Plagiarism, “going viral” on steroids, internet justice, good entertainment, and lessons-to-be-learned – all in one story

In case you haven’t heard, tune in quick to the Cooks Source story on the internet.  The story is developing by the hour.  See short introduction.  Read original post that kicked off the internet firestorm. 

Summary in one run-on sentence:  magazine lifts entire article without permission, author complains, magazine sends multiple condescending replies, author posts story to blog, posting goes viral, several thousand harsh comments posted to magazine’s Facebook page, most of internet world lashes magazine, bunch of advertisers pull ads, crowd sourcing identifies dozens of other apparently stolen articles, crowd sourcing accumulates the results on-line and starts notifying the original authors, Washington Post/MSNBC/LA Times start reporting, there are 15,600,000 hits  295,000 hits from searching the magazine’s name, reputation of magazine and editor completely destroyed.

All this has happened in the last 36 hours!

You can find a few million articles several hundred thousand articles on the story, so my thoughts will be few.  Some observations:

  • Look how fast this has blossomed – from first post to 15M hits in 36 hours
  • Watch what you say in e-mails – they can come back to haunt you – how many dozens of times do we need to hear that before we all learn?
  • Get proactive with bad news – several rounds of lousy replies to a problem can destroy you
  • Keep on top of social media – a few hours out of the loop has destroyed the reputation of this magazine
  • Power of crowd sourcing – there is already a long list of other articles matched to original sources, with the list posted to publicly available spreadsheet and original authors being notified, some of which have lots of attorneys on staff and reputations of using them

There will be lots of lessons for us to learn from this disaster.  Stay tuned.

6 Responses to Plagiarism, “going viral” on steroids, internet justice, good entertainment, and lessons-to-be-learned – all in one story

  1. Jim Ulvog says:

    Above search results are for the two words in the magazine name without quotations. Searched again with quotations marks and found 259,000 hits. By the way, someone did the obligatory spoof with the Hitler-in-the-bunker clip set with the Cooks Source story.

  2. Jim Ulvog says:

    The more precise description is copyright infringement instead of plagiarism. The magazine that absonded with the article gave credit to the original author. They just didn’t get permission.

  3. […]  For background on the Cooks Source magazine fiasco from last week, see my post here.  For today’s update, see John Bredehoft’s post: The new Cooks Source tactic – blame […]

  4. […] Dan Crowley of published an interview on November 12 with Judith Griggs, the editor of Cooks Source.   Great article.  Go read it.  You can find about 510,000 hits if you search on “Cooks Source”.  My contribution to the pile-on is here.   […]

  5. […] site comment at length.  Check out his comments.  (If you need background, my previous posts are here, here and […]

  6. […] Introduction to Cooks Source fiasco – Plagiarism, “going viral” on steroids, Internet justice, good entertainment, and lessons… […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: