Quality RP or plagiarism?

General discussions about the Particracy Classic including role-play planning and suggestions.

Re: Quality RP or plagiarism?

Postby Aquinas » Sat Jul 18, 2020 1:50 am

jamescfm wrote:The plagiarised posts were removed as soon as it was brought to our attention that their existence on the Forum might cause problems.


:roll:

This statement does not instil confidence.

I would like to request, for the second time now, that the Moderators invite Wouter Lievens, the game owner, to come to this thread and communicate to his community about his position in relation to Particracy Classic and the plagiarsm issues. He does hold ultimate authority over and responsibility for this forum and this game, and it would probably be helpful to hear from him on an issue as important as this. Frankly, I would find it surprising if he would not want to do this, given how it has the potential to affect him, reputationally and otherwise. Or perhaps I am mistaken? I do not know.

James, I have a lot of respect for you personally, and frankly I have more confidence in you on this issue than I do in either of your two co-Moderators. However, I do fear that, along with some others here, you have been seeing plagiarism in Particracy entirely through the lens of how it impacts us internally in immediate terms, and not considering the broader implications involved. If you will forgive the phrase, it feels to me like you have been seeing no further than the end of your nose.

As a creative writer yourself (and a damned good one), and as a sort of group leader of creative writers on this forum (and a deservedly well-respected one), I had hoped - and to be honest, presumed - that you would have enough respect for the rights of authors in relation to their written output that you would have immediately recognised the importance of removing plagiarised material from this forum. I am honestly left confused and disappointed that it was apparently only after you were told about the risk of certain inconveniences like legal action etc. that you became bothered enough to agree the material needed to be removed.

I have never expected the managers of this game to be "experts" in any sense (although admittedly, it surprises me they were not at least a little more clued up on plagiarism, since this is a project involving creative writing). However, I did genuinely assume they would have an intuitive appreciation for what writing means to its authors. That is, after all, a large part of why all of us RP news post writers are here...
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Re: Quality RP or plagiarism?

Postby Rogue » Sat Jul 18, 2020 12:59 pm

Okay let me just involve myself in this even though everyone im in contact with knows i tend to stay far away from topics and conversations that have nothing to do with RP. I think Aquinas has made some fair points at the beginning of this entire discussion but that things are going far now. To far. Involving Wouter in this is not only unnecesary but i have always been in contact with Wouter himself and he has made it pretty clear that he is focussed on Alpha. He, and understandably so, doesnt want to involve himself in discussions like these any longer and i think that he is totally within his right in this regard.

I have been a vocal voice against plagarism since it started as i believe that it also in one way or another hurts the RP of people that do not resort to such "tactics". I do however think Moderation has done enough to combat the plagarism issue. Demoting the specific nations involved and putting those players on extra surveilance. Removing the posts could be done sooner, but i ultimately also understand why it wasnt done in the first place. The risks for Wouter are minimal. If it were a problem for companies or individuals the game would have long been sued for using copyrighted images, which we ALL do despite some of us now giving a OOC reference to these pictures. Taking this further, like you suggest Aquinas, is just not something in the best interest of the game or community. I am with you on the fact that plagarism is awfull and should always be condemned, if plagarism appears again i expect a harsh crackdown. But as long as its gone i believe moderation should not go to the extreme and have in fact done an excellent job over the last few weeks.
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Re: Quality RP or plagiarism?

Postby jamescfm » Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:47 pm

I understand player concern about the issue of plagiarism. Having realised how widespread it was among certain players, it would be fair to say that I still feel a personal degree of resentment that it was allowed to go unpunished for so long. If Wouter feels it is appropriate to make a statement on the matter then he will, however I am confident that he trusts in Moderation to deal with issues of this nature. Frankly, I do not think that this is the kind of thing he wants to dedicate his time to. If the issue does return then we will take the appropriate action at that time but for now, I think the matter is resolved.
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Re: Quality RP or plagiarism?

Postby Aquinas » Sun Jul 19, 2020 1:40 am

jamescfm wrote:I understand player concern about the issue of plagiarism. Having realised how widespread it was among certain players, it would be fair to say that I still feel a personal degree of resentment that it was allowed to go unpunished for so long. If Wouter feels it is appropriate to make a statement on the matter then he will, however I am confident that he trusts in Moderation to deal with issues of this nature. Frankly, I do not think that this is the kind of thing he wants to dedicate his time to. If the issue does return then we will take the appropriate action at that time but for now, I think the matter is resolved.


We have a situation where two of our Moderators knew about the plagiarism and chose to permit it, and the third Moderator openly admitted to having gormlessly had no intention of removing the plagiarised posts until it was drawn to his attention that not doing so could be risky...and you are saying this is not something Wouter would be bothered about?... Are you sure you explained the situation to him in full? And are you sure he fully trusts you guys to deal with the plagiarism issue without any input from him?

