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My "Ask MeFi" Post was plagiarized on another website!
June 11, 2012 7:54 AM   Subscribe

My "Ask MeFi" Post was plagiarized on another website!

I posted an "Ask Mefi" question on "Is ever "right" to point out incorrect use of a word to a friend?"

and it was clearly plagiarized here

Isn't that odd?
posted by Jon44 to Etiquette/Policy at 7:54 AM (125 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

Normally this happens as scammy sites download the RSS feed and redisplay the questions with ads around them. This one is a little bit different in that they copied your more inside section but added a new title and lead-in.

I usually hit their contact form demanding they take down the content within 24hrs, and they usually comply.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:01 AM on June 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yep, that's a bit odd and simultaneously less robotic than most of the more driveby scraperbot stuff we see.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:02 AM on June 11, 2012


I would find it odd, accept its a dogie dog world out there.
posted by found missing at 8:02 AM on June 11, 2012 [39 favorites]


I would find it odd, accept its a dogie dog world out there.

Evil.
posted by Kimberly at 8:09 AM on June 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


"dogie dog" Is that on purpose?
posted by Max Power at 8:11 AM on June 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Perhaps it was posted by 90s rap sensation Snoop Dog Eat Dog.
posted by griphus at 8:12 AM on June 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


its a dogie dog world out there.

To be pacific.
posted by Elmore at 8:13 AM on June 11, 2012 [13 favorites]


Get along, little dogies.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:17 AM on June 11, 2012


Your correct. For all intensive purposes, this is plagery.
posted by Falconetti at 8:17 AM on June 11, 2012 [15 favorites]


I accept Dog Eat Dog.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:17 AM on June 11, 2012


Irregardless, we have to except that some spammers just could care less.
posted by lazaruslong at 8:25 AM on June 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


intensive purposes

noooooo!
posted by ryanrs at 8:25 AM on June 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


...and now it's a 404.

When mathowie swings his mighty banhammer, even non-Metafilter sites tremble in fear.
posted by Mayor West at 8:33 AM on June 11, 2012 [19 favorites]


Yeah, that is totally penultimate!
posted by etc. at 8:37 AM on June 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Now wat?
posted by cjorgensen at 8:38 AM on June 11, 2012


Now it's time for ENGERLAND.
posted by Edogy at 8:39 AM on June 11, 2012


Post to take down in 39 mins, very impressive.
posted by arcticseal at 8:40 AM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I prefer a Doug E. Doug world.
posted by The Deej at 8:40 AM on June 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


I would find it odd, accept its a dogie dog world out there.

Holy crap, Gloria from Modern Family is a MeFite...I really should've showered today.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 8:42 AM on June 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ahem! Sorry. Just needed to clear my throat.
posted by tkappleton at 8:44 AM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't know why they didn't just ask for permission from the gecko.
posted by ODiV at 8:48 AM on June 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


This thread is full of wind.

I love all you guys so much.
posted by misha at 8:53 AM on June 11, 2012


Dog will get you for that.
posted by Ardiril at 8:55 AM on June 11, 2012


cjorgensen: "Now wat?"

As long as there is injustice, whenever a Targathian baby cries out, wherever a distress signal sounds among the stars, we'll be there. This fine site, these fine MeFites. Never give up... never surrender.
posted by zarq at 8:58 AM on June 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


What a bunch of loosers.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:03 AM on June 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I could care less.
posted by Think_Long at 9:05 AM on June 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


misha: This thread is full of wind.

"Full of wind" is my new favorite typo/incorrect word usage, because I find "full of win" a silly thing to say. That's the parroty, right?
posted by filthy light thief at 9:07 AM on June 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Christ on a cracker, it's never a good thing when you see a website *you* run called out on Metatalk for stealing content. There's a Seppuku level of shame falling over me at the moment.

Hey everyone -- Dan Koch here. The Reckoner is mine. And the fault is therefore mine -- I didn't post that question on the site, but I do approve every question, and I approved that one despite it seeming pretty fishy and familiar from something I'd seen on AskMefi. Turns out that it's a word-for-word rip. That's completely unacceptable.

