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diavolobella's avatar

Is it acceptable for a Jelly to answer questions by cutting and pasting articles from other websites?

Asked by diavolobella (7907 points ) January 8th, 2013

I’ve noticed the appearance of answers which have been obviously cut and pasted in their entirety from other websites, but which are not credited as such and are presented as the Jelly’s own answer. Surely this isn’t kosher here, as it were? I am wrong in thinking this is inappropriate or is this allowable under the guidelines? I tried to look it up and didn’t see it addressed. I don’t mean providing links, but rather cutting and pasting the entire article as if it were your own original response.

What about copying and pasting entire questions from other sites and presenting them as your own?

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53 Answers

SavoirFaire's avatar

No, you should report these. Answers are supposed to be credited if taken from somewhere else.

Seek's avatar

That might fall under “Spammy”, or if the information is copyrighted, then “illegal content”.

My advice is to flag it and let the Mod Team decide whether the Hammer should be dropped.

diavolobella's avatar

@SavoirFaire I have reported it. The Jelly in question has plagiarized not only all their answers, but all their questions too. Nothing’s been done so far though.

SavoirFaire's avatar

The questions thing is more difficult. Are you sure they aren’t posting the questions on multiple sites themselves? Also, there are several sites that pilfer questions from Fluther and post them on their own sites. Just because a question appears elsewhere doesn’t mean the Fluther version is plagiarized. Plagiarized answers are usually easier to verify, especially if the answers are being taken from professional websites.

As for why nothing has been done, I can’t say. The moderators aren’t always around, and sometimes investigation takes some time. This is especially true given that most moderating decisions are made by consensus vote. Things can slip through the cracks as well. Nothing wrong with reminding them.

zensky's avatar

I’m on the case.

diavolobella's avatar

@SavoirFaire The questions are from other sites where they are sometimes pretty old, posted by people of different genders and just appeared here. The fact they are plagiarizing answers too doesn’t speak well. I think they may be a kid. Zensky’s on it now. :)

zensky's avatar

Unofficially.

Symbeline's avatar

I didn’t know this was against the rules, but yeah, not crediting a source and making it pass as your own is pretty ass. I often use articles or other sites to answer something, bit it’s always in a link that you click on, which takes you to the source I’m using. :/

SavoirFaire's avatar

I’ve just figured out who you’re talking about. The person has only been a member for a matter of hours. No wonder nothing has been done about it yet. I doubt anyone has seen any of your flags yet.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

No, nail them!!!!

Bellatrix's avatar

It is being investigated.

diavolobella's avatar

@Bellatrix Thank you m’dear

glacial's avatar

I wasn’t aware that copy/pasting without citing was against the rules – I’ll definitely flag these when I see them.

augustlan's avatar

And, BOOM, they are gone now. :)

zensky's avatar

@glacial It’s against any rules any where when you think about it.

You wanna coin a term – go right ahead. You want to cite something, quote someone – give credit where it’s due.

glacial's avatar

@zensky Well, sure – I need no convincing that plagiarism is bad. However, I wasn’t aware it was against Fluther’s guidelines per se. When flagging plagiarized answers, for example, there is no option for “plagiarized” when specifying why the answer is being flagged. It actually seems a little weird to me that this transgression is classified as “spam”. It isn’t really spam, is it?

Bellatrix's avatar

I usually categorise it as other when I mod plagiarism. In the end we just want to remove the post though.

zensky's avatar

@glacial When you flag, you can also go to the bottom of the menu and add your own reason for flagging. You can then write: uncited. I often write: Stupid.

glacial's avatar

@zensky I wonder why I never see “Response moderated (stupid)”.

zensky's avatar

@glacial As funny and accurate as that may be – I don’t think it’s how Ben and Andrew envisioned Fluther. It’s part of why I respect them so much and love this place.

Now on wis.dm… it woudn’t have been moderated at all – and had there been any moderation – it might have said Response Moderated (fucking asshole die already)

diavolobella's avatar

I was more baffled by it than anything. I can’t understand the motivation for joining a Q&A site and then copying not only all your answers, but all your questions from somewhere else. Don’t you have anything original to ask or to say?

zensky's avatar

I was more baffled by it than anything. I can’t understand the motivation for joining a Q&A site and then copying not only all your answers, but all your questions from somewhere else. Don’t you have anything original to ask or to say?

diavolobella's avatar

@zensky I snorted Diet Coke up my nose

PhiNotPi's avatar

Death to the plagiarists. (starts riot)

zensky's avatar

Death to the plagiarists. (starts riot)

diavolobella's avatar

What @PhiNotPi and @zensky said. Verbatim. Cut and pasted. heh

Blondesjon's avatar

The questions thing is more difficult. Are you sure they aren’t posting the questions on multiple sites themselves? Also, there are several sites that pilfer questions from Fluther and post them on their own sites. Just because a question appears elsewhere doesn’t mean the Fluther version is plagiarized. Plagiarized answers are usually easier to verify, especially if the answers are being taken from professional websites.

