Quality RP or plagiarism?

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Re: Quality RP or plagiarism?

Postby jamescfm » Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:27 pm

I just want to clear something up from a personal standpoint, since it seems like some players do not understand or recognise the extent of plagiarism that has occurred. As I have already mentioned Moderation has removed over seventy posts since the issue of plagiarism was raised in this thread, the vast majority of these posts posted by two players (Maxington and Luis1p).

The characterisation provided by Yolo04 and alaskancrabpuffs21 is both false and misleading. The reason that the process of identifying and removing plagiarism has taken so long is that I have been extremely careful to verify every single post that has been removed individually. None of the posts that I have removed were simply taking inspiration from real-life technology. In every single post there were at the very least a couple of sentences that were directly taken from a real-world source. In most cases there were several paragraphs taken and in some it was the entire article that had been plagiarised.

If you want to play in a community that tolerates this kind of behaviour then I am telling you now that you will need to find somewhere else. Copying and pasting other people's work and pretending that it is your own is not acceptable in Particracy and it never will be because it is dishonest, unprincipled and unfair.

As I said earlier today in the server, the people responsible for this "toxic atmosphere" that you are describing are the people who engaged in mass plagiarism in order to boost their position within the game. If this makes you uncomfortable then you should ask them why they felt it was appropriate not only to engage in this behaviour but to be openly dishonest about the extent of it when their actions were identified by other players.

Repeatedly players have compared the action taken against plagiarism to a witch hunt or the Spanish inquisition. The key difference in this case is that not only did the players accused quite clearly do exactly what they are being accused of, but any single person with access to the forum can verify that this is the case. I would encourage those of you who have not already done so to take a look through some of the reports that we have received and ask yourself if you think that they constitute acceptable behaviour.

The argument that removing plagiarised posts damages role-play is bizarre. The only time over the past few months that I have seriously considered leaving the game was when it became clear that we had several players who had been openly plagiarising a significant portion of their role-play without consequence. Realising that the time and effort you have invested into something has been overridden by players copy-and-pasting Microsoft press releases is incredibly disheartening and far, far more likely to drive players away from the game than tackling the problem.
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Re: Quality RP or plagiarism?

Postby Reddy » Sun Jul 26, 2020 4:09 am

For the record, I said that this was turning into a witch hunt. Earlier on, there was a great deal of good work done. The latest posts seem to contain little if any plagiarism. It is as if there is a deliberate attempt to magnify the scale of the problem in order to keep the issue trending. That is the witch hunt I am talking about. My question is and remains - is it reasonable to publically accuse players of what is a civil and in some places, a criminal offence because they copied a few lines from Wikipedia? This is clearly very different from someone who copies and pastes entire articles. In any case, I would like to accuse myself of plagiarism since I have used other people',s work in the past, usually phrases and quotations or excerpts from speeches. Another thing - should an exception be made for highly technical articles e.g . new inventions for "repurposing" or imitation not copy n paste?

I really think that players and Moderators should not be telling people who are on disagreement to leave the game as has happened on this thread. Some people are reacting highly emotionally to these queries for no reason since these queries are not attacks on any persons but discussions about conduct and the rules on a highly complicated area which even the law is still grappling with..
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Re: Quality RP or plagiarism?

Postby Aquinas » Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:12 am

Reddy wrote:For the record, I said that this was turning into a witch hunt. Earlier on, there was a great deal of good work done. The latest posts seem to contain little if any plagiarism. It is as if there is a deliberate attempt to magnify the scale of the problem in order to keep the issue trending. That is the witch hunt I am talking about. My question is and remains - is it reasonable to publically accuse players of what is a civil and in some places, a criminal offence because they copied a few lines from Wikipedia? This is clearly very different from someone who copies and pastes entire articles. In any case, I would like to accuse myself of plagiarism since I have used other people',s work in the past, usually phrases and quotations or excerpts from speeches. Another thing - should an exception be made for highly technical articles e.g . new inventions for "repurposing" or imitation not copy n paste?

I really think that players and Moderators should not be telling people who are on disagreement to leave the game as has happened on this thread. Some people are reacting highly emotionally to these queries for no reason since these queries are not attacks on any persons but discussions about conduct and the rules on a highly complicated area which even the law is still grappling with..


