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The Site's Problem with Plagiarism

progressivedem22
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4/25/2014 1:54:48 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Ok, this is getting out of hand, so I need to point a few of these out. Plagiarism is a giant problem on this site. Don't believe me? See it for yourself:

1. Pro copied his entire arguments from two links disclosed in the comment section, and then admitted to it, but asserted that it was a "small rule violation." The debate can be found here (http://www.debate.org...) and his arguments verbatim can be found here (http://abortion.procon.org...).

2. Once again, Con's entire argument, shown in this link (http://www.debate.org...) was plagiarized from this link (http://www.evidenceunseen.com...)

3. Con plagiarized his argument in this debate (http://www.debate.org...) from this debate (http://www.debate.org...).

4. Con plagiarized his argument in this debate (http://www.debate.org...) from this article (http://www.theguardian.com...).

Then we move to the poll section, where we have three examples from the same guy:

5. Plagiarism in the comment section.....(http://www.debate.org...)

6. More plagiarism in the comment section......(http://www.debate.org...)

7. More plagiarism in the comment section....(http://www.debate.org...)

And..there's more where that came from.

So, why am I bringing all of this up? Is it to get people to vote on the first two debates, which will soon hit the voting period? Well, to some extent, yes. But there's more to it: this is arguably the worst offense someone can commit on a debate second, second only to harassment, hacking the site, or what have you -- and there may be more worse things, but you get the point.

I think we should have a strict zero-tolerance policy on this: plagiarize once -- that is, provide text without sourcing (if you want to provide an article for reference, that's fine; but link to it) -- and get a 5 day ban. Do it again, and get permanently banned. This would either serve as a deterrent for plagiarism, or simply remove these people from the site, as they have no real place here, anyway.

Well, that's my second or third rant in two days. I could plug my candidacy for president, but that wouldn't much help me at all -- so I'm going to take airmax's advice, acknowledge that it's too early, and not mention it at all. Though mentioning it now is contrary to that....ok, forget it. Let's focus on the task at hand!
Wylted
Posts: 21,167
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4/25/2014 2:02:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/25/2014 1:54:48 PM, progressivedem22 wrote:
Ok, this is getting out of hand, so I need to point a few of these out. Plagiarism is a giant problem on this site. Don't believe me? See it for yourself:

1. Pro copied his entire arguments from two links disclosed in the comment section, and then admitted to it, but asserted that it was a "small rule violation." The debate can be found here (http://www.debate.org...) and his arguments verbatim can be found here (http://abortion.procon.org...).

2. Once again, Con's entire argument, shown in this link (http://www.debate.org...) was plagiarized from this link (http://www.evidenceunseen.com...)

3. Con plagiarized his argument in this debate (http://www.debate.org...) from this debate (http://www.debate.org...).

4. Con plagiarized his argument in this debate (http://www.debate.org...) from this article (http://www.theguardian.com...).

Then we move to the poll section, where we have three examples from the same guy:

5. Plagiarism in the comment section.....(http://www.debate.org...)


6. More plagiarism in the comment section......(http://www.debate.org...)

7. More plagiarism in the comment section....(http://www.debate.org...)


And..there's more where that came from.

So, why am I bringing all of this up? Is it to get people to vote on the first two debates, which will soon hit the voting period? Well, to some extent, yes. But there's more to it: this is arguably the worst offense someone can commit on a debate second, second only to harassment, hacking the site, or what have you -- and there may be more worse things, but you get the point.

I think we should have a strict zero-tolerance policy on this: plagiarize once -- that is, provide text without sourcing (if you want to provide an article for reference, that's fine; but link to it) -- and get a 5 day ban. Do it again, and get permanently banned. This would either serve as a deterrent for plagiarism, or simply remove these people from the site, as they have no real place here, anyway.


Well, that's my second or third rant in two days. I could plug my candidacy for president, but that wouldn't much help me at all -- so I'm going to take airmax's advice, acknowledge that it's too early, and not mention it at all. Though mentioning it now is contrary to that....ok, forget it. Let's focus on the task at hand!

