Here To Inspire Abundant Awareness About a Possible Epidemic
Displaying integrity online is a virtue that many online users fail to use. In fact, you may be one of them or know of someone. In most cases, especially in the last 5-10 years with scams and illegitimate businesses and business practices (Wall Street, for example), integrity online appears to be an Oxymoron! Whether it’s writing articles or providing other content, such as forum comments, press releases, and videos, at first glance, lacking integrity online is a reoccurring and possible epidemic issue.
I believe this recurrence is because of the following two factors:
1. people are honestly “unaware” of the ethical etiquette of providing original content and fail to recognize the severity of taking someone else’s content and calling it their own
2. people are blatantly “stealing” content from others so they don’t have to spend the intellectual and physical energy creating their own valuable content
This severe act damaging process is known as Plagiarism.
It’s not uncommon these days for a high school or college student, to pay, sometimes top dollar, for content such as Essays, Reports, and Research Papers that are not of their own making, totally ignoring integrity online. In most educational systems, like a University, a student, teacher, professor can be expelled or fired for plagiarism and this can definitely affect one’s future resume when seeking other employment.
So, why does plagiarism appear to be the “norm” and seems to be rampant on the Internet, while using integrity online is overlooked?
This particular issue was brought to my attention recently, which inspired me to address the issue of online integrity in this article. Therefore, in the scope of having integrity online and in the space of Self-Mastery, this article exist to Inspire People’s Abundant Awareness to the seriousness of Plagiarism and I pray that this article will educate, inspire, transform, and literally “wake people up” to the severity of violating another person’s unique, intellectual creativity.
Obviously, because of this type of violation, national and international laws have been established for some time. I believe that using integrity online and creating content requires a resolution to do what is right. As Stan Toler stated it in his book, Minute Motivators for Leaders-Quick Inspiration for the Time of Your Life,
‘If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right,’ the ancient leadership adage demands. But leaders of character for more concerned with doing the right thing than they are in doing things right.
Because I believe in you, your value as a human being, and your ability to create genuine, valuable content and possess integrity online, I implore you to discover the following 3 ways plagiarism can quickly ruin your reputation as someone to be trusted and turn you into someone ugly…someone people disrespectfully mention in the online chat rooms and the Social Media outlets. And with this type of technology available to all, your dishonest reputation will travel fast!
1. Losing People’s Trust
One way plagiarism can quickly ruin your honest reputation is by discrediting any trust people may already have in you. Now granted, people make poor choices and costly mistakes in business and in life. We’re all human and imperfect. Also, people can, and do, forgive and forget. Unfortunately, most don’t forget and it doesn’t take many mistakes away from possessing integrity online and being dishonest for people, like customers, to lose faith and loyalty in what you have to do or say.
When you steal intellectual content (articles, comments, pictures, videos, etc) from people, you take the risk of hurting them as well, not to mention possibly taking income away from them because they rely on selling their content to a fair market. If their content gets stolen and then distributed without the his or her knowledge and permission, this could perhaps increase the product’s price.
Therefore, resolve to always tell the truth, genuinely apologize for your mistakes, ask for forgiveness, use integrity online, and continuously provide honest and relevant content, with integrity online, that becomes the solution people seek. You make sure your “yes” means “yes” and your “no” means “no.” You do this to build trust and may be able to rectify and reconcile any damaged relationships; thus, earning back some respect and loyalty.
2. Effecting the Validity of An Honest Brand
A second way plagiarism can quickly ruin your honest reputation is by depleting or diminishing the efforts, effects, and validity of an honest Brand. When you brand yourself, You, Inc., you must brand yourself as an Entrepreneur of value, respect, honesty, and compassion. This goes with everything from graphics to written content. Remembering to use integrity online, make sure it’s your own property or content you’ve created and/or rightfully paid for.
Therefore, resolve to always run a “clean” branding campaign, shining your “true” colors, and establish your brand from the core value of integrity. This act of honesty will provide some purpose and validity to your cause and course of action. A dishonest “brand” is unattractive and no one is attracted to this type of business or lifestyle choice. People with or campaigning for dishonest “branding” always lose in the end!
3. Losing Your Position As a Valuable Resource
A third way plagiarism can quickly ruin your honest reputation is by losing your ability to become a legit business owner or remain a trusted and honorable resource of useful content. If your content is mostly stolen and not your own, you will eventually lose the “right” to provide quality and valuable content. There may be value in the content itself; yet, people will choose to look somewhere else for their solutions or take their business, and money, to another business that’s more trustworthy.
Therefore, resolve to never, ever steal another person’s content. Valuable or not, it’s not your own content! Being truthful is integrity online at its best! When what to use another creator’s content, just ask permission for it. When you quote, use their name. When it’s obvious you have paraphrased content, the etiquette is to site the author. It’s always better to be overly cautious than to become a guilty party plagiarizing.
Words of Caution
Below are 4 ways you may determine if content has been plagiarized. However, it’s is only a guideline and not always the “rule of thumb.”
- Similar amount of word count (seldom not with identical topics, yet not uncommon)
- Similar “tone” of article (understood if content is about the same topic)
- Similar Structure:
- a) Identical formatting to clarify sentences and paragraphs
- b) Identical formatting for Key Points and Interests
- Too many Word-for-Word sentences (means there’s SERIOUS plagiarism involved!)
Please note: Insights, concepts, and perspectives are common and allowed in writing. However, not word-for-word. If word-for-word is needed to get a point or idea across to your readers, then use the Quote Formatting Tool and let the readers know Who made a statement. If the statement was yours, then they will need to cite you.
Creators Who Are Above Reproach
Plagiarism is like a deadly disease. You know it’s there and it can quickly spread without other people recognizing it at first. As a unique Online Community of Dreamers, Innovators, and Creators, I present a life-changing challenge us all! I challenge that we resolve to live above reproach and realize that we must do our sincere best to be confident in our own creative value and abstain from choosing to steal intellectual content from others.
Since plagiarism is a very serious issue and is unprofessional, being real and trustworthy is the best route to a sustainable success record. This is especially true if you want to be known as a person who uses integrity online and want to maintain a reputation as you build trust, whether in business or in personal life, as you provide an honest brand for You, Inc., and as you provide valuable resources that are creatively your own.
When people trust you in business, this can often translate into “money in the bank” because they become loyal and returning customers. Being involved in a Community of Trustworthy Entrepreneurs brings me closer to my dreams, my goals, and my purpose in life…not plagiarism. Community helps me to inspire people’s abundant awareness so the can experience true freedom and establish an honest reputation.
Can you say that you’re living above reproach with your content offline or online? Are you willing to accept my life-changing challenge to be confident in your own creative value and resolve from choosing to steal intellectual content from others? If you are up to the challenge, then you are surely in the top percent of Entrepreneurs using integrity online. Go be an example to follow!