I've already yanked that one down, and I'm now combing through our question archive to see if we get any other hits for plagiarism from AskMefi. Any others that fall on the same M.O. -- copies from AskMefi content (or anywhere else, for that matter) -- will be taken down immediately.

This is a gut-punch -- I've been visiting Metafilter since 2004, since before signups were even open, and now I feel that I've hurt -- or the very least, exploited -- the community. All I can offer are three things (a) my enormous, too-late contrition, (b) an all-in effort to comb our archives for any other possible plagiarism from AskMefi for immediate removal, and (c) an ongoing effort to validate all incoming questions to prevent this from happening again.

Crap almighty, mea culpa.
posted by workingdankoch at 9:11 AM on June 11, 2012 [170 favorites]


Don't sweat it dude, I forgive you, and that's all that really matters right?
posted by Think_Long at 9:14 AM on June 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Damn, any stand-up guy who will post an apology like that deserves our going over to check out his site.
posted by Ardiril at 9:17 AM on June 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


Now that is how to apologize and a class act.
posted by Jon44 at 9:18 AM on June 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


Wow. Fast work, and an impressive apology and acceptance of responsibility. Thank you. Dan.
posted by zarq at 9:18 AM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I DEMAND BLOOD
posted by griphus at 9:19 AM on June 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Now you're just looking for an escape goat, griphus.
posted by ODiV at 9:21 AM on June 11, 2012 [34 favorites]


Thanks for checking in, Dan. I appreciate you being diligent about this.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:23 AM on June 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Whenever I google my user name I find a TON of this -- a lot of the RSS scrapes that mathowie and cortex mention above, but it seems like some natural language bots like to use excerpts from ask.mefi to populate their spam blogs, and a moderate number of plagiarists take entire questions and re-package them as their own.

In future, mods, would you like a direct message pointing out uses of metafilter content that goes beyond the typical RSS scrape? I usually just roll my eyes and ignore this stuff, but it does annoy me.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 9:25 AM on June 11, 2012


I guess that means it's a mute point now.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:25 AM on June 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


I'm so glad I don't need to feel guilty about being an instant fan of The Reckoner!
posted by batmonkey at 9:26 AM on June 11, 2012


a moderate number of plagiarists take entire questions and re-package them as their own.

I don't get the motivation. As far as I can tell, "The Reckoner" doesn't pay contributors, and it's really unlikely the exact same situation happened to the plagiarizer and they just wanted to use my wording to sincerely seek an answer to a dilemna. Weirder and weirder...
posted by Jon44 at 9:29 AM on June 11, 2012


This one seems like an iterative copy of this Ask.
posted by batmonkey at 9:31 AM on June 11, 2012


This one seems like an iterative copy of this Ask.

Yes, it does.
posted by BibiRose at 9:33 AM on June 11, 2012


In future, mods, would you like a direct message pointing out uses of metafilter content that goes beyond the typical RSS scrape? I usually just roll my eyes and ignore this stuff, but it does annoy me.

Absolutely, yeah. Doesn't necessarily need to be a Metatalk thing, it's fine to just drop us a quick "hey, this is weird, link, link" note at the contact form and we can poke into it and probably send someone a polite Cut It The Fuck Out email.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:34 AM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dan, you don't need to feel nearly as bad as all that, IMO. I mean, is anybody in here patrolling AskMe questions all day with a big stick and a copy of turnitin in case a submitter has copied theirs off The Reckoner? All you can do is take it down, and you have.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 9:34 AM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


So does this one, by the same user. Maybe you have a problematic member?
posted by lalex at 9:35 AM on June 11, 2012


Thesetwoare on the same topic and awfully close together, chronologically. (in case you don't want to bother clicking through, it's the same question but on The Reckoner, it's just the question with no elaboration. I wonder if "Anonybot" is routinely going through the site looking for questions.
posted by BibiRose at 9:44 AM on June 11, 2012


This thread is full of wind.

It's a fighty wind that breaks no good.
posted by y2karl at 9:49 AM on June 11, 2012


Reading parts of this thread is making me taste copper.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 9:55 AM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't get the motivation. As far as I can tell, "The Reckoner" doesn't pay contributors, and it's really unlikely the exact same situation happened to the plagiarizer and they just wanted to use my wording to sincerely seek an answer to a dilemna. Weirder and weirder...