This one douchebag did that to me. What made it worse is that his arguments weren't even valid to what I was debating.

http://www.debate.org...
progressivedem22
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4/25/2014 2:03:31 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/25/2014 2:01:27 PM, radicaalllll wrote:
Wow! A forum dedicated laziness! Hahahaha

So, would you like to say anything to defend yourself? I said that the floor is yours for a reason. You don't see plagiarism as a problem, whereas I see it as a colossal problem. Make your argument -- and, no, don't copy/paste it. I want to hear what you think.
progressivedem22
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4/25/2014 2:05:03 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/25/2014 2:02:42 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 4/25/2014 1:54:48 PM, progressivedem22 wrote:
Ok, this is getting out of hand, so I need to point a few of these out. Plagiarism is a giant problem on this site. Don't believe me? See it for yourself:

1. Pro copied his entire arguments from two links disclosed in the comment section, and then admitted to it, but asserted that it was a "small rule violation." The debate can be found here (http://www.debate.org...) and his arguments verbatim can be found here (http://abortion.procon.org...).

2. Once again, Con's entire argument, shown in this link (http://www.debate.org...) was plagiarized from this link (http://www.evidenceunseen.com...)

3. Con plagiarized his argument in this debate (http://www.debate.org...) from this debate (http://www.debate.org...).

4. Con plagiarized his argument in this debate (http://www.debate.org...) from this article (http://www.theguardian.com...).

Then we move to the poll section, where we have three examples from the same guy:

5. Plagiarism in the comment section.....(http://www.debate.org...)


6. More plagiarism in the comment section......(http://www.debate.org...)

7. More plagiarism in the comment section....(http://www.debate.org...)


And..there's more where that came from.

So, why am I bringing all of this up? Is it to get people to vote on the first two debates, which will soon hit the voting period? Well, to some extent, yes. But there's more to it: this is arguably the worst offense someone can commit on a debate second, second only to harassment, hacking the site, or what have you -- and there may be more worse things, but you get the point.

I think we should have a strict zero-tolerance policy on this: plagiarize once -- that is, provide text without sourcing (if you want to provide an article for reference, that's fine; but link to it) -- and get a 5 day ban. Do it again, and get permanently banned. This would either serve as a deterrent for plagiarism, or simply remove these people from the site, as they have no real place here, anyway.


Well, that's my second or third rant in two days. I could plug my candidacy for president, but that wouldn't much help me at all -- so I'm going to take airmax's advice, acknowledge that it's too early, and not mention it at all. Though mentioning it now is contrary to that....ok, forget it. Let's focus on the task at hand!


This one douchebag did that to me. What made it worse is that his arguments weren't even valid to what I was debating.

http://www.debate.org...

Yet he still ended up with 3 points? That's ridiculous. Juan_Pablo's a smart guy and should know better.

I wish we could sticky this and call it the "Report Plagiarism Here" thread or something. I don't want these debates going to the post-voting period without the plagiarism detected.
Wylted
Posts: 21,167
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4/25/2014 2:07:03 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/25/2014 2:03:31 PM, progressivedem22 wrote:
At 4/25/2014 2:01:27 PM, radicaalllll wrote:
Wow! A forum dedicated laziness! Hahahaha

So, would you like to say anything to defend yourself? I said that the floor is yours for a reason. You don't see plagiarism as a problem, whereas I see it as a colossal problem. Make your argument -- and, no, don't copy/paste it. I want to hear what you think.

He's is too stupid to collect data and form his own arguments.
philochristos
Posts: 2,614
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4/25/2014 2:07:33 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
You know, you could just as easily say that fallacious arguments are a problem on this site. I mean, in any debate where two people take opposing sides of a matter of fact, one of them must be making fallacious arguments.

But the way I see it, it's up to the other person to demonstrate that they've made a fallacious argument, and the solution is to have voters vote for the other person.

In the same way, if people plagiarize, then it's up to their opponent to discover it and bring it up in the next round. Then, the voters can vote against the plagiarizer.

If people don't want to lose debate, then they shouldn't use fallacious arguments, and they shouldn't plagiarize.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Wylted
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4/25/2014 2:08:03 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/25/2014 2:01:27 PM, radicaalllll wrote:
Wow! A forum dedicated laziness! Hahahaha

It's not a lazyness thing. It's a you're too stupid to actually formulate and defend your own arguments thing.
Wylted
Posts: 21,167
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4/25/2014 2:09:27 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/25/2014 2:07:33 PM, philochristos wrote:
You know, you could just as easily say that fallacious arguments are a problem on this site. I mean, in any debate where two people take opposing sides of a matter of fact, one of them must be making fallacious arguments.

