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The Irony about Plagiarism Checkers

By artbytes26 | JL Info Hub | 6 Feb 2022


Plagiarism has always been a big issue in most, if not all, writing platforms. Especially paying platforms like read.cash, publish0x, and among others. In fact, about six months ago, it has caused a heated argument between some members of read.cash.

Also, this was the reason that some members of this writing community lost their chance to receive tips.

Hello, again dearest writers and original content creators! I emphasized that phrase because this is what this platform is for... ORIGINAL content creators.

In my article: How To Detect Plagiarized ContentI mentioned that one way to detect plagiarized content is by using a plagiarism checker or detector.

However, I have observed an irony in those plagiarism checkers.


What Is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is an act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author's work as one's own, as by not crediting the original author.

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/plagiarism

One common misconception about plagiarism is, it is limited to using or copying the exact words without authorization from the original author. However, the term plagiarism is broader than just copying the exact words. Copying and using the exact words without crediting the source is just one form of plagiarism. This is called direct plagiarism.

Plagiarism.org dissected the definition of the word from the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

"According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, to "plagiarize" means:

  • to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own

  • to use (another's production) without crediting the source

  • to commit literary theft

  • to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source

In other words, plagiarism is an act of FRAUD. It involves both stealing someone else's work and lying about it afterward."

I double-emphasized the word IDEAS. Because this is what plagiarism is all about. Stealing of ideas!

 

The Irony in plagiarism checkers Plagiarism Checkers

After a few weeks of heated arguments about plagiarism, some writers started adding plagiarism checker/detector reports at the end of their articles. No offense intended to those who did that, that was your prerogative. However, my thought is, it is not necessary and I will share with you why.

 

 False Positives

There are times that I would include some information from various sources. Sometimes I copy the exact words. Did I plagiarize?  No! Why?

  • Whenever I copy the exact words, I enclose them in double quotation marks (" ") and always credit the source.

  • If I decide to rephrase the words, I will start with "According to (the source)..." In which the "the source" will have a link leading to my source.

That's how you avoid plagiarism.

However, when I run such an article through a plagiarism check, it will report that the text is plagiarized. Note that these plagiarism checkers/detectors drop all HTML tags when checking, thus, they don't know if the source is credited or not. Thus, a plagiarism detector can give a false-positive result

 

Plagiarism Checkers / Detectors Encourage Plagiarism

This is the biggest irony on these checkers. Take a look at this screenshot and see what I mean.

As you can see, the plagiarism checker has a tool to rephrase the content. Here is a sample of plagiarized content that I ran through the paraphrasing tool of the plagiarism checker that I used.

This paraphrasing tool replaces some words with synonyms. But there are some paraphrasing tools or article spinners that are more sophisticated than this.

There was one article that I read where I encountered the phrase "square chain" a number of times. I was wondering what it meant at first. Then, I realized it was a paraphrased or spun article. The article spinner replaced the word "block" with "square".

 

Why We Should NOT Support Plagiarized Articles.

First, as original content creators, we should be aware that there are people who always want to earn some quick money with little effort. Paying for platforms such as this one is funded by the creators of this platform. And I assume they like to read original content on their platform.

 

In Closing.

Plagiarism checkers or detectors are great tools to detect plagiarized articles. However please don't use their article spinners or paraphrase tools to create a plagiarized article.

Here is my rule of thumb before I give tips to seemingly good content.

If the article is about facts, lists, or talks about some research, I always check if there are references. Or if the author would mention his/her reference even without a link. Then I check the other content of the author. If he writes about nuclear physics in one article, personal finance in the next, marine biology in another,  and other topics that require in-depth research and presents them like he/she did all the research (meaning no credits or references), the author is definitely a plagiarizer.

You can always write about any topic you are interested in, but never forget to credit the source and don't depend on article spinners then check them through plagiarism checkers.

Let's keep this site free from plagiarism

 

Thanks for Reading.

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This article first appeared in read.cash and reposted here with some modifications

 

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artbytes26
artbytes26

Mobile photography enthusiast, self-trained graphic artist


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