For the record, the bolded part is categorically untrue. All of the posts I have reported have constituted a significant amount of plagiarism. Some may be entire articles, some a paragraph or two, some a few sentences, but they are all plagiarism. There are different scales of plagiarism involved in different cases, and the different cases may perhaps internally impact our specific RP community to greater or lesser extents, but they are all plagiarism, and they do all need to be taken with a degree of seriousness.

To be honest I find it a little hypocritical that you are indignant about the the particular type of plagiarism a few others have been involved in, but at the same time want to excuse the particular type of plagiarism you say you yourself have knowingly (ie. not somehow accidentally) engaged with - and to the extent you want to actually reclassify it as somehow not being plagiarism. This, in essence, is where I feel your defensiveness towards this exercise is coming from. Your continued efforts to construe the tedious and thankless work I have done (unpaid out of my own free time!) as a "witch hunt" are essentially unfair and unhelpful.
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Re: Quality RP or plagiarism?

Postby Kubrick » Sun Jul 26, 2020 9:36 am

alaskancrabpuffs21 wrote: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...........


Don't be so dramatic about all this. You weren't roleplaying with those people, you were reading news articles that had the nation names changed in it. If you want to call that RP, fine by me, but then another community is probably better for you.
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Re: Quality RP or plagiarism?

Postby Reddy » Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:06 am

Aquinas wrote:
All of the posts I have reported have constituted a significant amount of plagiarism. Some may be entire articles, some a paragraph or two, some a few sentences, but they are all plagiarism. There are different scales of plagiarism involved in different cases, and the different cases may perhaps internally impact our specific RP community to greater or lesser extents, but they are all plagiarism, and they do all need to be taken with a degree of seriousness.


I do not share this extreme moralistic view. I believe that efforts should be focused on tackling what some have called "mass plagiarism". I stand by my view that your latter accusations where typically only a few sentences have been plagiarised are motivated by keeping the issue trending and perhaps remaining relevant.

Aquinas wrote:To be honest I find it a little hypocritical that you are indignant about the the particular type of plagiarism a few others have been involved in, but at the same time want to excuse the particular type of plagiarism you say you yourself have knowingly (ie. not somehow accidentally) engaged with - and to the extent you want to actually reclassify it as somehow not being plagiarism. This, in essence, is where I feel your defensiveness towards this exercise is coming from. Your continued efforts to construe the tedious and thankless work I have done (unpaid out of my own free time!) as a "witch hunt" are essentially unfair and unhelpful.


I think you need to recheck the definition of hypocrisy. There is nothing hypocritical about it since I have openly stated it myself and no one has accused me of it yet, not even the great crusading anti-plagiarism activist. There is a huge difference between copy n pasting of large sections of another person's work and accidentally or even knowingly quoting, say, Napoleon or copying the definition of a highly technical term. I didn't ask you to do this latter"work" so don't expect gratitude or payment from me there. I find it to be excessively alarmist and misleading; a view shared by a number of other players publically and privately . I am however thankful for your earlier legitimate work on plagiarism.
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Re: Quality RP or plagiarism?

Postby Reddy » Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:20 pm

Having reviewed my recent posts here and the other thread, I think my tone was too combative and my choice of words regrettable. I do think that the points I was trying to make still stand but I could have made in a more civil manner.
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Re: Quality RP or plagiarism?

Postby Aquinas » Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:35 am

I appreciate your last statement, Reddy. I hope it might now be possible to explore where the actual underlying area of disagreement is.

Reddy wrote:I believe that efforts should be focused on tackling what some have called "mass plagiarism".


Let me remind you what the Game Rules now say about plagiarism:

Roleplay posts, articles, and associated matters must be original content. Plagiarization of any form or kind is banned.


I have bolded the part I am inviting you to focus on. You earlier seemed to indicate you supported this wording, or at least that you preferred it to the much looser prohibition Auditorii had previously proposed.

I am personally happy with the new wording. If you are not happy with it, then I would suggest the onus would be on you and those who feel as you do to explain why and propose an alternative.
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Re: Quality RP or plagiarism?