But the way I see it, it's up to the other person to demonstrate that they've made a fallacious argument, and the solution is to have voters vote for the other person.

In the same way, if people plagiarize, then it's up to their opponent to discover it and bring it up in the next round. Then, the voters can vote against the plagiarizer.

If people don't want to lose debate, then they shouldn't use fallacious arguments, and they shouldn't plagiarize.

Fallacious arguments are different, because they usually honest mistakes or having fun with rhetoric.
philochristos
Posts: 2,614
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4/25/2014 2:20:57 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/25/2014 2:09:27 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 4/25/2014 2:07:33 PM, philochristos wrote:
You know, you could just as easily say that fallacious arguments are a problem on this site. I mean, in any debate where two people take opposing sides of a matter of fact, one of them must be making fallacious arguments.

But the way I see it, it's up to the other person to demonstrate that they've made a fallacious argument, and the solution is to have voters vote for the other person.

In the same way, if people plagiarize, then it's up to their opponent to discover it and bring it up in the next round. Then, the voters can vote against the plagiarizer.

If people don't want to lose debate, then they shouldn't use fallacious arguments, and they shouldn't plagiarize.

Fallacious arguments are different, because they usually honest mistakes or having fun with rhetoric.

That is a good point. There is something devious about plagiarizing.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Jonbonbon
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4/25/2014 2:29:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/25/2014 1:54:48 PM, progressivedem22 wrote:
5. Plagiarism in the comment section.....(http://www.debate.org...)

I caught your spelling error XD
The Troll Queen.

I'm also the Troll Goddess of Reason. Sacrifices are appreciated but not necessary.

"I'm a vivacious sex fiend," SolonKR.

Go vote on one of my debates. I'm not that smart, so it'll probably be an easy decision.

Fite me m9

http://www.debate.org...
progressivedem22
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4/25/2014 2:31:09 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/25/2014 2:29:43 PM, Jonbonbon wrote:
At 4/25/2014 1:54:48 PM, progressivedem22 wrote:
5. Plagiarism in the comment section.....(http://www.debate.org...)

I caught your spelling error XD

Which spelling error? lol. Yeah, I type quickly so I occasionally make spelling errors. That's why I think this new "win or loss" debate feature is incredible, actually.
Jonbonbon
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4/25/2014 2:33:34 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/25/2014 2:31:09 PM, progressivedem22 wrote:
At 4/25/2014 2:29:43 PM, Jonbonbon wrote:
At 4/25/2014 1:54:48 PM, progressivedem22 wrote:
5. Plagiarism in the comment section.....(http://www.debate.org...)

I caught your spelling error XD

Which spelling error? lol. Yeah, I type quickly so I occasionally make spelling errors. That's why I think this new "win or loss" debate feature is incredible, actually.

Didn't they touch you that in the third grade? ;P
The Troll Queen.

I'm also the Troll Goddess of Reason. Sacrifices are appreciated but not necessary.

"I'm a vivacious sex fiend," SolonKR.

Go vote on one of my debates. I'm not that smart, so it'll probably be an easy decision.

Fite me m9

http://www.debate.org...
progressivedem22
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4/25/2014 2:35:40 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/25/2014 2:33:34 PM, Jonbonbon wrote:
At 4/25/2014 2:31:09 PM, progressivedem22 wrote:
At 4/25/2014 2:29:43 PM, Jonbonbon wrote:
At 4/25/2014 1:54:48 PM, progressivedem22 wrote:
5. Plagiarism in the comment section.....(http://www.debate.org...)

I caught your spelling error XD

Which spelling error? lol. Yeah, I type quickly so I occasionally make spelling errors. That's why I think this new "win or loss" debate feature is incredible, actually.

Didn't they touch you that in the third grade? ;P

Did I seriously say that? Holy crap.

I think I made one worse mistake -- actually, I made that same exact mistake once talking to jifpop.

*Hides head in momentary shame*
Jonbonbon
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4/25/2014 2:50:53 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/25/2014 2:36:24 PM, progressivedem22 wrote:
OHH that was me talking to jifpop.

Ok, false alarm. I only did it once lol.

Lol yeah, it was a bit surprising to say the least XD
The Troll Queen.

I'm also the Troll Goddess of Reason. Sacrifices are appreciated but not necessary.

"I'm a vivacious sex fiend," SolonKR.

Go vote on one of my debates. I'm not that smart, so it'll probably be an easy decision.