Not weird at all, to me. People just love etiquette questions like that one, I mean they are just popcorn to some people, including me. I'll refresh a question like that over and over to see what people are saying about it. It's a hop, skip and a jump from there to posting it somewhere else to get even more reactions.

Now, that's assuming it's a person with any motivations at all.
posted by BibiRose at 9:55 AM on June 11, 2012


Someone mentioned blood in a jokey fashion; doesn't that mean that this thread has to be closed down now?
posted by Kwine at 9:58 AM on June 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Someone mentioned blood in a jokey fashion; doesn't that mean that this thread has to be closed down now?
posted by Kwine at 5:58 PM on June 11


There was no womb punch or baby mincing. I think we're good.
posted by Decani at 10:06 AM on June 11, 2012


Crap almighty, mea culpa.

All's well that wendells.
posted by drlith at 10:07 AM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sounds like this has effected Dan's self of steam.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 10:22 AM on June 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


Now that is a well-said apology. Your punishment for this faux pas is that your apology will now be studied anytime I royally screwup and need to make amends.
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:32 AM on June 11, 2012


Someone mentioned blood in a jokey fashion; doesn't that mean that this thread has to be closed down now?

Cite?
posted by ODiV at 10:44 AM on June 11, 2012


It's really freaking me out that this callout resulted in an amicable and reasonable resolution. This is the internet, godammit! Somebody Godwin this thread!
posted by etc. at 10:50 AM on June 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


You know who likes to see threads Godwinned?

Hitler.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:54 AM on June 11, 2012 [10 favorites]


I guess we can't be all heil and mighty now.
posted by Elmore at 10:55 AM on June 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


First, they came for Jon44's question, but I was not Jon44, so I did nothing. Then, they came for chara's question...
posted by likeso at 10:59 AM on June 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


This begs the question: who would do something like this?
posted by brundlefly at 11:13 AM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


This post, too, looks to have an askme twin that I remember, but can't find.
posted by mercredi at 11:15 AM on June 11, 2012


http://ask.metafilter.com/216989/Dont-Have-a-Man-Dont-Need-One-Thanks

was the askme I was thinking of that's been reposted.

This post, too, looks to have an askme twin that I remember, but can't find.
posted by mercredi at 11:18 AM on June 11, 2012


Every clod has a sliver liming.
posted by arcticseal at 11:40 AM on June 11, 2012


Crap almighty, mea culpa.

All is forgiven. Thanks for being understanding.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:43 AM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Crap almighty, mea culpa.

BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD APOLOGIES FOR THE APOLOGY GOD!
posted by never used baby shoes at 11:49 AM on June 11, 2012 [13 favorites]


So did you guys axe them to take the page down, cuz it's 404 now.
posted by crunchland at 11:51 AM on June 11, 2012


Yeah, just scanning that Reckoner user's posts I recognize a few others; for example: original/repost, original/repost. How odd.
posted by lalex at 11:52 AM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


oh, yes. I see. never mind.
posted by crunchland at 11:52 AM on June 11, 2012


Plate of beans / This thread is full of wind.

seems a natural combo.
posted by edgeways at 11:55 AM on June 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've been visiting Metafilter since 2004, since before signups were even open

OooOOOOOoooo, 'ark at 'er!


(just kidding)
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:57 AM on June 11, 2012


I don't get the motivation.

I coppy/pasta AskMes onto udder sights and steal better best answers to coppy/pasta here.
posted by carsonb at 12:00 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now you're just looking for an escape goat

LAUNCH THE ESCAPE GOATS!
posted by octobersurprise at 12:08 PM on June 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


We're all trying to escape goatse.
posted by Elmore at 12:14 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just tried the experiment of googling my username outside of metafilter.com, and cam across this amazing site (search for "Stewart Lee"). They create blogspam by stealing MeFi articles and then translating them into Spanish.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:55 PM on June 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


¬°Ay, caramba!
posted by griphus at 12:57 PM on June 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm glad Dan didn't have an ask to grind.
posted by perhapses at 12:58 PM on June 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


