I had posted this yesterday and took it down. But after some updates, I chose to repost. I think this is an important issue for bloggers and writers to be aware of. It’s so easy to copy/plagiarize/ inspire with the wealth of content on the internet. After what happened to me yesterday, I vow as a writer to always cite my sources and give credit where credit is due. Here’s my story:
It was brought to my attention that an article was published yesterday on The Conversation’s blog entitled : How to Handle a Houdini: What To Do When a Guy Pulls a Disappearing Act.
Which has a striking resemblance to my article, Confessions of a Hopeless Romantic: Holding Out For Houdini that was published on Hello Giggles last week. The Conversation article was so similar to mine, that I had several friends send me the link asking if it was mine. I’m a big fan of Amanda de Cadenet and The Conversation. So I found this upsetting.
Yes, there is a chance this is a pure coincidence and I want to believe that. But deep inside, I had my doubts. The writer Mandy Hale is a published author with thousands of followers on Twitter. Compared to me, she’s a big fish and it feels like she just swallowed me whole sashimi style.
It would be one thing if my blog was published on my own blog. But it was on the front page of Hello Giggles, a blog that has a ton of traffic. When I made my Hello Giggles debut with Confessions of a #YOLO Enthusiast: I Was on Millionaire Matchmaker, the post was picked up by Yahoo. So it’s hard to believe that Mandy didn’t see it. Not to mention before I blog anything I do a simple google search on the subject. If you google “Houdini dating disappearing act” my article is the first to pop up…
So I did the only thing I really could do. I commented:
Hi Mandy. My name is Gabi Conti. I’m a writer for Hello Giggles and just had my article published about Houdinis http://hellogiggles.com/confes... last week. It feels a little too coincidental that your article is published on the same subject a week later. While I enjoyed your perspective on the matter, I feel cheated. I don’t have a book published (yet). I don’t have as many twitter followers as you (yet). I’m sure you remember what it was like when you were getting your start. It would’ve been nice to give credit where credit is due. Or perhaps it was a mere coincidence in which case, I guess we have ESP or something…
My comment was quickly replied to by Rebecca the editor at The Conversation. She was super professional about the misunderstanding and assured me it was a coincidence. I was happy to hear that, because as a writer, no one wants to feel like their work was stolen without credit. This comment was all I needed. I thanked Rebecca, I took down this blog post, Facebook posts and tweets about my doubt.
Then I heard from Mandy…
While Rebecca was assuring and professional, Mandy was anything but. Mandy harassed me on Twitter sending me about 20 tweets about how “it would’ve been nice to not have those hurtful assumptions” made about her. When they were never assumptions but simply doubt. And the fact that she had to say 20 times that she didn’t copy me makes me think that hmm…maybe she did?
Also Mandy, it’s super easy to get a hold of me. You can email me from my website on my Twitter. It would’ve been much more professional to send me an e-mail instead of a Twitter rant. You have clogged up my @s on Twitter to the point that I can’t see all the RTs and @ from my friends.
What do you guys think? Am I being paranoid? Or do I have the right to have this doubt?
Have you ever been copied or plagiarized online? The Internet makes it so easy to plagiarize but even easier to get caught. Do you think Mandy is copying me or like magic was this was a mere coincidence?