Personal note: when I read the words “I got played.” and “HarsH ReaLiTy will be closed for a bit.” I didn’t expect this blogger to continue posting the very same day. I asked him on a different platform but didn’t get an answer that explained these strong words.
When you use strong words such as closed or break I assume that the break is longer than a part of the day. Hence, I feel my post below is now partly too strongly worded. I will leave it as is but added this note. My points on plagiarism stand.
This morning I read that one prominent fellow blogger is taking an undefined leave of absence after his kindness was abused by another blogger. Jason Cushman, the Opinionated Man behind Harsh Reality, is (hopefully only) temporarily hanging up his blogging cloak.
Whether you like Jason’s writing style or blogging frequency is not important. What matters is that he gave new bloggers a chance to guest blog. What matters is that he shared his blogging tips and tricks for free. He never hid behind the annoying “give me you email address and I’ll send you a PDF” or a pop up screen after seven seconds with the same purpose.
Jason gave others the opportunity to guest blog on his very popular and well visited blog to enhance that guest blogger’s views, draw traffic to new blogs, and to help others. And he got thanked by most likely plagiarism. I do not know all the details but what is clear is that his generosity was abused.
A quote from Jason: “I am not sure how what happened, happened… but either way it did. I got played.” and he ends with “Be careful out there. HarsH ReaLiTy will be closed for a bit.”
The blogosphere has rules just like in journalism. The laws of defamation count here too as well as copyright infringement laws. Scraping someone else’s content and posting it as your own is plagiarism. If you are not sure what plagiarism means:
Plagiarism is the act of using another person’s words or ideas without giving credit to that person.
If you love something that was written by another blogger simply describe it, why do you love it, and how did it make you feel. Name the writer and their blog, add a link back to the original post, and then publish all that on your own blog.
If you are a guest blogger on someone else’s blog you have a duty of care to protect your reputation and that of your host. Of course the host has a duty as well but you, the guest blogger, are not exempt.
Whoever abused Jason’s generosity caused a prolific writer to stop. You also caused others to be more hesitant to host new guest bloggers and you caused Jason enormous problems.
If you know Jason please leave him a comment of support and encourage him to come back. And be vigilant.