As for why nothing has been done, I can’t say. The moderators aren’t always around, and sometimes investigation takes some time. This is especially true given that most moderating decisions are made by consensus vote. Things can slip through the cracks as well. Nothing wrong with reminding them.

zensky's avatar

I don’t have a problem with the questions – nothing new under the sun. How unique can a question be? If it’s a serious question in General – you are just one more seeker of knowledge and either can’t or won’t Google it – or require a more thorough, personal explanation – or tip.

If it’s in Social then it’s just a conversation starter – and pretty much everything has already been asked in one way or another.

But an answer should be either original – or cited. Period. Or it’s called plagiarism.

And you can quote me on that.

Symbeline's avatar

@zensky Guess I gotta stop ripping off all my jokes from King of the Hill then. :/

diavolobella's avatar

@Blondesjon and @zensky I think I answered that above, but the questions were exactly identical in every way, straight cut and pasted from other sites where some of them had been posted years ago. Not all from Q&A sites either, but from fitness or medical sites and other professional websites. Word for word, bullet points, paragraph by paragraph and most were extremely lengthy. They “sounded” wrong – too much like articles than someone’s actual answer to a question, which is what caught my eye. This person did the same thing with their answers. Cut and pasted huge articles from other sites (professional websites, not Q&A) with the bullet points, paragraphs and everything. It stuck out like a sore thumb. especially when they’d cribbed their information from a site that was actually a blind for pushing a weight loss product and they must not have realized it

There is nothing wrong with asking a question that has already been asked, but there’s something weird and pointless about cutting questions from other sites just to have something to post and with copying wholesale answers from other sites to make it sound like you are an expert on something and taking credit for a professional writer’s work, instead of at least rephrasing it.

It was dealt with though. That Jelly is now gone.

zensky's avatar

He was probably a teen – that’s how they study in school now – copy/pasting from wikicrapia.

diavolobella's avatar

@zensky Yeah, I think he was either a kid or someone who just wanted to come across as really brilliant. His user name which I won’t mention sort of gave that impression.

glacial's avatar

@diavolobella Two recent copy/pasters with similar “I am smart” names have disappeared – were they the same user?

diavolobella's avatar

@glacial That I don’t know. I only noticed the one person. I must have missed the second.

augustlan's avatar

Yes, they were the same person. Actually, there were three different accounts, all the same person. All gone. ;)

diavolobella's avatar

How funny!

Bellatrix's avatar

People are strange…

SavoirFaire's avatar

…when you’re a stranger.

zensky's avatar

Faces look ugly…

Blondesjon's avatar

. . . when you’re alone.

zensky's avatar

Women seem wicked…

Symbeline's avatar

Aaaye…wanna rock and roll all niiight!!

…no?

zensky's avatar

—You have derailed the thread. Flagged -flogged—-

diavolobella's avatar

Yeah, now it’s “Goin’ off the rails on a crazeeee traiiinnnn!!”

SavoirFaire's avatar

♫ And she’s buying a stairway to heaven. ♫

zensky's avatar

Peggy Sue… ♫

Peggy Sue…

Pretty Pretty Pretty Pretty Peggy Sue… ♫

Symbeline's avatar

♫ I wanna wear moose hair underwair… ♫

diavolobella's avatar

ooh, ee, ooh, ah, ah, ting, tang, walla, walla, bing bang

Symbeline's avatar

♫ Universe Man, Universe Man, he’s as big as the universe, man! ♫

augustlan's avatar

♫ Ho, ho, ho. Green Giant. ♫

Symbeline's avatar

♩ ♪♫

♬♭

Paradox25's avatar

This depends drastically on the circumstances and the question. There are too many variables to answer this with a simple yes or no here. I do this on occasion, and sometimes with my own questions, but I’ll usually put it in a quote and acknowledge the person who said it.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Paradox25 The details specify a lack of citation.

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