You probably got used to the idea that plagiarism haunts you everywhere. And you know for sure that the Internet is a kind of “plagiarism residence” – when something gets here, it often becomes “common knowledge” which means that defining authorship might be simply impossible because everybody can access and copy-paste what is published.
You know that in web space the boundary between “my” and “yours” erases naturally, and the Internet becomes a stock of ideas and solutions. You are free to use them, but the thing you should keep in mind is to be cautious. When people are given unlimited freedom, violations occur more frequently, and content checker tool can prove it.
You are lucky to have access to global information resources for no fee and anywhere the Internet connection is. Thus, according to the research conducted by Pew Research Center, 55% of college presidents admit that the number of plagiarized papers has increased over the recent ten years. 89% of them agree the Internet influenced students.
Advantages that social media suggest you
Thanks to the Internet social media have become enormously popular as well. Apart from having fun and communicating actively, social media can help us in studying and work.
Writers or publishers can join groups in social networks according to their professional interests, where they discuss anything that matters much to them and share experience. If they are freelancers or search for a new job, it’s easy to find a vacancy online.
All these things are quite okay, but there is a “P-word”, which spoils lives of students, teachers, writers, publishers and other people working with content. It’s plagiarism.
Trustability of social media posts
Do you remember times, when only experts (journalists, scholars, other public figures) had a chance to bring their message to the world with the power of media? People used to write to newspapers and magazines to make their opinions published. It’s all gone, and now we all can share our views online.
Do you know why public figures were allowed to speak out in media? It’s all about trustability. They have a good reputation and obviously care about their image. So, they take responsibility for what they say. And as a rule, the audience was likely to rely on their opinion.
Nowadays you don’t have to be in public figures’ shoes, the only thing required is Internet access. However, the credibility of information presented by non-experts is questionable. The thing you can do: not to count much on what you see in social media and double check information you use.
Reposts save users from copyright violation
The problem is that authorship in social media can easily get lost. Somebody forgot to give credits to a person, who created a post, and it turned into so called “common knowledge”. This is how it usually happens. And one day you can also become that person, whose content will be deprived of authorship.
Luckily, repost buttons save the day! It’s a kind of bonus for those who don’t ignore references. No extra efforts – hit the button and enjoy a blog post, tweet, pic and video. This way you give credits to authors and use materials correctly. Use repost buttons, favor authorship!
Of course, it might seem that to take information available on the web without giving credits is fine. But it isn’t. Internet users got accustomed to the idea that citing is a kind of formality suitable for academic sphere only, so there is no reason to do it. So, if they use words of nameless authors without attribution, it’s okay, and no one can accuse them of plagiarism. Though citing is a must for social media fans too.
Risks of plagiarized text usage
It’s a Sisyphean task to trace all plagiarism and incorrect citing across the Internet. And it’s practically impossible to catch violators. Sure, plagiarists can be banned, but again and again breakers go on stealing somebody’s materials claimed as their own. Please, don’t become one of the naughty copycats who try to put hands on others’ intellectual property.
In order to be a decent Internet user and know how not to plagiarize, check these tips:
- Use references: indicate who created material, no matter what it is – text, photograph, video or anything else.
- Use checkers: sites to check for plagiarism are always helpful – you scan your document online and get result immediately, for example via Unplag Plagiarism Checker or ContentRescue.org.
- Use your own ideas: get inspired by ideas of other people, but try to develop and express your own – they deserve to be heard of!