Flix Tuesday, June 02, 2015 - 05:30
Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan has been accused of plagiarism, but he is not the only one in a world where social media have made it very easy to pass off other people’s content as one’s own. Haryanvi poet Jagbir Rathee has accused Bachchan of posting his poem ‘Court me kutta’on Facebook, while crediting a person named Vikas Dubey as the author. Dubey had reportedly sent Bachchan the poem. He alleges that he commented on Bachchan’s Facebook post pointing out the error but his comments were deleted. The ‘Angry Young Man’ is now facing damages to the tune of Rs 1 crore, India Today reported. Plagiarism on social media is certainly not new, and it is something that will continue to grow. In response, a number of tools have been developed to detect the unauthorized use of another person’s original content. A Washington Post reported that online plagiarism detector Turnitin.com found “content matches” after examining the academic papers of 40 million students, and that most of the content came from social networking sites like Facebook. It’s not just Facebook but other networking sites like Twitter have also become a space where information can be copied from. It is popularly known as ‘Twagiarism’. A report by ithenticate.com, says that although Twitter has more serious rules when it comes to using other people’s tweets and content, it wasn’t always like that. The ‘Retweet’ feature was added to Twitter in 2009 in order to attribute the tweet to the original user. Previously, users had to use the prefix ‘RT @username’ before any re-tweet. Plagiarism on Twitter is so common that FavStar reported on how to deal with a ‘Twagiarist’. Here's a short guide: Firstly, the Twitter user needs to be absolutely sure that the tweet is original and he/she was the first one to send out the tweet. Once assured, ask the accused to stop plagiarising you. If it doesn’t stop there, then you can complain to Twitter which could suspend or lock the account of the accused. Twitter is likely to warn the accused in a week or two, and if no action is taken by the user, Twitter has been known to suspend the offending user’s account. In no form of academic, art or scientific work, is plagiarism acceptable. Former German education minister Annette Schavan resigned from her post in 2013 after the University of Düsseldorf said her PhD was plagiarised. The Guardian reported that the university commission said that Schavan had “systematically and intentionally presented intellectual performance that in reality she did not generate herself”. Just last year, Buzzfeed fired one of its staff members Benny Johnson was it was found that in more than 500 articles and posts he had copies phrases and sentences from other people’s work.Many other highly reputed publications have had to review the work of their journalists after allegations of plagiarism were made. There is a growing respect for the creator of original content and also the public who use that content.While the explosion of information has never been greater, this has both made it easy to copy as well as to identify unauthorized appropriation of one’s original content. 
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