Fite me m9

http://www.debate.org...
YYW
Posts: 36,355
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4/25/2014 2:53:24 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/25/2014 1:54:48 PM, progressivedem22 wrote:
Ok, this is getting out of hand, so I need to point a few of these out. Plagiarism is a giant problem on this site. Don't believe me? See it for yourself:

...

Well, that's my second or third rant in two days. I could plug my candidacy for president, but that wouldn't much help me at all -- so I'm going to take airmax's advice, acknowledge that it's too early, and not mention it at all. Though mentioning it now is contrary to that....ok, forget it. Let's focus on the task at hand!

Yeah, plagiarism is a bad thing wherever it happens. But, even though this is a semi-academic setting, I cannot in good conscience agree that people should be banned for it, even if it's a repeated offense. The reason is because banning people for plagiarism sends a signal that whenever someone doesn't cite a source (even for something that's relatively simple), they could be banned for it even if they didn't intend to do it. Plagiarism includes a pretty wide range of activities that people might not even be aware of, too. So, I think the solution is to start conversation about what counts as plagiarism, why plagiarism is bad and site ethics, generally. However, if it happens in a debate, I think it's certainly fair to award conduct points to the side which did not plagiarize -because to not is to ethically equate plagiarism and non-plagarism.

The other issue is that there are a lot of more important things moderators do, like making sure that people get along with each other and making sure that permanently banned members don't re-appear. That's more time consuming than most think, and of an infinitely higher degree of importance. So, even if this is a pretty big problem, no good comes from getting moderators involved in rectifying the situation.
Tsar of DDO
ConservativePolitico
Posts: 8,210
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4/25/2014 3:00:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I didn't realize it was such a problem. That' so lousy trying to pass off other people's arguments for your own. Seriously.

Crafting arguments, good or bad, is the entire fun of debating. If you don't want to craft your own intelligent debate arguments then why are you even here?
progressivedem22
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4/25/2014 3:00:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/25/2014 2:53:24 PM, YYW wrote:
At 4/25/2014 1:54:48 PM, progressivedem22 wrote:
Ok, this is getting out of hand, so I need to point a few of these out. Plagiarism is a giant problem on this site. Don't believe me? See it for yourself:

...

Well, that's my second or third rant in two days. I could plug my candidacy for president, but that wouldn't much help me at all -- so I'm going to take airmax's advice, acknowledge that it's too early, and not mention it at all. Though mentioning it now is contrary to that....ok, forget it. Let's focus on the task at hand!

Yeah, plagiarism is a bad thing wherever it happens. But, even though this is a semi-academic setting, I cannot in good conscience agree that people should be banned for it, even if it's a repeated offense. The reason is because banning people for plagiarism sends a signal that whenever someone doesn't cite a source (even for something that's relatively simple), they could be banned for it even if they didn't intend to do it. Plagiarism includes a pretty wide range of activities that people might not even be aware of, too. So, I think the solution is to start conversation about what counts as plagiarism, why plagiarism is bad and site ethics, generally. However, if it happens in a debate, I think it's certainly fair to award conduct points to the side which did not plagiarize -because to not is to ethically equate plagiarism and non-plagarism.

The other issue is that there are a lot of more important things moderators do, like making sure that people get along with each other and making sure that permanently banned members don't re-appear. That's more time consuming than most think, and of an infinitely higher degree of importance. So, even if this is a pretty big problem, no good comes from getting moderators involved in rectifying the situation.

I think you raised a lot of good points, but there's a just a few things I'd say in response.

I agree with you that plagiarism encompasses quite a lot of things, and simply banning "plagiarism" would lead us down a similar road as the policy: "trust the moderators to interpret it reasonably" -- I'm not saying they wouldn't, but it's a slippery slope. I agree that tiny, minor infractions shouldn't merit banning. I'd want to ban deliberate plagiarism, where effectively we're punishing malicious intentionality instead of simply forgetting to site a source.

As for your second point: You're right, there are a lot more important things that moderators do, and I commend them for it. But it honestly gets back to an earlier point I've made: why do we have such a low moderator: user ratio? Why not have more moderators, with some perhaps even dedicating to enforcing debate ethics? I can't honestly see how that could be a bad thing, and there are plenty of users -- I'd include you in them -- who would make fabulous moderators.
YYW
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4/25/2014 3:09:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/25/2014 3:00:37 PM, progressivedem22 wrote:
At 4/25/2014 2:53:24 PM, YYW wrote:
At 4/25/2014 1:54:48 PM, progressivedem22 wrote:
Ok, this is getting out of hand, so I need to point a few of these out. Plagiarism is a giant problem on this site. Don't believe me? See it for yourself:

...

