Plagiarism

I write because it’s important to me and because I want to share freely what I feel God is teaching me in this Valley of the Shadow of Death.

I don’t have affiliate links on my blog, don’t sell books, posters or merchandise and have no plans to do so.

But I am jealous of the content I produce.  Not jealous because I think it is of high value but jealous because the words are wrung from ny heart each evening to be posted the next morning.  Jealous because they reflect MY experience, expose MY heart and contain details of MY journey.

In all the time I’ve been sharing, I have never had a post stolen, to my knowledge.  Until the other day when I found another blogger had re-blogged my post, “International Bereaved Mother’s Day” and given credit (appropriately) to where she had found it-on a Facebook page.  

I followed the link and yep, there it was-MY post, copied and pasted changed-only to exclude Dominic’s name and replace it with “child”.  Even the graphic I chose was used.  

I contacted the page and they have agreed to correct the post and add the link to the blog. I appreciate that.  

But in responding to my concerns, the page administrator indicated that it had been found and reposted from another page ( I don’t know which one).  And that upsets me.  

I know social media is risky business and that I can’t stop anyone from doing whatever they want to once I hit “publish”.  But I would ask that in this community of bereaved parents we show one another the respect anyone deserves and honor our individual contributions, whatever they may be.

Taking the words of another and passing them off as your own is plagiarism.  It is wrong and it is hurtful.  

I will keep writing and risking but now I’m on guard and I hate that.  

If you are a regular reader/poster/sharer I ask that you help me watch for this in the future.

I want people to share.  

That’s the purpose of writing-that one more heart my be encouraged or strengthened for another day in this Valley.  So share away!

But please do it honestly 🙂 ❤

Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

18 thoughts on “Plagiarism”

  1. I agaree it is bad, bad for someone to take credit for blogs that they did not write themselves. It happens in all areas of life and again I think of it as a form of stealing and it is. Some people have no concerns about doing this. It is too bad because if they will do this , they will certainly do other things that are worse. No shame, no shame. Mama

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with you completely. It’s very difficult to write so deeply from one’s heart, especially when it’s something so personal as the deep grief following the death of a child, and then have someone steal your words. Theft doesn’t get any more personal than that. I’m glad that you let me know this had been plagiarized directly from you by someone on Facebook, so that I could immediately correct giving credit to the original author – you. I am so grateful for your willingness to share your heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You did everything right, Becky! I wouldn’t have seen the FB post if you hadn’t blogged it. I appreciate every single bereaved parent brave enough to put their journey “out there”. Bless you, sister. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So sorry this happened, Emily. I have shared your blogs with others in my small group of women from my church because your heart exposed explains mine to others many a time…pretty much all the time. I will continue to be careful with what I share. God bless you and hold you close💛💙 Jeni, Jeff’s mom

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. I appreciate your encouraging words. It does my heart good to know that sharing helps other mamas in this awful journey. May God continue to give you the strength you need for each new day. ❤

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  4. I’m so sorry that happened to you, Melanie. I am a fellow bereaved mother, and I have often shared your words in my social media page (directly from you blog of course!). I am one who usually expresses her feelings through writing, but since losing my daughter I have found it difficult to find the words. I am thankful to be able to share your words when I cannot find my own. You put an enormous amount of trust in us by sharing your words and feelings, and it is so sad that anyone would take advantage of that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Stephanie. I’m thrilled for people to share! I write mainly for myself-things are clearer to me when I put them in written form. But whenever it is helpful to someone else, that’s a bonus. Please continue to share whenever the words also express your heart. Praying for you dear one. ❤

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  5. Hopefully this was done without much forethought and will not be repeated. Sometimes I panic because I will post something and then a couple hours later see that someone else has written on the same topic two days ago. This has happened more than once. Looking at publishing dates it is obvious no one stole anything so I just chalk this up to us all being on the same wavelength as we read each other’s blogs. I am also nervous when I share anything. I am just now learning how to do this. So if I ever, ever share improperly, PLEASE somebody tell me how I should do it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you Kim! I know we often share the same topics/ thoughts because child loss seems to take a fairly predictable course over time. This was a word-for-word reposting w/o acknowledgement. Of course all of us make mistakes! I hope someone will do the same for me-please let me know if I’ve made any improper use of someone’s material. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m a photographer and found one of my photos on a site that was using it for tee shirts and coffee mugs! They did remove it when I asked but it was annoying. Stealing the words from your heart is very hurtful. The internet is a blessing and a curse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True! I have inadvertently used someone else’s artwork and had to remove it. I try to track it down. But I would NEVER ever use it for commercial purposes without absolutely confirming the source. The blog is non-commercial so I’m not losing anything that can be measured except, like you said, words from my heart.

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  7. It’s very strange. In Atlanta, every year on the Fourth of July, there is a 10K called the Peachtree Road race. There have been complaints that some people register, and then jump in at the last mile to retrieve the coveted T-shirt. ANYONE can enter this race. Winning is an honor, but finishing is something that over 50,000 people manage to do. I’VE done it, and although I faithfully prepared, no one would mistake me for an elite athlete. It’s fun to wear your T-shirt around town the next week, and meet other people who enjoyed the event. It’s just inconceivable to me that anyone would want to cheat for a T-shirt! Who could enjoy wearing a shirt that they didn’t earn, and smile while people congratulate them?! There has been discussion about how to prevent this, but I don’t know that it’s really possible, or even necessary. At the end of the day, I know that my shirts (for me) were hard-won. At the end of the line-jumpers day, they go to bed knowing that they cheated and lied. I wouldn’t trade places. Maybe, sometimes the only justice we can hope for is being thankful for the things that don’t tempt us. I’m sorry people have swiped your writing, and I’m thankful that you can’t imagine doing so. Write on, sister, don’t let the turkeys get you down.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m so sorry this happened to you. You might want to try putting: “Copyright ‘copyright symbol here’, ‘Year here’ by ‘Your full name here’ All rights reserved. Not to be copied or reprinted without express written permission by author.” I’ve considered putting this for each blog. I have seen it on several blogger sites. At least it would be a reminder not steal others’ writings. ~Roger

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I so agree. I have written about this very thing on a few occasions. It both angers me and hurts when I find a ‘Title’ or ‘subject matter’ stolen. None has occurred as blatantly as what you describe happened to you, but it still hurts. I have experienced enough ‘loss’ in my lifetime. When such things occur, it feels like another loss…like another piece of my heart has been taken. I’m sorry this happened to you. Unfortunately, I’ve seen it and personally experienced it, a few times. I know there are times when we incorporate something another has said, internalize it because it rang true to our hearts, and pass it on not really knowing where we picked it up at. When I recognize those types of things, they actually bless me because I know something I said bore fruit in another’s life. But the blatant ‘theft’ is at least morally wrong. I pray for those who have lowered themselves by doing so. (((HUGS)))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate your kind words. I don’t fret over the natural overlap of topics among bereaved parents-even when the words used are similar. This was a word-for-word lifting of my exact content. That’s what hurt my heart. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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