If I took a photo from your blog it's like taking a painting off your living room wall. It's called theft. I'm publishing a series this week at Pix-O-Sphere on some of the most common content and photo thefts that take place in the blogosphere. I know there are several other articles out there, but sometimes new fresh articles are needed as a refresher for newbie bloggers. Especially when we notice it's been happening within our own circles over the last several months. It's time to stop!
It's more difficult to deal with when you know the person who is taking your content and photos. They've been super nice to you, they have huge projects, they seem to be popular. However, when you go to their blog and discover your recipe, a huge amount of your content re-worded, and photos from all over the Internet that don't belong to them, you begin to wonder how they ever got so "popular" so fast while having that many violations. Maybe because everyone is so busy building their own blogs the ethical way (which is hard work, diligence, and honesty) that we don't have time to scrutinize everyone else's blogs to make sure we're not being stolen from. Ang wrote a great article about how to use Google Alerts to track your content. Be sure to swing over there to get some tips on protecting your blog.
So now what? You know your stuff is swiped, even more difficult, it's someone who is intricately woven into your niche of the blogosphere and any amount of confrontation could cause a domino effect of blog drama that none of us want to spend the time dealing with. No one wants a headache, but more bloggers keep getting taken for a ride and stabbed in the back.
Women who take their blogs seriously are working hard to build their relationships with integrity while others come in on the sly and manipulate, gain control, then bully everyone to stay silent. Any amount of confrontation puts this kind of thief on the hunt to discredit you by calling you names and telling any amount of secrets she happened to get out of you while she was "playing your friend".
I really cringe at the idea that people do these things on purpose. I sometimes wonder if it's so ingrained in people that they don't even realize they are doing it. Afterall, many preachers say we're born in sin. Maybe these people are born Internet thieves. Which would mean they can't help it, until the Lord changes them. Then there's the magical word that thieves don't like, "repent".
These sharp tongued bloggers who want to take your ideas, your plans, your photos, and content at the slightest bit of correction will call everyone else a bully and slander them with hate speech garbage to try and take you down. But here's a little bit of encouragement for ya.. that person is a bully themselves. And if they do this and people believe them so easily, then you DON'T want those people as your readers nor do you want to partner with someone who believes tall tales from a scorners lips.
Proverbs 19:25 Punish the insolent - make an example of them. Who knows? Somebody might learn a good lesson. The Message
Well, the big girls in the blogosphere have had enough of this thieving and bullying. When something is going on, speak up! Calling the person out on the carpet will draw the attention of everyone else the person has 'raped, pillaged, and plundered' and you'll have the blogosphere to help you get your content removed from their blog. Sometimes a public spanking does wonders for change.
- Ask yourself this.. is the alleged copying THAT obvious?
- Ask a blogger your TRUST to check it out and ask for advice.
Know this: The Big Girls in the blogosphere have been around long enough that they see what's going on, they know who to keep an eye on. The underground mom blogger news-wire KNOWS. So don't be afraid to get help.
No one wants to be a tattle tale, but when your stuff is stolen, you have the RIGHT to speak up. If you don't speak up, you're letting a thief get away with their crime.
If you after you seek help you discover that others are in agreement that it's much too fishy to be a coincidence then go to Copyscape and check for plagiarism. If the big girls tell you this person has been doing this to several others for quite some time, has been corrected before, but continues to do it, it's time we all rally together to speak up.
Let me say something else... if you're a theif and you think "No one will do anything, they can't afford a lawyer anyway" That's ok, because Twitter is a great way to get the word out about inappropriate behavior, just as Amazon about the mom blogger news-wire. Words spreads quick.
So don't steal!
On a more gracious note, if the thief repents and apologizes publicly, then let her have the chance to clean up her act. Then hold her accountable.
If you're one who has made mistakes with pulling content from others, hotlinking photos, etc etc, you can get help. The blogosphere wants to be supportive of others who want to blog smart and ethically. Don't be afraid to get help to stop what you're doing. If you've left a path of destruction behind you, burning ever bridge along the way, it's time to make a public apology on your own blog and ask for help to get your blog whipped into shape. It's called character. For more information on character building try Alyssa Avant's Christian Charm School curriculum. It's not just for teens. ;)
(*disclaimer, that is not an affiliate link, but I happened to read it and it's GOOD!)
"Confront them privately once. If they don't repent take two with you. If they STILL don't repent, take it to the blogosphere." ~bloggy epistles of Sisterlisa
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