Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Plaje

It's unfortunate that we have to go through this every once in a while, but The Plaje is back! A few days ago someone discovered that a writer for the site "Red Sox Life" plagiarized the comments of some redditors. She decided that instead of writing her own material, she'd go and look at what other people said, and reprint it almost word for word and pass it off as her own. (Original reddit post about the initial discovery here.) She even had the nerve to claim that the people she stole from were actually several of her own reddit accounts. When I heard that, I did give her the benefit of the doubt. But then I started Googling the text from her other articles at Red Sox Life. Sure enough, there were several more occurrences of her taking other articles and calling them her own. She was lazy enough to leave entire thoughts intact.

I kept digging, and found that--surprise!--this wasn't her first retread rodeo. I found something she wrote for a blog in 2009. I looked at the comment section and saw:

If one of my students handed this in, I would have reported them for plagiarism.

That's when I knew we had a serial stealer on our hands. I sent this info into the reddit thread, and the next morning I got a reply from the person who ran the blog which published the stolen article. He knew the girl personally and told me, from what I'd gathered from her duckface-heavy flickr page, exactly what I would have expected to hear about her. Just another attention-starved person who uses the Internet as the bad medicine to cure her disease. If you click the link above, you'll see he's added a disclaimer to the article, complete with links to the reddit post and his response to my comment.

His excuse for allowing the article to run seems valid. He had a new blog and had his friends contributing to it. He didn't have any reason to think someone would turn in an article that was stolen from somewhere else. And he didn't think anyone was reading anyway.

But what's Red Sox Life's excuse? This is a site connected to Fox Sports/MSN. To their credit, they immediately fired the copy cat and all her articles have been removed from the site. But shouldn't they do a little research before hiring someone? Or take a look at the first article she gives them to make sure she's legit before they post it?

Two writers over there have commented on my blog in the past. One you know from his cartoons--he's even drawn cartoons related to my stuff, which was an honor for me. Maybe one of these guys can comment here on what type of site this Red Sox Life is. I see the ticket-scalping agency they promote has seen its CEO go to jail for a hate crime (charges he later rebuffed). So that's maybe not the best start....

Back to the young woman who likes to steal stuff. I realize she has a problem. I hope she figures out her life. And the next time she gets a writing gig, she'll probably change her name. But if she doesn't... just be weary if you come across someone named Carina Avila or Carina Enright. According to that guy who knows her, she's loving all this and should anyone actually read this and it gets back to her, she'll be thrilled at even more attention. So congratulations, Carina, you're now "famous" in the bottom paragraph of a Red Sox blog that nobody reads because facebook has made it so people would rather look at their friends' breakfasts because god forbid they're the only one not in the loop as to what their third-grade teacher's anesthesiologist had for breakfast than read actual content about actual non-breakfast stuff.

Make that second-to-bottom. Carina, I beg you. Get help. There's more to life than taking a picture of your face and having people tell you you're "hot." Go do something good for someone. Find a fucking soup kitchen or something. You'll feel so much better. And please, when that homeless person thanks you for that chicken soup that the chef worked so hard on, don't take credit for making it!

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