Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Those elephants in the room take up so much space

Alright, currently there is an elephant in the room that needs to be dealt with. The Story Siren has been accused and found guilty of plagarizing content from other blogs.

It doesn't seem possible. Kristi has made numerous posts about plagarism and how vehemantly against it she is.

"Plagarism 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."

-Kristi from The Story Siren

This morning, I was on my google reader and saw that Kristi had written two apology letters for something which you can read here and here. I didn't know what they were for, but assumed some blogger or another was picking a fight with her and Kristi had reacted badly. Then, just to make sure, I looked up on google.com "What is the story siren accused of?" That led me to this post by Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, outing Kristi as a content thief. I thought for certain there was a mistake, or some random bloggers were just starting crap for the sake of starting crap. I wrote a huge post about how much I supported Kristi and that she shouldn't be judged so harshly just because she's a more public blog than most if she had done this. That "if" bugged me immensely, because when defending someone, I refuse to do it blindly.

So, I went back to SBTB, clicked the links to the accusers' websites and prepared myself for what I'd find. I expected fierce anger, judgement, swear words, and an all around unprofessional case against Kristi. What I found instead was more than a little enlightening. I found evidence. The kind of evidence that involves IP addresses, hit tracking, posting dates and the calm demeanor of someone who knows they're in the right and someone else is entirely in the wrong. You can see all of the evidence at Beautifully Invisible and Grit & Glamour, two of the blogs plagiarized. They had originally agreed to not reveal the name of the blogger involved, as long as they received credit for the content, and later, as long as the blogger deleted the posts. While Kristi has now been outed as that blogger, neither of the blogs have revealed her name, merely linking to where SBTB talks about Kristi's actions.

It is awful to know that Kristi did plagiarize someone else's work. I'm extremely disappointed, as I'm sure others are. The only comfort that exists in this situation is the fact that it was blogging advice that was imitated, not her book opinions. Even though I seem extremely "anti-Kristi" right now, that's not exactly true. I am not pleased with her actions, which Kristi won't care about, since 1) she doesn't even know my name and 2) has never really given a s*** about what other bloggers think of her. However, I still care about, like and believe in her. She's done amazing things for the book blogging community, especially YA. She makes me laugh when she posts pictures of Xander on Twitter. She's still an amazing book recommender and I still hope to meet her one day, so that we can hang out. I still look up to her as a blogger. Even though her reputation has taken a huge hit, her blog posts will most likely be called into question and anon trolls have even more ammo to dislike her, she's still the same Story Siren that motivated me to start book blogging a year ago and I'll forever be thankful for that.

I choose to despise the action, not the person. People can change if they have the motivation to.Kristi will probably learn from this mistake and improve from here on out. I'm certainly hoping she will.

*Just to be clear, I am in no way excusing Kristi's actions. I don't think she should be elevated above anything because she's somewhat of a public figure. I'm really mad over the fact that this happened, and the fact that someone who was so against copying was found guilty of it. However, I believe she can change and hope she will choose to.*

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