Saturday, September 6, 2014

Author Takes a Stand Against Plagiarism and Bullying

I can't believe that anything like this could ever happen, but here it is in all it's glory. Fellow author Roger Colby brought this to my attention on his Twitter feed (@RogerDColby). He also writes a great blog called Writing Is Hard Work--you should check it out.

Author Rachel Ann Nunes details the events leading up to a Federal copyright case against serial plagiarist Tiffanie Rushton aka, Sam Taylor Mullens (among many also-known-as').

Seriously, click on the link and be amazed at Ms. Nunes plight. In her own words:

I applaud Ms. Nunes for her restraint. She doesn't want people to bully the plagiarist, which speaks volumes to Ms. Nunes' character. That the offending party turned Nunes' measured approach to addressing the suspected theft, and the thief went on the attack...I'm just floored.

I've been very bothered lately by the lack of dignity present in day-to-day interactions, and not just web-based conversations. This situation (with the alleged bullying through sock-puppets, false reviews and such) seems as good as any to start a discussion on The Creative Spark. As someone that has been on receiving end of web-based bullying, I've been interested in the subject for years. Other times, it comes from reading replies to FB, Twitter, etc. People seem to go right to "outrage" over the slightest of misunderstandings. Never mind situations that actually justify concern or a strongly worded reply...those scenarios seems to end in death threats. I wish I understood why this happens, why folks go from zero to demonic in 3.2 seconds flat. But something needs to be done about it.

I've been analyzing my own feeling and behaviors, and I've pin-pointed some actions that I might take to elevate my interactions online.

1.) Avoid the temptation to reply to posts when I am the least bit agitated
2.) No posting before bed or after waking up
3.) Avoid posting about religion or politics when it is used in a negative manner (Example: "20 Million Illegal Immigrants Stranded at an El Paso McDonald's? Thanks Obama!" or "If you had (Fill In Favorite Deity) in your life, you'd be less of a homeless addict")  I post about religion and politics, but I really try to keep my comments positive and uplifting
4.) Use every opportunity to support positive debate and comments

I don't know if I'll change the world, but I'll sure feel better about the tone of my own posts by heeding these guidelines.

As for Ms. Nunes, I wish her well with her case. Enough so that I'm going to help out with her GoFundMe efforts. You may want to help out, too.