Speaking personally, I have posted on this forum for a number of years, and there are probably not many members here who have posted as many RP news posts as I have. I make no grand claims for their quality, but I do nevertheless take pride in my work, and for example, I would be pained to see my own writing plagiarised. So far as I am aware, there is only one occasion when that has happened in Particracy, and that was a long time ago, and sorted out at the time. Nevertheless, with the lax attitudes which have evidently seeped in to the community and even in to the Moderation Team, I do sincerely worry this is something that could potentially happen again.

James, for example, has told us that until he realised the risks, he was not bothered about removing posts which had been plagiarised from online articles. This inevitably raises the question, if he could not be bothered about respecting the rights of those authors, why should I trust him to respect my rights as an author either? He only removed the recent round of plagiarised posts because some of those other authors have corporate legal departments to back them up. On the other hand, folk like me are in nowhere near such a strong position...so on the basis of his logic, how can I be sure he would be bothered to remove any posts that plagiarised my own material?

How am I supposed to work out whose authorship rights he will respect and whose he will not? I do not possess the power of clairvoyance. It is a little like the peculiar discussion with Auditorii earlier in this thread, when we were trying to work out what sort of plagiarism he is okay with and what sort he is not. This is the problem with plagiarism; once you start letting it happen, where do you draw the line?

But even lets assume I swallow my reservations and give the 3 Moderators the benefit of the doubt on the issue...how will I then know whether to trust the Moderators who come after them? As is no secret, Wouter does have a history of not paying great attention to Moderator appointments, and also of doing little to monitor his Moderators once he has appointed them.

The scenario I am warning against, of players plagiarising other players, is not far-fetched. Believe me, other RP communities have gone down exactly this path, and it always, always begins with exactly the same complacency we have recently seen in this community.

This is why it would be helpful for Wouter to come to this forum and give us, at the bare minimum, two simple assurances:

- that he understands plagiarism is wrong and must have no place in this game and on this forum.

- that he will clearly communicate his position on this to his current Moderators and also to any future Moderators he appoints.
This is especially necessary in light of the current facts, which include, for example, that two of his current Moderators have until recently permitted plagiarism on the forum, and two of the proven plagiarisers are former Moderators.

It goes without saying that whether he chooses to do this is up to him, but I hope I will not be treated as a pariah simply for asking. That said, the point having been made, I have no plans to press it further.
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Re: Quality RP or plagiarism?

Postby John Cracker » Sun Jul 19, 2020 1:55 am

I think that is should be banned, rankings are effected by articles, so if a player did this they would be putting in very little work as opposed to a players who works hard on their articles, but both are getting the same results in the rankings. If you arn't going to ban it at least put in place a rankings penalty for plagiarized articles.
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Re: Quality RP or plagiarism?

Postby Rogue » Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:28 am

Wouter is NOT coming to this thread to comment on this issue. Its done. Its handled. Its monitored. Aquinas i seriously urge you to stop because the sympathy for your earlier points is slowly dissapating over your current conduct. There is MINIMAL legal risk and the issue itself has been adequately resolved. There is no need for Wouter to comment on it and he wont. Lay the issue to rest. That is in the best interest of the game and everything as a whole. When plagarism reemerges im the first one to condemn it. Its gone now. And the situation resolved. I personally value your points and feedback as you know. And i think asking for a response from Wouter isnt at all a bad thing. But im gonna comfortably say he wont comment on it. Since, as stated earlier, he doesnt see this as a major issue. And that says enough about the potential risk for him legally.
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Re: Quality RP or plagiarism?

Postby jamescfm » Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:58 am

Plagiarism is banned, the players involved have been punished and their posts have been removed. I think it is clear that this is no longer about the issue of plagiarism. Since the matter has already been resolved, I am locking the thread. If Wouter feels that this is something that he needs to make a specific intervention in relation to, then of course he will be able to do so.
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Re: Quality RP or plagiarism?

Postby Aquinas » Sat Jul 25, 2020 7:07 pm

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=8901&p=162623#p162623

Yolo04 wrote:I fail to see how copying the hardware specs of a certain phone is plagiarism. I fail to see the plagiarism in making IG equivalence of IRL monuments. I fail to see the plagiarism in copying an economic plan from a real life nation.

Whilst we continuously hunt down the EVIL PLAGIARIZERS, our standards for what is classified as plagiarism have fallen to such an extent, that it would be impossible for anyone to make RP posts about specific pieces of technology, because you’d be forced to make up completely new specs for it (which almost no one in PT has the knowledge on).

This is, regardless of how much you wanna disagree on that term Aquinas, James, or Zanz, slowly descending into a witch-hunt. Hunting down plagiarized post, as if this where the Inquisition, demanding ever increasingly severe punishments…whether you like it or not, you’ve turned what was at first, a relatively menial thing, into a full on crusade.

For God’s sake and for the sake of the rest of the players who just want to play the damn game, stop intentionally lowering your standards for what counts as plagiarism and stop posting the plagiarized posts publicly.