Postby Aquinas » Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:05 am

My most recent plagiarism report included the Charter of the Northern Council Treaty Organisation, a plagiarism of the real-life Charter of the Collective Security Organization. This treaty was drawn up by Maxington less than 3 weeks ago, after the plagiarism scandal had already broke, after Maxington had been identified as plagiarist and after the new rule against plagiarism had been introduced.

The new rule against plagiarism reads as follows:

Game Rules on plagiarism wrote:Roleplay posts, articles, and associated matters must be original content. Plagiarization of any form or kind is banned.


Maxington surely cannot have been unaware of the inappropriateness of this plagiarism.

I would also, respectfully, question the judgement some other players made in choosing to unquestioningly ratify such a technical-looking document like this which they knew had been produced by a known plagiarist. These would include Auditorii, a Moderator, who opted to ratify the treaty for Dorvik, and also Yolo and Luis, who did the same for Keymon and Lourenne respectively.

With regards to two of our Moderators, Auditorii and Vesica, with the greatest respect, I do feel they owe the community a personal explanation as to how much they knew about the scale of the plagiarism going on in this community. In particular, I have noticed through my research in to Maxington's posts that both were within his "RP network", so to speak, and I am finding it difficult not to believe they knew or at least strongly suspected that he was engaging in plagiarism on a very significant scale, and also that he was doing so with the express objective of boosting Kazulia's status within the economic and military rankings.
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Re: Quality RP or plagiarism?

Postby Reddy » Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:08 am

Aquinas wrote:I appreciate your last statement, Reddy. I hope it might now be possible to explore where the actual underlying area of disagreement is.

Reddy wrote:I believe that efforts should be focused on tackling what some have called "mass plagiarism".


Let me remind you what the Game Rules now say about plagiarism:

Roleplay posts, articles, and associated matters must be original content. Plagiarization of any form or kind is banned.


I have bolded the part I am inviting you to focus on. You earlier seemed to indicate you supported this wording, or at least that you preferred it to the much looser prohibition Auditorii had previously proposed.

I am personally happy with the new wording. If you are not happy with it, then I would suggest the onus would be on you and those who feel as you do to explain why and propose an alternative.


I am still happy with the wording. My gripe was interpretation of it but tbh I no longer care enough about the matter to pursue this so whatever interpretation is adopted is fine with me..
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Re: Quality RP or plagiarism?

Postby colonelvesica » Tue Aug 04, 2020 7:52 pm

I'd like to preface this post with a disclaimer; the conversation and topic of the issue of plagiarism has already been spoken about at the highest levels internally between the Moderation Team and Wouter. This topic is, as far as we are concerned, closed thanks to the steps that have been taken to rectify the matter and ensure it doesn't happen again.

So I'll begin first, by thanking Aquinas for the highly detailed Plagiarism Reports he brought forward with the plagiarized post and showing us how serious and widespread the issue was, and how far back it went. I'd also like to thank James for his dedicated work at removing as many of the Plagiarized posts as he has. The vast majority of the plagiarized posts have been removed and we are in the middle of reviewing a final small number of reported examples before they have been completed.

Now onto the topic at hand; first off I would like to echo the comments already made by James, Moderation has mandated and is now enforcing a total No Tolerance Policy in regards to Plagiarism and we will be ensuring players guilty of it in future are sanctioned should anyone be caught doing so again. The players that were found to be mass plagiarizers have been issued significant sanctions. I will not comment on the sanctions specifically, though I'm sure the grapevine already knows much of the details.

On my word of honour, I did not know how widespread and serious the issue was until it brought to light through the Plagiarism Reports. I was actually shocked at the sheer scale of it and how far back it went. The two players in particular that were outed, Maxington and Luis, had always been known to be very detailed and excellent Role Players, much like Mr. God or Kubrick are, and I did not comprehend at how widespread the situation was.

At no point would I ever say I was "okay" with it. The past can't ultimately be changed; only the future. The issue of plagiarism is something we are taking extremely serious and will continue taking serious into the future. As previously mentioned, we have moved forward with a total no tolerance policy, and as suspicion has been brought up about the rankings, and how much this issue may have tainted them along with other issues that have also been discussed at length, we have moved them to purely an advisory capacity to renew faith in the system itself.

I have personally taken further steps myself, to remove the perceived image of favoritism or partiality towards anyone by removing myself entirely as a Player within Particracy itself, and will instead focus purely on Moderation Duties.
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