This is the problem with our community:
On August 2, 2013 I logged on Edugaytion’s Facebook account to find a disturbing comment. It turns out that a recently published article was, in fact, the work of someone else, only slightly modified (contrary to what some on Twitter were saying about the article being ‘directly’ lifted with ‘no changes’). When I saw the comment (made by the original creator), I immediately understood that he was not happy with the fact that his work was being used without credit. I quickly responded to him, and then found his contact information to let him know that the article had been edited to include the overdue citation. After a short back and forth on Twitter, the decision was made to delete the post from Edugaytion.com, and the matter was resolved. Or so I thought.
The problem with our community is that we are too quick to lash out without having a full understanding of what exactly happened in the first place. Was it my fault that the article was published without being researched first? That someone else’s work was put on my website, and plagiarism had occurred? Was it my fault for someone feeling slighted this morning? Yes, and I apologized to the appropriate person for it.
What bothers me about this, is the fact that said person, a member of “the community” then went on to tweet more malicious content, as if the “understanding” that we had reached completely did not exist, and the mob action mentality that our people follow without knowing all of the facts. I made a stupid mistake and I owned it, but I’ll be damned before the entire black and gay twitter community nails me to the cross and the original content creator continues to go in on me after an agreement has been made.
In a string of tweets another blogger advised:
“Aww you have a lot to learn my friend. When someone steals content from me, I don't let the "thief" define how I handle it. Although it would be "nice" of me to email the offender and say "Hey, that's my work, take it down," it's not a requirement. I look at it like...you didn't "politely" email me to use my shit, so why should I "politely" ask you to take it down? Just like when people steal my pics on IG for their weight loss bullshit, I put them on blast. Tried that polite email shit… what happened? Those niggas told me to fuck off. So I said "let’s see what my followers say about that." Now… I'm no writer. I just post a lil blurb and go about my business. But even still, I put "time" into that business. So if someone were to steal from me, I would absolutely go off b/c you're making money off MY shit and I have the right to say whatever the hell I want in any tone I want b/c you "stole" from me. No huge thing tho; you've officially been taught.”
And while this blogger is right, I do have a lot to learn about this blogging business, you won’t get me for “stealing” when that’s not what happened. The “community” is reacting as if the story was intentionally lifted. They are hurling accusations as if this was malicious theft, when the fact of the matter is, it was posted to our Facebook group, and the poster in the group was asked if it could be used on the site, no further investigation was done, and it was published.
I can’t help but think of a recent story similar to this one in which a map creator found his work being used in Naughty Dog’s “The Last of Us”, a game that sold 3.4 million copies in 3 weeks. A twitter follower alerted the map maker of the game maker’s use the map maker’s work. The map maker simply contacted Naught Dog, the game publisher and then later wrote on his website:
"I've just spoken with Naughty Dog over the phone in a very constructive conversation. Can't say more at the moment, but it seems as if matters will be resolved to everyone's satisfaction shortly."
How easy was that!? And despite how you may feel about me typing this lecture, being the person that made the plagiaristic mistake, you can’t argue that some issues can be resolved easily and behind closed doors.
You see, when you pull dramatic stunts like the one that was done today, you’re only trying to bring more attention to yourself. That’s why I’m not mentioning the now deleted article by name or the author, because what is done is done, including the unnecessary fallout. One can apologize for a simple mistake, one that only a newcomer to the blog scene would make. But then, the one that has been “doing this for 10 years” goes back on Twitter, after the “cheers” have been given, and proceeds to go in about how “niggas need lessons in humility”?