And wala! Its gone!
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:14 PM on June 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Er, Dude, it's viola. Duh.
posted by Elmore at 1:22 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


ET VOILA
posted by griphus at 1:32 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Eat, too, brony?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:46 PM on June 11, 2012


Jeeze, I would of gone to the liberry if I wanted to understand this, but I could care less.
posted by Elmore at 1:58 PM on June 11, 2012


1. Hey, that's really big of you Dan. I appreciate a really good apology.

2. The whole tone of this MeTa is quite different, to my ear at least, than the MeTa about the WaPo survey that ripped content from an anon user. Then, it was sort of , "yeah, not good, but oh well." Now it's "seriously not ok, take it down please." Why the difference? What am I missing?
posted by SLC Mom at 2:20 PM on June 11, 2012


Dan, you're doing it wrong, when you get caught stealing from other sites and they make it public, you sue them for it.

no matter your opinion of The Oatmeal, you gotta believe the other guy is an evil asshole - and he will probably sue MetaFilter and me for saying that
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:25 PM on June 11, 2012


1. Hey, that's really big of you Dan. I appreciate a really good apology.

It appears that workingdankoch's apology really struck a cord.
posted by Chichibio at 2:42 PM on June 11, 2012


It's really freaking me out that this callout resulted in an amicable and reasonable resolution.

And it's quite a funny read as well.
I love how Mefi can take a theme and just run with it -- bravo!
posted by NoraCharles at 2:43 PM on June 11, 2012


Escape Goat is a thing.
posted by juv3nal at 2:52 PM on June 11, 2012


Then, it was sort of , "yeah, not good, but oh well." Now it's "seriously not ok, take it down please." Why the difference? What am I missing?

In the prior instance, it was clear from the wording of the blog that the question came from another message board, and the failing was that the author of the blog (or his web editor) didn't add a referral link.

In this instance, the question was presented as original to Anonybot3000.

It's the difference between "here's something interesting from the wider internet, not me" and "here's something I myself wrote for you to think about."
posted by rewil at 2:53 PM on June 11, 2012


Also another thing.
posted by juv3nal at 2:53 PM on June 11, 2012


If these anonymous posters think they'll get away with it, they have another think thing think coming.
posted by dismas at 3:00 PM on June 11, 2012


Now that's beyond the pail.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:05 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Surfing goat.
posted by bquarters at 3:07 PM on June 11, 2012


2. The whole tone of this MeTa is quite different, to my ear at least, than the MeTa about the WaPo survey that ripped content from an anon user. Then, it was sort of , "yeah, not good, but oh well." Now it's "seriously not ok, take it down please." Why the difference? What am I missing?

Sounds like somebody's not towing the partyline.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:14 PM on June 11, 2012


Nor minding their peas and queues.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:18 PM on June 11, 2012


Why the difference? What am I missing?

Better phrasing in this one leads people to be a lot more charitable. The person responsible took immediate responsibility and apologized and handled it. Lower profile site versus higher profile site? And this may not seem like a big deal but pragmatically I don't think we could realistically get the WaPo/Weingarten machine to take down their post so we tried to get them to credit it [which they basically didn't] and set people's expectations. In this case, we knew there was a member responsible for The Reckoner and wanted to give him a chance to make things right before even starting any of the "These are our demands" things. He did and we're cool.

More to the point, wholesale scraping of content is something that is within our purview to get people to knock off, sending DMCA notices and etc. Fair use of singular content with misleading attribution of the "Oh I found this somewhere on the internet but forget where..." variety falls less under that heading. But it's all a matter of degrees and a lot of how we decide to respond really depends on what we think we can reasonably expect people to do and whether it's a one time thing or an ongoing thing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:21 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Oh I found this somewhere on the internet but forget where..."

Lost in the midst of thyme.
posted by likeso at 3:24 PM on June 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Likes ants, threw the hourglass.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:29 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


misha For The Wind.

I will spread this far and wide until it becomes common usage.
posted by bongo_x at 3:38 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


OK -- I just pulled out a handful of other questions (including those mentioned in this thread) that were suspicious. The fake-wedding-ring question wasn't an exact copy, but there were enough phrase matches that it had to have been derived from the AskMefi question, so I decided to pull it anyway.

