be a DMCA complaint available from the HubPages help files. You must be the copyright owner to file such a complaint. If you are not the author of the protected material, you can report it by pushing the "rate or flag" button on any Hub.

    1. Sara Tonyn profile image61
      Sara Tonynposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Oh yeah, I know it happens all the time. But usually it's the original author who discovers the plagiarism one way or another. I'm not the original author so where does my responsibility begin and end?

      I'm looking at it from moral and business aspects, I guess.

      That is, do we owe it to fellow authors everywhere to report all suspected plagiarisms we come across?

      Or, as in this instance, do we owe it to fellow hubbers to do nothing and leave it up to the original authors or Google to discover possible plagiarisms, even though they may never catch it?

      I know this isn't a life or death matter but it's bugging me. smile

  3. profile image0
    Website Examinerposted 13 years ago

    I protect all my own works and feel strongly about this as well. However, I have come to understand that the problem you are describing is so widespread - thousands of hubs are copied, probably - that it would seem safe to assume that most online publishers are aware of the risks involved. And there are many tools available to them to detect duplicate materials online. Thus, I do not see any moral obligation on you. On the other hand, you have every right to report it if you so wish, there are no legitimate concerns for the Hubber. The HubPages team will investigate and make their own decision, and if the Hubber feels unfairly treated he or she can explain why the material was not unlawfully duplicated.

  4. skyfire profile image83
    skyfireposted 13 years ago

    Reporting to ISP/Host didn't work for me. So i used wordpress plugin "wp-protect" to prevent people from copying my feeds and posts. So now the site which was copying my content stopped it.

    I don't know how to protect hubpages content.

    1. profile image0
      Website Examinerposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      This you can do by registering with www.myfreecopyright.com. Give them your feed available from your author profile, then they will regularly check for new articles and automatically protect them. A digital fingerprint is created for each article, a confirmation email message sent to you for verification purposes.

      1. skyfire profile image83
        skyfireposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks you smile

      2. Sara Tonyn profile image61
        Sara Tonynposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Oh wow, that's great information!

        Thanks much for that as well as for the rest of your comments. smile

      3. profile image0
        cosetteposted 13 years agoin reply to this


        wow, howcome no one ever mentioned this before. thanks so much. i will definitely be signing up!

        and Sara, i know i have said many times i don't believe in reporting things but in this case, i would make an exception.

        1. Sara Tonyn profile image61
          Sara Tonynposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Yeah. I don't like being a snitch but this is something that hurts all honest writers and hubbers, I think.

          Thanks for your input. smile

    2. Sara Tonyn profile image61
      Sara Tonynposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for posting the wordpress plugin "wp-protect" idea for feeds and posts!

      I never knew something like that existed. smile

      1. profile image0
        JeanMeriamposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I would contact the hubber first. It may actually be their own work reworked on a different page. A lot of writing sites advise that, to post your work in many different places by just changing it a little to get more backlinks for yourself and bring a dead blog or article back to life.

        1. Sara Tonyn profile image61
          Sara Tonynposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          I considered that it might be the same person because I write under several different pseudonyms myself. But the possibility of the authors being the same person has been completely ruled out in this case. I'm 100% certain they are two different people. They aren't even the same sex. lol

  5. Haunty profile image76
    Hauntyposted 13 years ago

    If you find that big chunks of the text are copied, but there is still a significant amount of original contribution from the hubber's part, you could probably contact the hubber first and let them know your opinion before hitting the report button.

    1. Sara Tonyn profile image61
      Sara Tonynposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I understand what you're saying but in this case there was barely any original content at all. Just a word or two here and there. And the changes were merely synonyms for the original words.

      Ironically, it was the faulty substitution of a word that brought this whole thing about. The illogical replacement word turned the sentence to gibberish which in turn made me do a Google search to try and make sense of things.


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