May 14, 2012

Plagiarism

As we were all taught in grade school and college, plagiarism isn’t okay. Even worse is attempting to defend it.

Yesterday, I wrote a short article about The $144,146,165 Button. I did the research via several sources, compiling it together to produce this interesting statistic. It was on the front page of Hacker News for most of Sunday, tweeted and re-tweeted by many people. I’m incredibly happy to have written something people are so interested in.

Today, TheNextWeb took a little bit of that away from me by basically plagiarizing my post (pic), being sneaky about it, and defending it.

You’ll notice in the linked image, they say “Here’s what one Joshua Gross found” before the marginally altered paragraphs.

However, this is what the original post looked like when it first hit their front page:

(Click to expand to a full page screenshot).

For comparison, here are the relevant paragraphs from my post:

Not only did they not credit my content in the original post, but the second sentence of the first paragraph is taken nearly word-for-word, as is most of the second paragraph.

TheNextWeb editors quickly and quietly changed the wording and added a credit. Just minutes before they updated it, I had tweeted this:


After changing the article without letting me know, the CEO then tweeted back at me:

Zee is the CEO of TheNextWeb, blatantly defending plagiarism and playing games to cover it up.

Not only was this handled poorly, it is downright wrong. If they had just owned up to their mistake, then it might not have been a big deal.

You should follow me on Twitter here.

Joshua Gross is web designer and developer, and principal of Planetary based in Brooklyn, NY.