Disclaimer: These are my thoughts, my open, honest and complete thoughts. Please do not take offense/judge me for stating my opinions.
Today I woke up with a firestorm of tweets on my feed. A blogger plagiarized several other bloggers. This sadly isn’t anything new in our community. People will always copy each other. Whether it be clothes, style or book reviews, they will do it. Girls will take what they think is theirs. There’s people who know what they’re doing is wrong and do it anyway, and then there’s people who don’t know it’s wrong at all and need to be told respectfully that it is wrong.
Now I’m going to tell you what I did wrong when I was young, naive and stupid. I was 12 years old and I read a story called A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks in some random magazine my mom had.
At that time, I just started learning web design and I decided to type this whole story out online to share with everyone because I thought it was so good. What I didn’t know was that it was illegal to reproduce work without permission and I only knew because someone emailed me in a rather angry tone that I shouldn’t be doing it. I didn’t know. At that age, I had no idea it was wrong to take someone’s work (even putting by Nicholas Sparks) was wrong. I immediately took the site down.
I felt awful, I cried.. I didn’t know at all and I couldn’t believe I did something wrong. That lesson made me look at everything that I do online with a fine tooth comb. I read every single policy, rule and regulation and make sure to protect other people’s privacy and their information. And in being a content creator and designer on the Internet, I try to protect my own work, my own designs too. Ideas can be stolen or worked into something else, but if you always have original ideas, the content just comes to you and they’ll be at a loss as to what to do.
Being that young and stupid, makes me feel like others can be that young and “stupid.” I hate making mistakes, but that’s how you grow as a person. If you never made mistakes, how would you learn from it?
I’m not saying that what she did was good, no of course not. What she did was wrong. But what if she didn’t know? Just like I didn’t?
Not the only one who’s been stolen from..
People have stolen from me.. They have taken advantage of my kindness and have not paid me for designs I have done for them. No matter how many excuses they have come up with or how many times I have sent in an invoice, it went unnnoticed. It was my fault, I never got a contract. I didn’t protect myself that time and they stole my work and time. Again it’s a mistake I have paid dearly and won’t make again.
You have the right to sue..
If any of the bloggers who were plagiarized from were completely serious about it, they have the right to sue her. To hire a lawyer and go to small claims court. That’s what you can do if someone steals from you. Not go on Twitter and publicly shame her.
I started digging into the tweets and the conversations and was horrified at all the hate, the negative attitudes, the almost condescending snarky tone that was being discussed back and forth. Not only that, but now there is a Twitter Hastag search for it. With people making it a meme and poking fun at what she did.
So it’s okay to make fun of her and talk about her behind her back? You think that’s right? You think that by doing that, you’re making the situation better? No, you’re stirring the pot, you’re adding more fuel to the already large pot. You can even take a step backwards, analyze it and look at it as bullying.
These people are giving bloggers a bad reputation. I am ashamed of myself to be a blogger when people think ALL bloggers are like this. We’re not.
I forgive those bloggers who stole from me, and I hope Nicholas Sparks forgives me for doing such a stupid thing. I feel sorry for people who KNOW what they’re doing is wrong because they don’t have an original thought in their body and that to me is more damaging than people who are ignorant. Because they are actively copying and stealing content as their own. They’re the ones I watch out for.. They’re the ones who I put on my blacklist and watch out for.
Bloggers are supposed to be critical of books, not of each other. People are not perfect. They make mistakes, you can’t control everything, but you CAN CONTROL YOUR ACTIONS. You alone can decide whether or not to act on being hateful or being loving.
That is all up to you, but in my defense, I’m taking the loving road. The world is a fucked up place and needs more love, not more hate. Be kind to others, the angry mean ones usually need the kindness the most. *hugs everyone and their books*