A Message To Kristi’s Loyal Fans: How Do You Condone A Thief?

April 25, 2012 TheBawdyBookBlog 21

Courtesy of Smart Bitches | Trashy Books

 

I wasn’t going to talk about this here, because I think the horse is beaten and dead on the ground.  But as I continue to see the drama unfold on DAY THREE, with accusations flying that Beautifully Invisible and Grit & Glamour are bullies and Kristi Diehm of The Story Siren simply made a mistake – well I have to call BULLSHIT.

 

To you, her followers: She didn’t make a mistake.  This wasn’t a case of “Oops! I just accidentally CTRL +V’d six blog posts worth of content and then re-worked it a little, MY BAD!“  This was a deliberate and calculated attempt to give you, her reader, additional content so that she would continue to receive traffic and affiliate clicks.  YES, I am saying that.  Hell, she basically said the very same thing here:

 

Was I feeling pressure to do something new and engaging? Something helpful and interesting? I was.

 

This is a blogger who gave you an anti-plagiarism post* and then BROKE. EVERY. RULE. IN. IT.  She behaved completely unethically and needs to be held accountable for her actions.  I am holding her accountable by not participating in her blog anymore: I have removed the Debut Author Challenge button from my sidebar and Challenge Page, and I will also no longer be participating in In My Mailbox.  That’s a done deal.  I cannot support a blogger who would knowingly and purposefully steal from someone else.  What’s to stop her from stealing from you? 

Yes, you say she’s sorry and she apologized – TWICE! Save it, because I’ve already heard that argument and frankly, I don’t agree.  Her first apology is self-serving:

 

My biggest worry was the authors and publishers that I host.

 
and her second is circular at best:
 

When I first received the allegations of plagiarism, I was presented with the information and could not deny the facts. While the content was not identical the subject matter was. It was a confusion of inspiration and plagiarism on my part. I am not denying my actions. I was in the wrong.

To Grit and Glamour and Beautifully Invisible, I extend my deepest apologies. Please do not judge the book blogging community by my mistakes.

 

She never actually says “I’m sorry for stealing your content and that is wrong.”  You know, had she actually done that in the beginning, things could have gone differently.  She could have gracefully and humbly come forward and admitted what she had done, but even her second apology, as Parajunkee so aptly points out via Twitter, smacks of “I can’t think for myself”:

 

 

 

This isn’t a rant against Kristi or her blog.  Please don’t mistake this post for jealousy either (since that’s being bandied about between other bloggers, too).  I’m not.  Did I admire her blog? Yes, I did.  Do I now?  No. I don’t admire people or places with stolen material. I also don’t excuse it.

I know what you might be thinking: I should get off my high-horse, because who am I to judge?  Yeah, I’ve made mistakes.  I’ve tripped and accidentally spilled red Kool-aid on white carpet (also candlewax), I’ve rear-ended someone who stopped on a green light.  THOSE are accidents, those are mistakes.  But I have never set out to deliberately steal from someone and hurt them.

And that’s the point of this post.

At the end of the day, if she had plagiarized YOU, you would not defend her.  You would not excuse it.  You would not sweep it under the rug and you most certainly would want to hold her accountable.  So my question to you is, what makes you want to defend her so badly?  How can you defend someone who would do such a thing?

What makes this specific instance OKAY?
 
 

Courtesy of stopplagiarism.blogspot.com

If you would like to help stop plagiarism, please do not support bloggers who do it.  You can also click the image at the left to digitally sign a petition agreeing to never participate in any form of plagiarism.

 
 
 
 
 

Links To Follow This Story:


Buzzworthy News: April 23, 2012
I Think We’ve Been Plagiarized… Sort of: The Story of the Content Thief!

B*tch stole my content! Plagiarism: How to Deal with a Thief
Plagiarism and The Story Siren
 
 

*Thanks to Radiant-Shadows for finding this.

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Jennifer @ The Bawdy Book Blog

Owner/Blogger at The Bawdy Book Blog
Jennifer became addicted to books when she randomly picked up a Sweet Valley High book in grade school.She never looked back.After blowing through the SVH and SVU series faster than her parents could put them in her hands, she began perusing her stepfather's bookshelves and reading fantasy like Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series, which she still maintains is some of the best fantasy ever.She collects books like the Duggar family collects kids and began waiting for her Hogwarts letter at the tender age of 33.
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A Message To Kristi’s Loyal Fans: How Do You Condone A Thief?
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21 Responses to “A Message To Kristi’s Loyal Fans: How Do You Condone A Thief?”

  1. Sarah (saz101)

    Ooooh, no no no no no. Beautifully Invisible and Grit & Glamour are NOT bullies. In fact, it wasn’t even them who NAMED Kristi. The whole debacle is just… miserable. I just… Ugh.

    There HAVE been people bullying. Both Kristi, AND Beautifully Invisible and Grit & Glamour. This is WRONG. I’ve said this before, but I’ll defend ANYONE who’s being bullied. Not their actions, but their fundamental right not to be bullied.

