Well, that explains everything

A lot of times I find the search queries that lead to this blog are very specific.  They often sound like essay questions or article topics.  So I’m never really surprised to find out that my work is being used.  What I am surprised by is the amount of blatant plagiarism.

I was reading an article about immigration issues for international adoptees when some of the text leaped out at me.  Maybe because it was so well-written.  The source?  An e-mail I had sent out previously to some individuals that was forwarded to a public listserv.  The article’s “author” had directly lifted my text and pasted it inside his/her crummy writing.

Last year I wrote a post titled “Internet Racism.”  And then I found this while traveling around the net.  It’s written as a “class requirement.” 

Chow-White’s article Race, Gender, and Sex on the Net. Semantic Networks of Selling and Storytelling Sex Tourisms, talks about if the internet has served as a space where social inequaltities have become equalized or if they rather have simply been enforced.

I’m going to have to go with enforced.

The internet is a powerful tool that be used to create all sorts of spaces. At one time, many internet users subscribed to the notion that faceless interactions could be the start of a new era where issues of sexism and sexism could be abolished…a place where everyone could and would be equal.

My text:  At one time, many internet users subscribed to the notion that faceless interaction would lead to a decline in racism.
However, internet racism is everywhere and anonymity might be to blame.

Take a look at a lot of sections on any blogs sites or any site that allows viewers to post any comments. Anyone can make a comment. A lot of sites that I even visit don’t even necessarily require you to have an account to actively engage in conversations and these lists you as an anonymous source.

But if the racist perpetrator attached his or her name to racism, what does that mean? Does it mean that they didn’t care about it? Or that they didn’t think about it? Or that they knew that within their circle everybody else would agree?  Or maybe even that they were proud of it?

My text:  But if the racist perpetrator attached his or her name to racism, what does that mean? Does it mean that they didn’t care about it? Or that they didn’t think about it? Or that they knew that within their circle everybody else would agree?  Or maybe even that they were proud of it?

Take a look at the following conversation between two college students from the university of minisota about one of their class mates:

My comment:  I correctly attributed the name of the university.  Also, I spelled “classmates” correctly.

Chelsie Palbicki ewww a obabacare is in the room, i feel dirty, and unsafe. keep a eye on all of your valuables and dont make direct eye contact….

i just threw up in my mouth right now….
20 minutes ago · Comment · Like · See Wall-to-Wall
Anna Langevin likes this.

Chelsie Palbicki obamacare*
20 minutes ago

Anna Langevin omg im crying right now…..HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAH
20 minutes ago

Chelsie Palbicki my eyes are burning i need to put my glasses back on
19 minutes ago

Anna Langevin omg im going to kill you…..this bitch is gonna come over here and cut me cuz im laughing so hard
19 minutes ago

Chelsie Palbicki dude dont draw anymore attention that we already draw… were two white girls.. she already has her “nigga” instinct to kill us and use us to her pleasure… seriously we will put some trees in here and make her feel at home so the tensions kind of eases off..
17 minutes ago

Anna Langevin you are going to hell.
16 minutes ago

Chelsie Palbicki no im not :) but you know im right no only is she black but she looks super dykie, take a look at her rooster hair do shes got goin on over there… YUCK…
13 minutes ago

Anna Langevin HAHAHAHAHAHAHA…i looked and almost lost it….
12 minutes ago

Anna Langevin ..why the fuck am i acting like i give a fuck about that obamacare?
12 minutes ago

Chelsie Palbicki I KNOW! we dont stick up for them kinds….
10 minutes ago

Anna Langevin hahahah THEM KINDS…
10 minutes ago

Chelsie Palbicki MMMMMM ( insert word here)
9 minutes ago

Anna Langevin hahahahahahahahahahha i cant take this shit
9 minutes ago

Chelsie Palbicki me either it smells like shit in here….. and chicken…
4 minutes ago

Anna Langevin and monkeys
4 minutes ago

Chelsie Palbicki more like monkey shit…
April 15 at 6:12pm

Racism has become such a part of everyday life that we see it as ‘something funny’ and not as something harmful to others. This conversation was actually over one of the girls Facebook accounts, and she reportedly had more than 1000 friends. Now, the sad part was that no one bothered to make a comment on it. Rather it simply was looked at as the ‘what you can’t take a joke’? sort of ideal.

Maybe the open racism on the internet is a wake-up call to all of us. Being faceless allows us power to say whatever we want on the internet…but even when we do have a name it doesn’t seem to stop us. The internet has just reinforced racist ideologies in a different manner. It’s still present and we have yet to get rid of it.

We thought it was about those guys in the’ ghost costumes’.  But instead we find out it’s everybody.

My text:  Maybe the open racism on the internet is a wake-up call to all of us.  We thought it was about those trolls who hid in dark places.  But instead we find out it’s everybody.

2 thoughts on “Well, that explains everything

  1. Wow. It never occurs to me to steal other’s work and pass it off as my own. Maybe because I know people have done that to me. But then, to turn something in?

    Does it fit the definition of irony for the topic to have been about anonymity and the ability to get away with stuff on the internet? Ever since Alanis, I get wary about what I call ironic…

  2. FWIW, most college instructors know how to google search blocks of text, or how to use one of the services that will do full text comparison. In my field, the service is eTBLAST, named after BLAST, a widely used DNA/ RNA/ Protein sequence similarity search service. The degree of similarity shown in your example would result in an F for the student and a report on the student’s record. I am not taking the racism issue into consideration for that F – a plagiarized paper on the French Revolution would get similar treatment – but the racism only makes things worse.

    There’s no question that anonymity encourages bad behavior by closet a**holes. I post using a nickname, but I use the same nickname all over the internet (where possible – sometimes someone else has claimed the name first) and have done so since the dawn of the listservs.

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