I pondered the title of this post for quite some time and finally came to the conclusion that Stop Stealing was the best fit. I mean, even if you just read the title the message is clear.
There is an online trend that is really bugging me. I know it’s not a new trend, and it is not solely an online problem either but since this is what is relevant to me, and to many of you, this is the area I am focusing on. That trend is to steal. Steal what exactly? Everything and anything.
Some people, I’m even going to be generous here and say most people, work hard on the content they put online. And even if they don’t work hard on it, if it is original it is theirs. I know that there are a lot of grey and fuzzy lines about copyright for online material but I really think that is beside the point. What is the point is morals and integrity. So, do us all a favour and get some.
Bloggers – you are not the only offenders but you may be the most visible. I recently discovered that a blogger that I follow blatantly copies and paste a good chunk of her content from other sources. I can’t tell you how disappointing and discouraging it was to make this discovery. This is someone I respected and saw as a peer. Now I don’t believe a word she says or posts. Her reviews and opinions no longer hold any weight. And maybe that’s not fair but that is reality. If you lie to people, and make no mistake that plagiarism is lying, even a little, they will stop trusting you.
Playing dumb will get you nowhere. If you post an image on your blog, on your Facebook page or anywhere else and you did not take that picture, get permission from the person who did or did not, at the very least, credit the person who did you are doing something wrong. Period. You know it’s wrong. Stealing is stealing. What’s yours is yours and what’s not is not. Even my 2 1/2 year old knows that.
If you have nothing to say or contribute that is your own then maybe you just aren’t creative or ambitious enough to be publishing anything. If you simply want to share things that you come across that you really like there are places, like Pinterest for example created to do exactly that. Sharing is great. Sharing is precisely what blogging and social networking is all about. That’s why you will find “Share” and not “Steal” buttons all over the internet.
It’s not ok just because it’s online. Just because you don’t have to look someone in the eye when you swipe something from them doesn’t mean it’s any less of a crime. It’s not victimless and you are still accountable for your actions.