Welcome to episode 173, this week it’s just me (no interview) and I want to talk about the controversial but also very important topic of plagiarism and copy & pasting posts.
But before we get to that I need to catch up on some things I wasn’t able to cover last week plus some other articles I saw this week…
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week
- Hackers catfish tech execs on LinkedIn
- Putin passes law that will ban VPNs in Russia
- HOW RUSSIA IS USING LINKEDIN AS A TOOL OF WAR AGAINST ITS U.S. ENEMIES
- Why LinkedIn will Never Tell You When to Post on LinkedIn
You can hear my interview with Janet Murray on the Soulful PR podcast here
Think twice before you reply to an InMail with a shortcut ‘No Thanks’!
This is very sneaky and I’m not sure it’s been properly thought through by LinkedIn. When you receive an InMail from someone you have the opportunity to reply with 3 shortcut phrases
On the face of it this looks like a time-saving convenience feature similar to those InBot responses you see in normal messaging.
Beware, it’s not what you think!
When your ‘no thanks’ reply is received the other end the sender sees this message
So they can’t continue the thread….that makes perfect sense to me but what happens if they try to subsequently send you a new InMail?
So you have inadvertently ‘blocked’ this person from ever InMailing you again which could be disastrous for jobseekers and others who don’t wish to cut off communication altogether, it seems absurd to me that LinkedIn don’t make it clear what you are doing!
Long text posts are ‘killing it’ on LinkedIn
I have reported on this before but since then I have tested this further and it is clear that the algorithm that decides how many of your followers will see your post is massively favouring posts with a lot of text and really penalising any posts that include a link (unless it’s a LinkedIn article).
Here is a post I did last week about a news item regarding Sports Direct. As you can see below, this story was widely covered on LinkedIn by individuals and companies but everyone else made the mistake of including a link to the online article.
Knowing what I know, I simply took a screenshot of the letter and posted it as an image accompanied with some long text (triggering the ‘see more’).
As you can see, the results speak for themselves!
The main aim is to trigger the ‘see more’ but there is quite a bit more to it than just that so I have produced a ‘cheat sheet’ for this. It’s completely free, just sign-up for it below;
As I typed the above post I paused as I wondered if what I was doing was in some way a form of plagiarism. In the end I decided it was OK as the Sports Direct story had been widely covered by many sources in the national press….but that got me thinking about the main subject of this weeks episode!
LinkedIn Plagiarism – Is copy & pasting posts OK?
This seems to have become an increasing trend on LinkedIn, especially as text only posts have become more popular and successful.
Here is a classic example of what I’m talking about. This text only post from Ryan Cummings was phenomenally successful with nearly 40,000 likes and approaching 3000 comments.
Those are great numbers but could have been so much more because others decided to copy and paste his post and re-post it on their own feed. I actually found 27 posts like this!
This is the most blatant example and is classic plagiarism
The majority were like this, I even found someone who had made it into his own LinkedIn Article!
And someone who tried to be clever by changing the copy, ever so slightly!
And another who just copy & pasted a section
Some fool even had the cheek to add their product picture to the copied post!
It’s hard to defend these people. They clearly have extremely low ethical standards and will never find success by operating that way……..These losers are annoying but not the ones I’m most concerned about.
I also saw plenty of examples like this;
Whilst Ryan’s name is shown, it is not a link back to his profile.
There were other examples where Ryan is mentioned and linked (@mention)
Whilst this is an improvement, is still wrong in my opinion for this simple reason;
They are stealing views, Likes and Comments from Ryan!
and I think that is totally unacceptable!
Every post offers us the opportunity to Like, Comment or Share – using these is quicker and ensures that all credit, views and further engagement belong to the rightful owner.
Not everyone, however, would agree, look at this post from a CIO claiming that this practice is ‘standard behaviour’ across all social media – really? If this is common practice then that would suggest to me that it’s ‘common practice’ to behave unethically, surely that isn’t true for most social media users – is it?
Admittedly Bill also makes a good point about unwarranted blocking but his original comment is ludicrous!
This topic was also covered and extensively commented on in a recent post by Simon Chan
I agree wholeheartedly with Simon’s comments but who cares what we think. How does it feel to be copied in this way?
Well I reached out to Ryan Cummings and asked him for his thoughts and this is what he had to say;
“When I first noticed that some people were copy and pasting my post, I was a bit flattered. However, when one particular post began accruing several thousand likes and gained momentum, I then had people commenting on my post saying that they think the story was made up or that I was the one who copied it.
LinkedIn can easily determine who the original author was, and I believe they should step in and take down posts/suspend users who do not give proper attribution when posting others’ content.
So to directly answer your questions:
1. I don’t like it, they should cite their sources. Those who don’t will be exposed and look like clowns anyway.
2. Yes, it is most definitely plagiarism. Why copy and paste something without giving attribution? It’s because they see others’ posts going viral and thing they can jump on the bandwagon and get the same level of attention and recognition.
3. As I said before, I was at first flattered, but then that quickly evolved to annoyance when people started questioning my own validity after it started popping up other places.
Those are my thoughts on the subject”.
I also agree with Ryan that LinkedIn should be able to do something to stop this, or at least reduce a number of times people do it out of ignorance.
What can we do?
If you see a copied post, report it to LinkedIn – even those that quote or @mention
Unfortunately at the moment, LinkedIn do not provide a suitable ‘reason’ for copy & pasting so for now, I would go with
‘It’s fake, Spam or scam’ followed by ‘I think it’s misinformation’
So that’s view but what do you think? Why not leave me a voicemail or drop me a note at email@example.com
That’s it for this week, don’t forget to leave a voicemail or email me with any questions or suggestions, till next time.
Have a great week everyone.
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