It's a major bummer. I think I got all all of them, but if anyone hits any other suspicious matches, let me know and I'll yank 'em.

In terms of motivation, I'm guessing it's what BibiRose mentioned -- somebody liking some of the questions popping up on AskMefi and wanting to get a yay/nay style vote on them as validation or something like that. If AskMefi and The Reckoner were on a venn diagram, the center section would be pretty big, so I'm not surprised that people are members of both. I'm just surprised that somebody would go so far as to repost the actual questions.

Sorry everybody!
posted by workingdankoch at 4:14 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love how Mefi can take a theme and just run with it

Better this then the alternative.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:16 PM on June 11, 2012


.....uh, I have nothing to add. Just thought it'd be cooler if the post had 99 comments...
posted by Jon44 at 5:32 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


It would be.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:38 PM on June 11, 2012


Edgeways, did you mean Plato Beans? I love that brand.
posted by theora55 at 5:57 PM on June 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


When did MeTa switch to unary numerals?
posted by rlk at 5:58 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


The sploggy copypasta content farm exploitation of mefi is gross but it's kind of flattering in a way. When a mefite asks a relationship question there's a pretty good chance the grammar, spelling, and general quality of writing exceeds that of your average Internet commenter. This goes double for blue posts but it's kind of funny that our general culture of communicating in a decidedly not lazy, deliberate fashion ensures that even the most mundane random question on askme has a higher "content value quotient" than most of the user generated dribble (I'm too insecure not to wink there) on the web.
posted by lordaych at 6:01 PM on June 11, 2012


I didn't mean to impugn any particular askme question by the way. Haven't actually looked at the links yet. Agreed that the apology was decidedly menscharific.
posted by lordaych at 6:04 PM on June 11, 2012


Mr. Bad Example: "Reading parts of this thread is making me taste copper."
*licks Mr. Bad Example*
Mmmm, copper.
posted by dg at 6:40 PM on June 11, 2012


Between the awesome apology from workingdankoch and the awesome explanation of how stuff is decided on a case by case basis from jessamyn I'm startled to discover that this MetaTalk thread has actually elevated my opinion of humanity. Neat!
posted by SMPA at 7:17 PM on June 11, 2012


After reading this entire thread, I drank myself into bolivia.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:41 PM on June 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


omg your an idoit
posted by LordSludge at 9:53 PM on June 11, 2012


this thread is imbareable
posted by patheral at 10:35 PM on June 11, 2012


High their!
posted by maxwelton at 10:47 PM on June 11, 2012


This is a very cromulent thread that embiggens my spirit. Maybe some day, with Metafilters help of course, we will achieve world peas.
posted by littlesq at 10:48 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Definately one of the best threads in recent mammary.
posted by roboton666 at 12:17 AM on June 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Though we need to reign in all the mall aphorisms before Meatbomb wakes up.
posted by flabdablet at 5:08 AM on June 12, 2012


A cup of chino will cheer him up.
posted by h00py at 6:01 AM on June 12, 2012


A cup of chino will cheer him up.

How 'bout some expresso?
posted by runningwithscissors at 6:17 AM on June 12, 2012


I don't mine if I due, thanks!
posted by likeso at 6:25 AM on June 12, 2012


I'm outta here. Chow!
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:07 AM on June 12, 2012


Between the two, it's awash.
posted by scruss at 7:39 AM on June 12, 2012


I'm nether hear or their on the issue.
posted by owtytrof at 9:24 AM on June 12, 2012


This is just a test mint to the let's say fair nature of the intern net. You're winsome, you're toothsome.
posted by obscurator at 9:30 AM on June 12, 2012


Well, that's taken for granite.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:00 AM on June 12, 2012


You guys are running around with a chicken and your head cut off. **

** Actual phrase used -- frequently -- by my former boss, much to our delight...
posted by LordSludge at 3:35 PM on June 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


Just follow the escape goat.
posted by h00py at 6:11 AM on July 7, 2012


Don't do that; you'll be up shit squeak.
posted by BibiRose at 6:13 AM on July 7, 2012


The pacific details haven't been worked out.
posted by h00py at 7:19 AM on July 7, 2012


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