This was the topic that I picked out from my teacher’s hand when were choosing topics for our Public Service Announcement (PSA) project.
Overall, it was an interesting choice. I’ve known about the evils of plagiarism since way back. However; I was certainly surprised when I found out that like all things, this certain evil has also evolved, transforming itself to fit into the digital age.
Online plagiarism now exists.
Now, I’m not talking about the kind of plagiarism where lazy students go to Wikipedia and copy everything and pass it off as “research”.
Nope, even that is old school.
What we have here; ladies and gentlemen, is a new kind of breed. A new evil that really does boggle the mind and would make you want to scratch some people’s eyes out.
Apparently, there are those who copy ideas from another person’s blog and paste it in their own blog, and passing them off as their own. Like the traditional plagiarism, they do not say where they get this information from. There are also instances where people copy information from a website (without citing it!) and placing it in a blog or another website.
There are hundreds of bloggers who have experienced this kind of stealing. They are all indignant and frustrated since there are actually no laws prohibiting such actions. Until now, there are a lot of frustrated online writers who see their words in a page that is not their own.
Implication to Organizational Communication?
Naturally, this new kind of plagiarism has an implication to the academe, not to mention the online community. Academic institutions must redouble its watch for plagiarism. Not only should they keep an eye on it in papers, but in the digital avenues as well (especially when instructors require digital outputs, ahem).
It is interesting to see that as society translates itself digitally (through online communities, social networks, etc.), social problems are also able to squeeze itself in. Plagiarism is not the only one, but it does show the gravity of the situation. The internet has counterparts of actual social problems. Aside from online plagiarism, we also have online bullying, online stealing, online whoring. What’s next, a monopoly of rice in Farmville?
This only goes to show that when venturing into digital avenues, we have to be wary of how existing problems, not only in society, but in organizations as well. We must remember that as we enter the digital world, we do not enter it in a clean slate. There is no tabula rasa, we carry with us the same problems and issues into whichever field we may choose to go.