    There’s a BIG difference between bullying, and firmly applying pressure to do the right thing. Plagiarism is one thing–it’s not just a ‘mistake’, it’s illegal, but–bullying is another. Fab post Jenn, thanks <3
    Sarah (saz101) recently posted..STORM BLOG TOUR: The People of Storm Fantasy Casting with Brigid Kemmerer!My Profile

    • Jennifer @ The Bawdy Book Blog

      What chaps my ass is that she’s a grown woman and she STILL needed to be led by the nose to do what was right and apologize. But she still managed to muck it up – twice! By not even really admitting anything. She sounded so bent on not making herself look bad in those two apologies when really, if she had just kept it short and simple: “I did this and I’m sorry.” then we wouldn’t be discussing this right now.
      I don’t agree with the name calling but I can’t believe she has people who are basically supporting what she did. Un-effing-believable.

  2. J.R. @ J.R. After Dark

    I totally agree with you. As much as I LOVE IMM I think I have a little more respect for myself and my blog than to potentially put it in the hands of a thief?! I think not. And to muck up not 1 but 2 apologies?! Seriously?! This just pisses me off and the worst part is the whole thing is just sad and there are some people out there who are taking it to the point of bullying. I won’t go that far but I’m DONE with The Story Siren.
    J.R. @ J.R. After Dark recently posted..Spring Fling Blog Hop ~ Legend by Marie Lu Giveaway (US)My Profile

  3. drey

    I agree. Plagiarism is wrong, regardless of how popular your blog is, or how many friends you have, or whatever your excuse is. Just apologize already (for real!). I totally get that things can spiral out of control, but do we really need to defend the perpetrator – and on what grounds??

    Also, bullying is not acceptable. I have the utmost respect for the way the victims conducted themselves, and none at all for TSS’ fans. This is something that will not – and should not – die down until people wake up and conduct themselves accordingly. Because otherwise, what kind of lessons are we passing on?

    Great post, Jennifer!
    drey recently posted..Review: 59. The Nightmare Garden by Caitlin Kittredge…My Profile

    • Jennifer @ The Bawdy Book Blog

      Agreed. It’s fine to want to accept her apology and move on. But don’t freaking defend the woman. She screwed up, she ought to pay the price, whatever that may be.
      And honestly? If people need to vent about a person in the community they looked up to who turned out to be a total hypocrite (fraud?), I say let ‘em.

  4. Kelly @ Radiant Shadows

    I’m glad someone had the balls (pardon my pun) to say this.

    I don’t condone bullying, disrespectful language or the forcing of opinions down someone’s throat. I like to be presented with the facts, and given the time to formulate my opinions and assume others feel the same. In this case, I can see why some people would choose to accept her “apology” and leave it alone (and I don’t begrudge them for it). But I can’t understand how anyone could look at everything that has been uncovered and defend her actions, chalking it up to a big mistake. As you said, that’s complete and utter bull.

    As are the claims that the content she stole was readily available on several other sites. I don’t care if the content was available on every site on the internet. The point is not that the type of content she took is readily available elsewhere. It’s that she took their content, their layout and their formatting and re-arranged it to make it look like it was her own. Had she added in additional information (derived from her own experiences), and completely changed the flow of the content, then perhaps the plagiarism wouldn’t have been so glaringly obvious. All she would have needed was an attribution, to say that she was inspired by certain bloggers, with a link back to their original post. Just because the content is available elsewhere does not mean that it wasn’t plagiarism. Or that it’s an ok version of plagiarism. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN “OK VERSION OF PLAGIARISM!”

    Plagiarism is plagiarism is plagiarism. No if, ands or buts about it. If you relied on anything to help beef up a post, you need to give credit. End of story.

    Sorry for the rant. I made the mistake of reading some comments on the clarification post and my blood started to boil. I’m done now, I promise!
    Kelly @ Radiant Shadows recently posted..ARC Book Review: The Weepers – The Other LifeMy Profile

  5. AHM

    I am so glad I’m not the only one who can’t let this go! Everyone has pretty much said exactly how I feel about this, and I’m now going to follow as many of you as I can.

    What I can’t believe is the number of people saying, “both sides are at fault” and “everyone has handled themselves poorly, not just Kristi.” Are you kidding me?! She STOLE from them. They are the victims here. There is only one finger that should be pointed — at Kristi — because all of this has been a response to her COMMITTING A CRIME. Grit and Glamour and Beautifully Invisible have a right to respond in whatever way they want — they were stolen from! And all the little TSS sheep are crying, “but they’re so mean!” Actually, they’re a hell of a lot nicer than I would have been. When a thief robs a house, no one blames the homeowner for feeling outraged and violated and upset. There is no difference in what Kristi did.