Well, that's my second or third rant in two days. I could plug my candidacy for president, but that wouldn't much help me at all -- so I'm going to take airmax's advice, acknowledge that it's too early, and not mention it at all. Though mentioning it now is contrary to that....ok, forget it. Let's focus on the task at hand!

Yeah, plagiarism is a bad thing wherever it happens. But, even though this is a semi-academic setting, I cannot in good conscience agree that people should be banned for it, even if it's a repeated offense. The reason is because banning people for plagiarism sends a signal that whenever someone doesn't cite a source (even for something that's relatively simple), they could be banned for it even if they didn't intend to do it. Plagiarism includes a pretty wide range of activities that people might not even be aware of, too. So, I think the solution is to start conversation about what counts as plagiarism, why plagiarism is bad and site ethics, generally. However, if it happens in a debate, I think it's certainly fair to award conduct points to the side which did not plagiarize -because to not is to ethically equate plagiarism and non-plagarism.

The other issue is that there are a lot of more important things moderators do, like making sure that people get along with each other and making sure that permanently banned members don't re-appear. That's more time consuming than most think, and of an infinitely higher degree of importance. So, even if this is a pretty big problem, no good comes from getting moderators involved in rectifying the situation.

I think you raised a lot of good points, but there's a just a few things I'd say in response.

I agree with you that plagiarism encompasses quite a lot of things, and simply banning "plagiarism" would lead us down a similar road as the policy: "trust the moderators to interpret it reasonably" -- I'm not saying they wouldn't, but it's a slippery slope. I agree that tiny, minor infractions shouldn't merit banning. I'd want to ban deliberate plagiarism, where effectively we're punishing malicious intentionality instead of simply forgetting to site a source.

Sure. I understand that's what you want to do, but the implication of what I was saying earlier is that drawing the line between "minor infractions" and "deliberate" or "intentionally malicious" plagiarism is a fine one to draw -and, even if it could be drawn, it's not an expedient use of the moderator's time.

As for your second point: You're right, there are a lot more important things that moderators do, and I commend them for it. But it honestly gets back to an earlier point I've made: why do we have such a low moderator: user ratio?

Because there are only two people on this site who are mature and reasonable enough to be moderators. Well, maybe three. Bladerunner would be a fine mod, but the point remains.

Why not have more moderators, with some perhaps even dedicating to enforcing debate ethics? I can't honestly see how that could be a bad thing, and there are plenty of users -- I'd include you in them -- who would make fabulous moderators.

I think there are a lot of people who think they would be good mods, and a lot of people who think they would be good presidents too. They have that position based on criteria they've formed in their own mind from the outside looking in -meaning that they're making a judgement call based on insufficient information. That's not to say that those people don't mean well, because I think that they do and I believe that most of the people who want to be mods or who want more mods genuinely believe that they've got something to bring to the table that should be there. That doesn't mean that they don't, only that they're not in a position to know.
Tsar of DDO
Ragnar
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4/25/2014 6:20:30 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
A good example of it here, the user in question claims ignorance (I know we can't call it stupidity anymore)... Then one of his friends (a new user, freshly completed his third debate) awards conduct in his favor.
http://www.debate.org...
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Voting Standards: https://goo.gl...

And please disable Smart-Quotes: https://goo.gl...
bluesteel
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4/25/2014 7:34:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
If someone plagiarizes an entire argument, DDO is liable for copyright infringement if it knows about the plagiarizism and does nothing about it.

I think a user who blatantly tries to pass off the work of others as their own -- repeatedly -- should be banned. The test is bad faith. This addresses YYW's concern that a good member could be banned for forgetting to cite one or two sources. The brightline isn't a single failed attribution. The test is whether the debater has acted in bad faith [in trying to convince the readers and judges that the arguments are his own, even though a substantial portion of the text is copy/pasted from somewhere else, without any attribution]. The bad faith test is pretty easy to administer; a moderator can tell -- if there are repeated violations and large portions of text copied each time -- that it is an intentional attempt to mislead readers.

