19

Someone upvoted one of my answers, so I clicked on it to reread what I had written and was shocked to notice that the 'accepted answer' now contains a duplicate of the cover photo that I'd linked to and a synopsis of the story, word for word, that I had written with the edit justification saying,

"Turning this into a complete answer."

Is it okay to copy and paste other people's work? Is this a new accepted practice to merge parts of other peoples' answers into the accepted answer?


Perhaps they thought that my writing was from a bookcover because someone else edited it to note that it contained spoilers... Just trying to be generous, but still, they copied the photo, which was already there in my answer for anyone to see and then they duplicated what my answer already said.

I think the question looks dumb now, because both answers are basically the same. I also remember that it took a good deal of time and mental effort to craft a succinct and easy-to-read summary of the story. Not cool.

  • 1
    Are you 100% certain that you wrote the synopsis yourself? Is it wholly your own wording? – Valorum Feb 10 '15 at 19:51
  • 2
    @Richard 100% sure, yes. I totally remember thinking over the story and trying to write in the simplest terms what the gist of the story was. – Canadian Girl Scout Feb 10 '15 at 19:52
  • 3
    In that case, this appears to be a clear case of plagiarism. Flag it and I'm sure a friendly mod will take appropriate action. – Valorum Feb 10 '15 at 19:53
  • 2
    For the record, I've rolled the edit back to an earlier revision and notified the user in question in chat that their edit was (I'm sure inadvertantly) inappropriate. – Valorum Feb 10 '15 at 20:07
  • 1
    @Richard Cheers! And congrats on winning the mod position :) Your timely attention to this meta post was much appreciated! – Canadian Girl Scout Feb 10 '15 at 20:14
  • 2
    This is why the metrics for a "good site" state that ~2.5 answers per question is valued, it's also why we have the ability to post more than one answer in the first place. If we merged all answers into one, then it would make that metric pointless - community wiki is excepted. – Möoz Feb 10 '15 at 21:14
  • I'm sorry. I made a mistake. – FuzzyBoots Feb 11 '15 at 14:34
  • 2
    Shouldn't this be on Mi Yodeya? – KSmarts Feb 12 '15 at 18:09
  • Well, you got 5 more rep that the accepted answer anyways... – ʇolɐǝz ǝɥʇ qoq Feb 16 '15 at 5:14
  • Also, @SeanDuggan, please stop turning my answers into your essays. – Kreiri Feb 16 '15 at 18:52
  • @Kreiri: I'm sorry to offend. When I see one sentence answers, I tend to add what details I can from Wikipedia and the like so that they address the details of the question, something which will hopefully help other people looking for the answer. If you'd like, I can post my answers separately to yours, giving the same answer, but with detail? – FuzzyBoots Feb 16 '15 at 18:56
  • Yes, you can post your own answer. No need to upset other users. – Kreiri Feb 16 '15 at 19:09
  • 2
    @SeanDuggan : Personally, my rule is that I never alter the content of someone's answer. I might fix the formatting or correct obvious typos, but's pretty much it. Others may have a different opinion, though. – Omegacron Feb 19 '15 at 16:08
  • @Omegacron: To me, that creates duplication of information, and possibly a situation where it looks like you're trying to steal an answer. If someone answers "It's 'The Dog at the Manger'" to a question, that doesn't really answer the question. If I post a second answer with the actual needed information, it looks like I'm trying to steal their rep. At least from my point of view. – FuzzyBoots Feb 19 '15 at 16:53
  • 1
    Mea culpa. Mea culpa. Mea maximus culpa... – FuzzyBoots Nov 10 '16 at 19:22
20

This question has been discussed at some considerable length here ("What to do when plagiarism is discovered") and here ("Should I flag plagiarism for Moderator Attention?")

The general concensus of opinion is that you should flag the offending answer and allow a moderator to deal with the issue.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .