Anyone in business or who’s been through school will have heard of the term ‘plagiarism’ and likely already know that it’s not something that you want to be doing. With the availability of a plagiarism checker online to make it even easier to avoid, understanding what plagiarism is and how to stop it from happening is easier than ever before – so why is it still such a serious issue today? We’re exploring more below.
What Is Plagiarism?
Knowing the full definition of plagiarism is the first step to ensuring that it’s avoided completely, and this is where most companies meet their downfall. While most will tell you that plagiarism is simply the act of copying someone’s work and passing it off as your own, it can also stretch to quoting, paraphrasing and using content without efficient citing and reference. What’s more, plagiarism is often thought to be entirely text-based, but it can also stretch to music, video and any other content or creations, including online.
What Are The Consequences?
For businesses, the consequences of being accused of plagiarism alone can be devastating. Even if it hasn’t been proven or they haven’t been charged with the offense, the accusation alone can destroy a company’s reputation and public relations. The writer or producer who’s created the content could be fired regardless of whether the act was intentional or not and a reduced customer base could devastate a business, especially those on the smaller side.
From a digital perspective, companies with plagiarized content on their website could be penalized as far as their Google and other search engine rankings are concerned. There’s even the risk of being removed from the indexing altogether in extreme cases.
With the above in mind, it can be a shock to hear that even some of the world’s biggest players in the business world are still plagiarizing content. While it’s arguably expected among smaller businesses, in particular, those directly in the public eye should ‘know better’. Since it is so easy to avoid the issue with a plagiarism checker online, it can be difficult to understand why they commit the offense in the first place. Here, we’ve pulled together a few of the most famous plagiarism cases:
- Joe Biden
Before he was Obama’s vice president, Joe Biden had tried his own hand at getting that all important ‘president’ title in the USA but it didn’t quite go according to plan. It seemed to be going pretty well for the most part, but in 1987, his campaign was cut short when he was accused of plagiarizing in one of his speeches after speaking in public. In fact, it was revealed that Biden had stolen his speech from a British politician by the name of Neil Kinnock and he withdrew from the race not too long later.
- The New York Daily News
This particular case was both an actual case of plagiarism and a wrongful accusation all rolled into one. On April 19th, 2016, a journalist by the name of Shaun King was accused of plagiarism after an article of his was published that seemed very similar to one previously published in The Daily Beast. While this was a case of plagiarism, King took to Twitter to post evidence in the form of timestamped emails containing his original piece that had an attribution included to the original article. As a result, it was the editor Jotham Sederstrom that ended up being found guilty and fired due to editing out the attribution!
- Melania Trump
The Trump family have certainly left their mark on every industry lately and Melania Trump is no different! In 2016, Melania gave a speech on the President’s behalf at the Republican National Convention, but Obama fans weren’t having any of it – not when it so closely resembled a speech that Michelle Obama gave back in 2008. The blame was quickly put on Melania’s speechwriter who went on to try and resign after apologizing, but her resignation wasn’t accepted.
Plagiarism within a business is something that needs to be dealt with and is proving to be an ongoing issue despite the ease in which it can be caught today. Checking your content before it’s posted is a must, especially for businesses. With the potential for legal consequences and damaged reputations, it’s certainly better to be safe than sorry.