    It looks like she’s attempting to fix this by being even perkier than usual, and it makes me want to throw up and/or punch her in the face. Unfortunately, I’m rarely sick and live too far away to confront her in person, so I’ll have to settle for unfollowing her and following every kindred spirit I can find. :)

    • Jennifer @ The Bawdy Book Blog

      I would like to see her ask her fans to back down and quit antagonizing those she stole from…as well as those in the community who are holding her accountable by speaking out. It would look good for her, the other bloggers and the situation in general. But guess what? She hasn’t and if she does, someone had to suggest that to her as well. She’s an adult, she knows the right thing to do, it’s like, come on.

      Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the follow.

  6. Sophia Rose

    I was upset about those comments too on her post when I went back through everything to see what all the fuss is about. I do not think it is taking the holier than thou approach to call a spade a spade and to hold someone accountable for their own words (she had a post against plagiarism). Hey, if they were true friends they should be calling her on this behavior not supporting thievery. I appreciate what you’ve said in your post.

  7. Moirae the fates

    I’m not going to stop telling what new books I have, but I WILL stop calling it IMM, I WILL NOT got SS’s site. I’m going to do my new books on a different day.
    RJ from RJ does books (http://rjdoesbooks.com/) has started his own version and I intend on linking mine there.

    WONDERFUL post Jen! You’ve hit the nail on the head. I never made a post as like you I felt it was a dead horse. I have commented though.

    I just hope she’s held accountable by authors and publishers choosing not to use her site and choosing to use others like Tynga or Parajunkee both have wonderful blogs with lots of traffic and fantastic bloggers behind them.
    However, SS is the most well known and sadly money and popularity rule. It’s sickening.
    Moirae the fates recently posted..Author Interview with Alethea KontisMy Profile

  8. Ezzy

    Thank you for writing this post. I am SO tired of hearing excuses for what she did. People have the audacity to ask “why don’t you just let her off the hook?”. Sure, if it was an HONEST mistake and she took like maybe a paragragh or two, but SIX POSTS. That’s not a mistake people, that’s THEFT. I was taught about plagiarism in elemetary school, middle school, and all throughout highschool. They’re especially on you about it in college, going as far as expelling you if you’re caught. Tell me she didn’t go all through those years of schooling and did not remember an inkling on what was taught to her about plagiarism. AHHHH, but apprently she did.

    Words from Kristi @The Story Siren that I wholeheartedly agree with:

    “Plagiarism.

    Plagiarism is wrong. No matter how you look at it.

    There is no excuse… “I didn’t know…. I didn’t mean to… I did it subconsciously.” No, you didn’t. You did know and you did mean to.

    Plagiarism isn’t just copying and pasting word for word and passing it off as your own. It can be taking someones work and changing around the sentence structure, getting out your thesaurus and changing a few words here and there… basically taking the central idea tweaking it and passing it off as your own work.

    It’s especially frustrating for this to happen in the blogging community. Why would you plagiarize a review? What is the point? Isn’t the whole idea of a blog to share YOUR views on a book. How could you take someone else’s review and pass it off as your own? Where is your integrity? You don’t have any. You’ve cheated yourself, your fellow bloggers, your readers, the author who wrote the book, and the publicist that sent it to you.

    I have no respect for someone that does this.”

    Me: Funny Kristi because “I didn’t know…. I didn’t mean to… I did it subconsciously.” was exactly the excuse you used. Oh, the irony.

    And THIS part:

    “The bottom line is, plagiarism is wrong. There’s no excuse for it.

    This community is one of the things I love the most about blogging. But in the recent weeks I’m almost embarrassed to be a part of it. I hate feeling that way.

    Before you decide to take the “easy” way out and use another persons work as your own. Think about the person you are really hurting…. yourself.”

    Me: That last line was like icing on a cake “Before you decide to take the “easy” way out and use another persons work as your own. Think about the person you are really hurting…. yourself.” You’d think she’d have taken her own advice.

    The fact that she took down the post on plagiarism rubs me off the wrong way. Does this mean that she now supports plagiarism, so much so that she removed a well-exaplained blog post on why it’s so wrong? how wrong it is?

    I like Kristi as a person because I know she is a hard-worker and I’m naturally drawn to people who put their heart into their work, but my views on her ethnics as a blogger have completely changed.

  9. Katie

    I’m glad Kristi pulled this stunt because a) I’m always down for someone showing his/her true colors, and b) it lead me to your blog. I, um, am WAY too old to be reading YA books (There wasn’t really a “YA genre” when I was a YA), but I found Kristi’s blog through her YouTube videos. She updated regularly and reviewed different subgenres of YA, so it was basically one stop shopping for me.

    One of my top two pet peeves is stealing (when I was in college, I lost more sleep when working on a paper over the FEAR of unintentionally plagiarizing someone than pulling an all nighter to actually WRITE the paper), so I’ve dropped her blog like a bad habit and I’m on to lesser known, but hopefully harder working book bloggers.

    I look forward to discovering new blogs (maybe even some written by readers with reading habits similar to mine). Also, I love your blog title. ;)

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