P.S. -- Whoever said Juan Pablo is normally a good voter is mistaken (see, e.g., his insertion of his own personal views {based on an ad hominem attack on the source} in the recent zaradi/jifpop debate). The fact that JP voted for a plagiarizer is just another data point, that can lead you to only one possible conclusion.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
zmikecuber
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4/25/2014 7:35:02 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/25/2014 1:54:48 PM, progressivedem22 wrote:
Ok, this is getting out of hand, so I need to point a few of these out. Plagiarism is a giant problem on this site. Don't believe me? See it for yourself:

1. Pro copied his entire arguments from two links disclosed in the comment section, and then admitted to it, but asserted that it was a "small rule violation." The debate can be found here (http://www.debate.org...) and his arguments verbatim can be found here (http://abortion.procon.org...).

2. Once again, Con's entire argument, shown in this link (http://www.debate.org...) was plagiarized from this link (http://www.evidenceunseen.com...)

3. Con plagiarized his argument in this debate (http://www.debate.org...) from this debate (http://www.debate.org...).

4. Con plagiarized his argument in this debate (http://www.debate.org...) from this article (http://www.theguardian.com...).

Then we move to the poll section, where we have three examples from the same guy:

5. Plagiarism in the comment section.....(http://www.debate.org...)


6. More plagiarism in the comment section......(http://www.debate.org...)

7. More plagiarism in the comment section....(http://www.debate.org...)


And..there's more where that came from.

So, why am I bringing all of this up? Is it to get people to vote on the first two debates, which will soon hit the voting period? Well, to some extent, yes. But there's more to it: this is arguably the worst offense someone can commit on a debate second, second only to harassment, hacking the site, or what have you -- and there may be more worse things, but you get the point.

I think we should have a strict zero-tolerance policy on this: plagiarize once -- that is, provide text without sourcing (if you want to provide an article for reference, that's fine; but link to it) -- and get a 5 day ban. Do it again, and get permanently banned. This would either serve as a deterrent for plagiarism, or simply remove these people from the site, as they have no real place here, anyway.


Well, that's my second or third rant in two days. I could plug my candidacy for president, but that wouldn't much help me at all -- so I'm going to take airmax's advice, acknowledge that it's too early, and not mention it at all. Though mentioning it now is contrary to that....ok, forget it. Let's focus on the task at hand!

The first debate I ever did on this site, my opponent just copied and pasted from an atheist website.

I never knew he did it until recently, when I saw another person use the EXACT same arguments. I thought: "Hey! That sounds really familiar!"

So I Googled it, and found that they had both just copied and pasted.

Doh.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,093
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4/25/2014 7:36:15 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/25/2014 2:29:43 PM, Jonbonbon wrote:
At 4/25/2014 1:54:48 PM, progressivedem22 wrote:
5. Plagiarism in the comment section.....(http://www.debate.org...)

I caught your spelling error XD

I remember when I saved you from losing a debate about weed by pointing out your opponent plagiarized... ;) hehehe
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
YYW
Posts: 36,355
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4/25/2014 7:48:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/25/2014 7:34:56 PM, bluesteel wrote:
If someone plagiarizes an entire argument, DDO is liable for copyright infringement if it knows about the plagiarizism and does nothing about it.

I'm not so sure about that. I'm pretty sure Juggle doesn't assume responsibility for member uploaded content, and the sufficient remedy would just be to delete the content (which I'm sure they'd do if they got a notice of copyright infringement).

I think a user who blatantly tries to pass off the work of others as their own -- repeatedly -- should be banned.

So, at what point does such a user get banned? The first time? The fourth time? The thirty sixth time? What's the threshold for "ban worthy" plagiarism?

The test is bad faith. This addresses YYW's concern that a good member could be banned for forgetting to cite one or two sources. The brightline isn't a single failed attribution. The test is whether the debater has acted in bad faith [in trying to convince the readers and judges that the arguments are his own, even though a substantial portion of the text is copy/pasted from somewhere else, without any attribution]. The bad faith test is pretty easy to administer; a moderator can tell -- if there are repeated violations and large portions of text copied each time -- that it is an intentional attempt to mislead readers.

