contempt for the public? we haz it!

A while back i posted OMG I Was Violated, about being plagiarised by someone who stole one of my blog posts – on the second day i was blogging here. I discovered all his posts were stolen, and reported them to Google Blogspot who were hosting his blog, and also took the time to let about nine other bloggers know that they’d been plagiarised too.

Google refused to take a plagiarism report unless in writing or by fax – neither of which are easily possible for me. Besides, the idea of trying to draft a legal document for a legal system i’m not part of was a serious turn-off – what if i said the wrong thing and laid myself open to a lawsuit? I’m poor enough, i don’t need to be in the freaking gutter. So i reported it as impersonation – he’d lifted a post which mentioned my name – and pointed out all the other people who’d been impersonated.

Absolutely nothing had happened – all the stolen posts were still up, and they never got back to me, despite me including my real name, photo, and other details as they requested. I was thinking well screw you, Google and Blogspot, i’m really glad i stopped using Google Mail (some of us like an indexing system that makes sense), and decided not to use Blogspot for my blog.

Then i heard on Twitter that Google had changed their plagiarism reporting requirements, and were now taking proper action against plagiarists on their sites. The info came from @problogger who as Australia’s top blog site, gets plagiarised a lot and has an excellent and scarily funny post on Top 8 Excuses for Stealing Other People’s Content . It’s scarily funny because the excuses are so freaking lame.

So i’ve put in a report , and contacted the last few people i could find from yet more stolen posts on his site, to let them know they can now report it easily. Some posts obviously weren’t his – but some people don’t let Google access their blog, so despite having actually read some of the posts on other blogs, i can’t find the owners. Fingers crossed they finally remove the stolen blogs and shut down the thief.

What really gets me, is that Google have up until now made it hard to report – which made them into a company that condoned intellectual and copyright theft. I don’t know why i expect them to be different from the other corporations – oh wait, yes i do – it’s because Google promote themselves as different, as being both human and humane. I’d have liked to boycott them – but trying to live without Google search might cause problems.

Anyway – if you want to report a plagiarised blog hosted on Google/Blogspot – go to this Google link, and fill the form in – is simple – all you need is your work’s URL, and the URL of the (must be Google/Blogspot) site that’s reproducing it without your consent.

Another corporation exposing its inhuman side is Amazon – who removed all gay and lesbian literature from their listings, and were subsequently outed on Twitter (among other places) over the Easter Weekend. This led to them being branded with #amazonfail in the Tweetstream.

I left the below on a blog this morning that asked if the whole Amazonfail thing actually mattered. Yes, i think it does.

I was on Twitter over the Easter weekend, so saw #amazonfail take off – Amazon first said in email to an author that “the company was excluding “ ‘adult’ material from appearing in some searches and best-seller lists.””

For ‘adult’, read ‘gay & lesbian’ – there were anti-homosexual books still available, along with very adult sex toys, and hetero erotica – funny how the catalogue works, huh?

Then Amazon changed their tune (perhaps realising it didn’t actually stand up to any serious scrutiny), and blamed a cataloguing error. It’s laughable. I’d take them seriously if they admitted someone had censored their lists of books, and they’d now fired that person/s. Instead, we got dribble – which however well-worded is still corporate spin to control the damage. However, the damage to their reputation is ongoing – #amazonfail is still on Twitter.

In six months, i think people will still be picking up stories like this from the net – after all – it’s news. Censorship, right wing religious views being forced on the book-buying public, and bigotry – it all works for me.

As for Amazon, well, lol. Yes, of course. We believe you, Amazon – that’s why the trend #amazonfail is still trending on Twitter and serious newspapers are taking up the story in droves.

Like the company and their ad agency that thought making up a fake romantic story was a good idea to sell clothes, and was surprised by the public backlash (i blogged about this in “lying and misrepresentation make u immoral scum…“), Amazon is discovering that introducing censorship via a secret agenda also doesn’t endear you to anyone, and then, when you lie about why you did it, people are even less impressed.

As i said at the end of “lying and misrepresentation make u immoral scum…

So – would you buy from a company that thought you were a stupid twat?

I wouldn’t. And i won’t.

UPDATE: 28th of April – another of the bloggers plagiarised let me know her post was gone from the plagiarist blog – i checked, mine is too.
I’m really pleased.



About stinginthetail

On Twitter as @stinginthetail. I write as Lee Abrey. Free copy of my top-rated book Polo Shawcross: The Birthday Dragon at View all posts by stinginthetail

3 responses to “contempt for the public? we haz it!

  • maggiefox

    Hey Sheila, thanks again for your comment. Just to clarify also – if Amazon deliberately de-listed books because of LGBT content, that’s wrong, and they deserve every bit of bad press they get for it. My post, however, was really attempting to take the 30,000-foot view and assess whether these types of “twitterstorms” (Motrin Moms, #amazonFAIL) will actually matter from a brand reputation perspective when mainstream media stops covering them because they’re commonplace.

    • stinginthetail

      i think they will matter – as i mentioned – but hey, i’ll admit to being stupidly optimistic in spite of my bitter cynicism 🙂 Most people don’t really care – and they believe what they’re told. i think also that corporations (and politicians) will continue to lie and try to spin the impossible- when they could actually gain from a situation by simply admitting they were wrong.

      the thing about Twitter is that so many media people use it – i can send a message to almost any politician or media person in the Western World just by doing a bit of research. So i think it has impact over its relatively small membership. Which i did mean to say on your blog, but it got lost in trying to keep the length down -yes, i did try, lol. I even removed the joke about Patti Smith (the singer) having changed a lot if she was now doing corporate spin.

      i gave in and googled the Motrim Moms thing (i’ve seen it mentioned several times) – we don’t have that brand here in oz – now i know what people are talking about. (For those reading this, basically an ad campaign for a painkiller aimed at moms, which offended their target audience – condescending and as one man said, the work of older men and 20something women.)

      PS – i went to check your blog about something, using the link in your post here, and ended up on the old site – presume you will want to change your signature here.

  • how to be a very public joke… « Sting in the Tail

    […] a company is associated with something negative – like Amazon recently when they removed all gay and lesbian texts from their online database – like many people online, […]

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