I know you won’t give a damn what my opinion is, but it’s there just so you can screech about how I’m wrong and/or a dumbass.


Now that this thread has been reopened, I feel it would perhaps be helpful if we could move the discussion about plagiarism issues back to here, whilst leaving the plagiarism reports thread simply for plagiarism reports.

As Yolo's comments show, and as also do some of those by others on the forum and on Discord, there is a difference of opinion within the community over which forms of plagiarism are wrong and what forms are somehow all right.

There is a view that if a text is of a technical nature, then plagiarising it is okay, or is even "not plagiarism". This is not a view I agree with. Lifting sizeable chunks of texts from someone elses' writing and passing it off as your own is self-evidently plagiarism, whether the writing is of a technical nature or is not.

If players wish to utilise technical sources for their RP, they do, of course, always have the option of simply providing a link, to show their readers what they are referring to, or of quoting a small amount of the text but acknowledging where it came from. This is not an option the players concerned have chosen to take in any of the plagiarism cases I have reported.

Now it may, of course, be the case that in terms of how it immediately impacts upon Particracy RP, some plagiarisms may be considered to be more harmful than others. This is not something I wish to dispute. It is, nevertheless, the case that all plagiarism is wrong and should have no place in a community of writers like ours. All plagiarised material needs to be identified and removed.

I would also like to say I resent the slur, which has been repeated a number of times now, that I am a "witch hunter". Frankly, the hostility and personal attacks I have faced, publicly and privately, since (completely unpaid and in my own free time) beginning to do my bit to address the plagiarism problem has made me feel rather like it is me who is being hunted.

I have been RPing in Particracy for a long time, around 10 years. I take pride in my writing. Plagiarism goes completely against my ethics as a writer. It distresses me that this problem has emerged in this project, which despite everything, I love. When I saw the scale of the problem, I was sufficiently concerned to make sure it got tackled that I inactivated my own ingame party and halted my RP, so that I could spend some time focusing on the research I strongly felt somebody needed to.

I do understand the concern that it is not pleasant for player to be "called out publicly" for plagiarism. Nevertheless, in the circumstances, I have felt it is in the community's interest for the process to be as transparent as reasonably possible. This problem has gone on a long time. Some of you out there knew it was going on, but never wanted to rock the boat. If plagiarism is to be tackled effectively in this community, we need to come together as a community and make sure it no longer has a role here. This is not something that can happen if everything is brushed under the carpet and we pretend like nothing has happened and nothing is wrong. A clear intention to recognise the scale of the problem and change things is going to be needed.
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Re: Quality RP or plagiarism?

Postby alaskancrabpuffs21 » Sat Jul 25, 2020 7:18 pm

Reposted:

This is getting out of hand... It is making me sick to my stomach and making me get fed up with this game... Toxic threads are getting so old, if it was a cheese you could smell it across the Entire Northern Hemisphere... This toxic thread has done more damage since its creation than the mod fiasco a few years back ever did. Luis stalled and stopped the best rp event this game has had in a long time. Players are sick and tired of this BS... I know I am. I went from being excited for all the rp and such because, I have a large economy. I have worked on Dolgavia getting it from rags to riches over a period of 6 months. I should be feeling proud of my work instead... I feel empty, drained as fellow role players if guilty or not are getting bamboozled by baseless attacks. The issue is dead, the issue is dead.... You are quickly going to loss a lot of players if this Spanish Inquisition continues... My patience for this is running out very quickly... Your claims of "plagiarism" point out pictures and such. Well all the world leaders I have used. I must be plagiarism too... We are not getting paid for this. There is not monetary value in this. Why does this matter??? The teachers weren't always right. Plagiarism is your' hill to die on as the rest of PT crumbles around you. If this is what you want. So be it...........
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Re: Quality RP or plagiarism?

Postby Rogue » Sat Jul 25, 2020 7:42 pm

Sad to see people are still defending plagarism under the pretence that "we just wanna have fun."
The fact is. Your fun goes at the expense of others. If you, or someone else, plagarizes it means you indirectly discredit the original posts of others. I think its quite clear that talking about technical details is not by itself called plagarism, in fact as some of you may have noticed i talk about technical details in my posts too. But i do it in my own words. I give my own spin to it. I dont copy a section from a wiki page and change some names just to make it look good. Yes it clumsy some times. But its mine and i enjoy making it.

If you enjoy to plagarize then start a forum where you can just plagarize whatever you want to satisfy the urge. As i stated earlier. Calling this a witch hunt, pretending to be a victim or discrediting this thread to protect your own or others their ass is counterproductive and wrong. Discrediting someone or something you dislike is a old trick in the book and quite frankly easy to see through. Luis didnt have to halt his RP, its his choice to do so, dont blame another player for stopping something that isnt in his or her hands.

I think Aquinas is doing a good job. I may not agree with everything he says. But i do agree with the principle that trolling, meming or discrediting your way through something tells a story without words and is counterproductive to the entire situation. Plagarism is wrong. Plagarism is banned.
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