First & foremost I want to say that I, in no way, shape, or form, condone plagiarism. Across the board I believe it is wrong to pass off something someone else wrote as your own unique work. And I am not weighing in on any "side" of this issue which has unfortunately come up in the YA book blogosphere with Kristi of The Story Siren & the accusations of her plagiarism. But I have a couple questions because I have been reading everything I can find for the past two hours.
My first question is how does it help our image as book bloggers, who are always struggling for credibility in the publishing world, to start hate campaigns with name-calling & matching hash-tags? I'm not sure everyone who stops by Kristi's site or tweets about this situation is completely thinking through the fact that publishers & authors watch her site & her brand. They are seeing the over-the-top things that have been being posted, commented, & tweeted. I'm not referring to people who are legitimately posting grievances or opinions. I'm talking about the ones tossing around language meant purely for the purpose of character assassination. I would think that plagiarism is enough of an assassination of character by the plagiarist that it doesn't need to be re-visited by the random blogger with a chip on his/her shoulder.
Secondly, what is the desired sought-after outcome behind the posts made by those who do not accept Kristi's apologies? I have read a lot about how Kristi's apologies are not real enough. That she isn't really owning up to what she did wrong. That she needs to be held accountable. What does that look like? What act of contrition would appease this issue? Certainly in college a student who plagiarizes can end up expelled as a consequence of his/her action. Is the blogosphere asking for Kristi's expulsion from blogging to be the punishment for her crime? Or would something more along the lines of a post stating succinctly that, in light of the fact that it looks like she not only plagiarized but also lied about, she knows what she did was wrong & will never let it happen again -- with all of us holding her accountable by policing her blog on a daily basis?
A third question comes to mind & that is who is the judge in this situation? Who has the say in the final verdict? Right now Kristi is being tried in front a jury of her peers with every blog that posts & every tweet written about it. But who ultimately decides what the right consequences are? Who has the right?
I'm insinuating minimal opinion here because I honestly would love answers to these questions. I'm not judging anyone for writing anything other than anything to do with spiteful name-calling because it's just petty & has the same outcome for the image of book bloggers as does plagiarism. We get taken less seriously than we already do. And like I said, I am not on any "side" of this. If you happen to have noticed that I commented on Kristi's recent apology, my words were meant only to encourage her as a person & it was written before I had read anything else about the situation. I don't think anyone deserves to be emotionally eviscerated because that is simply bullying. But I do think that we all should be held accountable for our own actions.
What are your thoughts?