I do share your frustration with plagiarism. It pisses me off, and it's the kind of thing that's going to get me to ignore a member forever if I catch them doing it. (Especially if they're ripping arguments off from another debater on DDO.) But, I've got to balance that against other interests which are, I think, equally important. But, my question is this: How would you know that a debater "was trying to convince the readers and judges" that plagiarized arguments were there own? The reason I'm skeptical is because it sounds like you're employing a tautological test where the demarcating factor between bad faith or not is noting more speculation of intent.
Tsar of DDO
bluesteel
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4/25/2014 8:13:04 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/25/2014 7:48:12 PM, YYW wrote:
At 4/25/2014 7:34:56 PM, bluesteel wrote:
If someone plagiarizes an entire argument, DDO is liable for copyright infringement if it knows about the plagiarizism and does nothing about it.

I'm not so sure about that. I'm pretty sure Juggle doesn't assume responsibility for member uploaded content, and the sufficient remedy would just be to delete the content (which I'm sure they'd do if they got a notice of copyright infringement).

It's called secondary infringement. If Juggle knows or has reason to know of infringment (e.g. through a moderator) and does nothing, they are liable. Even if they take it down when they get a notice, they are still liable for damages (e.g. lost internet traffic).


I think a user who blatantly tries to pass off the work of others as their own -- repeatedly -- should be banned.

So, at what point does such a user get banned? The first time? The fourth time? The thirty sixth time? What's the threshold for "ban worthy" plagiarism?

This issue comes up in the law a lot. It's okay to have vague rules and allow judges to exercise their discretion based on the totality of the circumstances in a particular case. Airmax or another moderator can judge whether to ban the plagiarizer based on the totality of the circumstances. Personally, if I were a moderator, I'd ban sometime after 2-3 times, if they plagiarized nearly their entire argument each time.


The test is bad faith. This addresses YYW's concern that a good member could be banned for forgetting to cite one or two sources. The brightline isn't a single failed attribution. The test is whether the debater has acted in bad faith [in trying to convince the readers and judges that the arguments are his own, even though a substantial portion of the text is copy/pasted from somewhere else, without any attribution]. The bad faith test is pretty easy to administer; a moderator can tell -- if there are repeated violations and large portions of text copied each time -- that it is an intentional attempt to mislead readers.

I do share your frustration with plagiarism. It pisses me off, and it's the kind of thing that's going to get me to ignore a member forever if I catch them doing it. (Especially if they're ripping arguments off from another debater on DDO.) But, I've got to balance that against other interests which are, I think, equally important. But, my question is this: How would you know that a debater "was trying to convince the readers and judges" that plagiarized arguments were there own? The reason I'm skeptical is because it sounds like you're employing a tautological test where the demarcating factor between bad faith or not is noting more speculation of intent.

There's a difference between mere speculation and circumstantial evidence. Intent is (almost) always proved by circumstantial evidence since people rarely admit what they thinking at a particular time. If someone plagiarizes multiple times, fails to respond to complaints about their plagiarizism (by saying, "oops sorry, I don't know how to cite sources cuz I'm 11"), etc., this is pretty good proof that they are trying to get wins by making people think that the plagiarized argument is their own.

It might make you *more* comfortable to allow a moderator to ban anyone who plagiarizes, and simply have a "good faith" or "mistake" defense. If a moderator thinks that you generally acted in good faith in citing sources and merely made a mistake in failing to cite something, there is no violation.

tldr; It's not hard to craft a rule that bans obvious plagiarizers without also banning a good, honest member who simply failed to cite something properly.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
YYW
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4/25/2014 8:39:09 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/25/2014 8:13:04 PM, bluesteel wrote:
At 4/25/2014 7:48:12 PM, YYW wrote:
At 4/25/2014 7:34:56 PM, bluesteel wrote:
If someone plagiarizes an entire argument, DDO is liable for copyright infringement if it knows about the plagiarizism and does nothing about it.

I'm not so sure about that. I'm pretty sure Juggle doesn't assume responsibility for member uploaded content, and the sufficient remedy would just be to delete the content (which I'm sure they'd do if they got a notice of copyright infringement).

It's called secondary infringement. If Juggle knows or has reason to know of infringment (e.g. through a moderator) and does nothing, they are liable. Even if they take it down when they get a notice, they are still liable for damages (e.g. lost internet traffic).

Interesting. It's off topic, but does that apply to more than just intellectual property?

I think a user who blatantly tries to pass off the work of others as their own -- repeatedly -- should be banned.

So, at what point does such a user get banned? The first time? The fourth time? The thirty sixth time? What's the threshold for "ban worthy" plagiarism?

