I'm not defending the actions of The Plagiarist (here on out referred to as The Offender, it's just less clunky to type). What she did was despicable and inexcusable, not to mention a violation of the people plagiarized.
I've been in contact with The Offender over the last few days and she is well aware that her actions were inexcusable, despicable and disrespectful of the people she plagiarized. While she is hurt by all of the posts going up because of the incident, including mine, she accepts them almost as a form of punishment for what she did. I didn't apologize for what I wrote and none of us should. In fact I think we should all stand up and scream when something like this happens in order to drive the point home that plagiarism is wrong and these will be the consequences should you do it.
In The Offender's emails to me, she wasn't worried about herself so much as the wrong she imposed on those she plagiarized and the potential impact of her actions on other bloggers she's close to. She is shamed by what she did to them. She makes absolutely no excuses for her actions and has been graciously accepting of the onslaught of criticism and harsh words thrown at her even though her name has been left out of the fray. As gracious as one can be given the circumstances. She takes full responsibility for her actions and doesn't see her own ignorance as being an excuse for what she did. She fully complied with the requests of the offended bloggers and knows full well that with them especially, her reputation is quite probably irreparably damaged. For those of us that knows who she is, she knows full well that she'll have to work long and hard to regain our trust, should we be so willing to give her a second chance. She is fully repentant of her actions and accepts the consequences she brought upon herself.
She has demonstrated to me that she's educating herself on what plagiarism is and will work her hardest to turn her blog around into something truly original and all around her. And she knows the hurdles she'll have to overcome to do it.
I can only imagine what it's like to be plagiarized, in any fashion, and I only hope it never happens to me. Woe unto the soul that even considers the thought. I can't speak for the victims in this ordeal. How they choose to proceed is entirely up to them. In all honesty, if it were me, I'd never trust The Offender again. Cordiality is one thing but trust? With me you only have one shot.
But it's knowing just how repentant and shamed this girl is that really has me irked about what someone did to her. I half expected this kind of thing from an anonymous blogger or someone floating around our world but it was an author. You heard that right. An AUTHOR has me rather disgusted with his actions.
This morning I get an email from The Offender saying that she's accepting of the criticism that's coming her way but why does this person have to rub it in and be so nasty about it? He sent her a very nasty email, which she deleted before even emailing me, and then posted it on his blog to gloat. So I read it and it's shocking. This kind of display? From an author? So I scroll down to the comments and while there are few, I saw that Lenore posted asking if he really sent it and if he received a response. His response to Lenore was not yet but he plans on sending a follow-up.
Disgustingly shocked would be a good way to describe it. So I emailed Lenore because really, I wanted to justify my feelings about this. On one hand I don't want to support a plagiarist but on the other she's fully repentant of her actions. She's not acting like a shit, she's not refusing to take down reviews, she's not placing blame anywhere else but on herself. Luckily Lenore felt the same way with similar sentiments and I didn't feel so bad for feeling so torn. If she had been acting like a shit, I would just say "well, she brought that on herself" and walk away. She brought the overall attention onto herself but does she really deserve to be dug at so maliciously?
William Kostakis is the writer of that email, which can be read in its entirety on his blog. I understand that he's close friends with Adele of Persnickity Snark. If it were one of my friends that were wronged, I'd be really pissed off too. But at the end of the day I know it's not my fight and I'm not going to take it upon myself to kick The Offender's ass on behalf of my friend. You know, rant and rave all you want on your blog. As I said, I think this is something we all should do when plagiarism strikes in order to deter it. But I think there is a line to be crossed here.
He's an author. I wouldn't think it very good publicity to go on your blog and gloat how you essentially bullied a high school kid and kicked her while she was already down. And you're proud of it. And showboat it. And even make mention of doing it again. By his own admission he enjoys taking the low road and wants to have fun at The Offender's expense. While he is only 20 (by no means an adult in my eyes, sorry, I don't even consider myself an adult and I'm 26) he's old enough to know better. I hope it makes him feel better to dig into an already broken girl. I hope he feels like a big man for it. The thing is, if he's so close to Adele, then the likelihood of him knowing just how repentant The Offender was was pretty high, meaning he did this despite that. Real nice.
Rest assured, Mr. Kostakis, I will not be picking up your book any time soon. And don't worry, Mr. Kostakis. If you happen to have second thoughts about what you've posted, I've made sure to save it, just in case.
In a time where kids are committing suicide after being bullied, and young adult authors are binding together and rallying against bullying, I find it wholly, and grossly, ironic that a young adult author is acting the bully.
Some of you may disagree with me on this. Some may think that she deserves whatever she has coming regardless of the extent of it. Do you think that? Or now knowing what you know about how she's acting in the wake of all of this, do you think an attack like this is rendered? Does she still deserve it?
Look at both sides of the coin. Put yourself in the shoes of the victims. Imagine that it was you that was plagiarized. How would it make you feel? If your offender was acting like The Offender, how would you feel? Now take yourself out of the victims' shoes and put them back into those of the observer. How do you feel about plagiarism? Knowing what you now know about The Offender, how extensive do you think her "punishment" should be? Is a rant on your own blog about uncreative shits enough? Is the long-term harm she's done to herself fair enough? Or do you think private attacks are rendered?
If she were a writer, her career would be destroyed. All it takes is just one time to be called a plagiarist and you're screwed. But she's not a writer; she's a reviewer. It doesn't make what she did any better, but I'd like to think we'd have room for a touch of forgiveness, or at the very least less than malicious intent, towards her, especially considering her actions.
I want this to be an open discussion as this covers two important topics - plagiarism and bullying. Anonymous comments are welcome but lets keep the mudslinging to a minimum. And please keep names out of it. Any comment I catch naming The Offender will be deleted.
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