Content Thieves and What to Do With Them

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This blog post was inspired by fellow WordPress blogger Renard Moreau. He’s a Trinidad and Tobago blogger and currently has over 7,000 followers on WordPress. Last week, he made a post about his content being stolen. If you want to read his experiences, read his two blog posts “Why Do People Steal Our Blog Posts” and “Stop Stealing My Blog Posts”

I’m also writing this because my sister, Ana, is a digital artist and she posts her artwork online. She has a strict no-repost policy due to her and other artists having their work and clout stolen. She currently has over 3000 followers and she has an amazing talent. You can follow her on Instagram

Sometimes, it can even be a legal matter. In January 2020, Jonas Jödicke, a digital artist from Germany, had his artwork stolen by Aaron Carter. Jonas politely asked Aaron to take down his artwork, but not only did Aaron refuse, but he also went on to his YouTube channel and bashed Jonas for even putting it out there.

Renard, Ana, and Jonas are just three of the people who have put their time, effort, and value into their work online just for other people to steal their content and claim it as their own. Think of it as if it’s shoplifting.

Why do people steal content? Maybe it’s because they want the clout without the hard work. Maybe they’re too lazy to make something original or even have an original thought so they find something they like and copy it. Maybe they had no idea they had done it and will try to rectify it. Whatever it is, there are content thieves out there. Content thieves can be your random joe blow or it could be someone who does have street cred. Well, whatever street cred they have left. Here are a few people that came to my mind when it comes to plagiarizing.

Rachel Hollis

Okay, you know I have to put some anti-MLM content on here. Rachel Hollis comes up often, though she, herself, has not been in MLMs, she has spoken at MLM conventions such as Arbonne. Buzzfeed wrote an article about accusations of plagiarism against Hollis stemming from the quotes she posted on her Instagram, including one from fellow motivational speaker and author Robin Sharma, who said “Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life”.

Jayson Blair

Jayson Blair was a former journalist for the New York Times. For all the troubles NYT has had over the years, this might seem minuscule. But at the time, this was the biggest scandal in New York Times history. He rose quickly in the newspaper industry, stealing content, plagiarizing from other journalists, and even making up stories as he went along. He, a managing editor, and an executive editor took the fall in the end, but I found an NPR interview with the director-producer of the documentary that focuses on Blair and his scandal.

Fareed Zakaria

Okay, I’m gonna be honest with you… I don’t know how the hell he got out of this unscathed, but when I was still in the CNN International circle on Twitter, this scandal popped up. Fareed Zakaria hosts “Fareed Zakaria GPS” on CNN and you would think that with his own plagiarism scandal he would actually not have a show on CNN, but what do you expect from CNN these days, right? In 2008, Zakaria published his book “Post-American World” in 2008 and the second version in 2011. It was so popular that it even made the New York Times Bestseller. You would think with that honor the book would hold up well, right? Wrong. In 2012, he admitted to taking a paragraph from a New Yorker article and passing it off in his Time Magazine article as his own. It didn’t stop there, as “Our Bad Media” made two posts 8 years ago detailing Zakaria’s serial plagiarizing campaign. (link) (link)

What to do with them

Okay, so I went to A Self Guru’s blog post about stealing content and she has put out some of the tools we could use to fight back when we see our work reposted without permission. Some of this you can also do with other stolen content like filing a DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) or directly contacting the person who posted it. You can also contact the hosting site for the offender and send screenshots to all involved.

Here on WordPress, Renard has told me that he had removed the Reblog option, but so far it hasn’t stopped people from stealing his blog posts

Ana and Jonas always made sure to sign their digital artwork to prevent people from reposting it on Instagram and other sites. Ana has a strict “no repost” rule on her page and has not had any problems since she placed it on her social media bios.

As for me, I’m going to remove the Reblog option from here on out, but I will encourage you to share this post with your closest circles. I’m always trying to generate more quality content on my blog, so if you have any tips, let me know in the comments below

Author: dezbee2008

33-year-old math enthusiast, Pokemon fan, Eurovision fan, Bingo player, anti-MLM watcher, meme consumer, YTP watcher, stans news reporters when no one else wants to, inconsistent in real life, a complete human mess, and professional social media lurker

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