This issue comes up in the law a lot. It's okay to have vague rules and allow judges to exercise their discretion based on the totality of the circumstances in a particular case. Airmax or another moderator can judge whether to ban the plagiarizer based on the totality of the circumstances. Personally, if I were a moderator, I'd ban sometime after 2-3 times, if they plagiarized nearly their entire argument each time.

2-3 times makes sense.

The test is bad faith. This addresses YYW's concern that a good member could be banned for forgetting to cite one or two sources. The brightline isn't a single failed attribution. The test is whether the debater has acted in bad faith [in trying to convince the readers and judges that the arguments are his own, even though a substantial portion of the text is copy/pasted from somewhere else, without any attribution]. The bad faith test is pretty easy to administer; a moderator can tell -- if there are repeated violations and large portions of text copied each time -- that it is an intentional attempt to mislead readers.

I do share your frustration with plagiarism. It pisses me off, and it's the kind of thing that's going to get me to ignore a member forever if I catch them doing it. (Especially if they're ripping arguments off from another debater on DDO.) But, I've got to balance that against other interests which are, I think, equally important. But, my question is this: How would you know that a debater "was trying to convince the readers and judges" that plagiarized arguments were there own? The reason I'm skeptical is because it sounds like you're employing a tautological test where the demarcating factor between bad faith or not is noting more speculation of intent.

There's a difference between mere speculation and circumstantial evidence. Intent is (almost) always proved by circumstantial evidence since people rarely admit what they thinking at a particular time. If someone plagiarizes multiple times, fails to respond to complaints about their plagiarizism (by saying, "oops sorry, I don't know how to cite sources cuz I'm 11"), etc., this is pretty good proof that they are trying to get wins by making people think that the plagiarized argument is their own.

And given circumstantial evidence, when taken in totality, one might be able to draw a conclusion... I was just wondering what -specifically- you'd look for to establish that intent.

It might make you *more* comfortable to allow a moderator to ban anyone who plagiarizes, and simply have a "good faith" or "mistake" defense. If a moderator thinks that you generally acted in good faith in citing sources and merely made a mistake in failing to cite something, there is no violation.

I just want proof that it's happened, and I'm ok with that proof being only circumstantial. While their might be a "smoking gun" (like an incited quote directly ripped from another debate or online source), even if there's not, and there's a preponderance of evidence to suggest with reasonable certainty that blatant and intentional plagiarism has occurred on a repeated basis, I'm not opposed to bans in that type of circumstance.

tldr; It's not hard to craft a rule that bans obvious plagiarizers without also banning a good, honest member who simply failed to cite something properly.

I think we're in agreement that in really clear cases where someone plagiarizes, there should be some kind of consequence. I think at least our primary area of disagreement is over what the appropriate nature of that consequence is. In some egregious and repeated cases, a ban might be in order. But that doesn't mitigate the fact that banning is still and ought to be used only a method of last resort.
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progressivedem22
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4/25/2014 8:39:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
This is probably the best discussion I've seen all week on DDO. Thanks for restoring my faith in the site, guys.

I honestly see this as a philosophical question, believe it or not: can we prove intentionality, or is moderator interpretation subject to error? I understand the point that YYW is making, but I honestly don't see much of a problem with setting a clear line and reasonably adjusting it based on circumstances. We could even agree that the worst cases of plagiarism should be dealt with, and work backwards from there.

Another idea I had would require some tinkering with the code, but could work. We could have either a filter that wouldn't post arguments with more than a certain percentage of plagiarism, or even have a turn-it-on.com-type system that sends a report to the moderators after an argument is posted, and there would be a certain threshold which would compel them to action. That begs a few questions: what's the threshold, how would they handle it, and how would this work when sources come up as "plagiarism" in most filters? I guess a possible alternative is using tinyurl.com, but that just seems tedious.
AngelofDeath
Posts: 2,953
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4/25/2014 8:42:26 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Does it count as plagiarism if you copy-paste sections of what you wrote yourself from a previous time?

E.g. I wrote a paper on something for class, then I pulled up the word document and copy-pasted sections of it into a debate....

Not saying I've done that, just wondering if I can do that in one of my upcoming debates because I literally almost started crying when I found out what I typed previously didn't save and I now have to re-type everything over. :/ So to save some time and not forfeit, is that allowed? Or is it plagiarism?
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