The Ethics of Article Spinning
The Ethics of Article Spinning (Article Rewriting)
Article Spinning is Spinning My Conscious
I am a graduate student. This means I have been trained in research and plagiarism. I have been taught that plagiarism is not only using the words but also the thoughts of someone else without proper acknowledgement of the originator. But that is not the real world; that is academia. For those of us who work on the computer to either make extra money or attempt to pay our bills, we have learned of article spinning and Copyscape. Here is a basic article to help you decide if article spinning is right for you.
Article spinning is basically when you take an article on the internet that someone else has either written or spinned himself and make it your own. This is done by changing adjectives, tense of sentences and other forms of rewriting an article. Copyscape is the online program you put your new rewrite through to make sure it does not fall under legal internet plagiarism.
I found this all out last week when I naively accepted a job writing articles for a company. Silly me spent 30 hours in two days writing original work and doing original research. Yes, I did! I got faster but obviously not fast enough. Finally, I asked my boss and was told how to do it. He was patient, knowing I was new at this. After a couple of days of total frustration, I concluded that my ethics were too high for this kind of work. Perhaps I was wrong.
First of all, the average article spinner makes $1 per 500 words. Obviously, you cannot do original work or write an original article for that kind of money. Some companies offer $2 to $5 for every 500 words, but you have to be good, no, great, at what you do. In order to make $4 an hour, you have to spin two articles an hour. This can be done.
So, I had an ethical problem. I have bills to pay and live in a town of 600, including dogs. I am out of work. Article rewriting seemed the answer. But, here are my ethical problems:
1. What I am doing is legal plagiarism, but is it moral? I am using other people’s work as my own.
2. Am I responsible to the reader for the material I put in my articles? What if they get hurt taking my advice?
To solve my first ethical problem, moral plagiarism is perhaps the hardest for me. Not only do I risk my integrity but what if I get into some nasty habits of plagiarizing over the summer that carry into my scholarly work? I researched and decided that this form of article rewriting, article spinning, is not morally unethical because it is an excepted practice among my clients. They know what they are getting. Anyone else who writes articles knows what they are doing. Maybe that does not make it completely moral, but if it is the accepted practice and you are not really claiming it as your own work, then perhaps the moral issue in this regard is resolved. However, what of the reader, who has no idea that this is how things are done on the internet?
This leads me to ethical problem number two. I do not care if I am rewriting, spinning or doing original work, I DO have an obligation to the reader for the material I put in my articles. Period: no ifs, ands, or buts, about it. I am responsible. So, my number one advice on this to you is to always make sure that the article you are using to spin from is from a legitimate source. For example, do not article spin an article on cancer signs from someone who is selling cancer medicine. Spin from the Mayo Clinic. Your information is correct. If you are “researching” cancer treatment alternatives, the “Cancer Treatment Center” is not the way to go. While your information on alternative cancer treatments may be accurate, you do have to consider the Center’s purpose for having its article – that is, to gain patients.
These are just a couple of basic ethical questions that you must ask yourself and I hope that you listen to your conscious. I am sure that there are ethics professors that would argue my first ethical solution and a researched article on that subject would take twenty pages. However, it is a personal decision. I am choosing to write articles by keeping ethics number two in mind. But I have decided not to article spin. Instead, I search then get an idea and with my experience, quickly formulate new fresh articles within minutes. Isn't that what writing is about? Inspiration? Enjoy and remember, to make some money 1000 words an hour is a basic goal. -- Karre.