As a business, you’ll want to ensure that you remain true and transparent to your readers, producing content that’s valuable, relevant, and most importantly, original. In the past, even the most reputable of businesses have been outed for plagiarism, and faced the harsh consequences following their actions. Today, we’re lucky to have access to innovative technology such as a plagiarism detector, however the five following businesses managed to severely break the plagiarism rules.
- The Washington Post
The Washington Post is a well-known American newspaper that’s read by thousands of people daily, publishing breaking news stories around a whole variety of contemporary issues. Despite its respectable status however, author Lisa Rein published three whole articles that contained largely duplicated passages from useful resource Government Executive. Rein apologised for the articles, explaining that they were written in haste and while no noticeable disciplinary action was taken, all stories now have an editor’s note and alterations in order to reflect the plagiarism discoveries.
- Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck
Amy Schumer is renowned for her incredible sense of humour and bubbly attitude towards life, however her recent film was accused of plagiarism from many other female comedians regarding the jokes that were used within the film. The likes of Tammy Pescatelli and Wendy Liebman all aired their frustrations on Twitter, claiming that Schumer’s work was stolen from them.
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- Vivienne Westwood Memoir
If there are any budding fashion designers amongst you, Vivienne Westwood will be a name that you’re familiar with. In October 2014, Westwood released her own memoir, however author Paul Gorman accused the fashion designer of plagiarism within the publication. After reading her memoir, he claimed that approximately 40 pages within Westwood’s work were extremely similar to his own books. Co-author Ian Kelly, alongside the book’s publisher, soon had the finger pointed towards them, as the book actually contained several inaccuracies as well as the accused plagiarism.
- Nigerian President Plagiarising Obama
Due to the struggling economy in Nigeria, the Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari addressed the entire nation with a speech in order to eliminate the “dishonestly, indolence, unbridled corruption and widespread impunity”. This speech was made in 2016, and following it, at least one passage from the speech had almost been completely plagiarised from the former US President Barack Obama. Luckily for Buhari, the scandal soon subsided, however the accusation put a large burden on his campaign at the time.
- The New York Daily News
Another reputable daily newspaper has been a perpetrator of plagiarism – The New York Daily News. An article written by Shaun King drew a lot of attention due to a large resemblance to an article written by The Daily Beast. In King’s piece, there were numerous pieces of overlapping text, with a severe lack of citation. This wasn’t the end of the story however, as King published emails on Twitter to prove it wasn’t him that committed the plagiarism, but instead his editor Jotham Sederstrom who made the decision to edit out the attribution before publication. The ending? Sederstrom was fired for his undeniable mistake.
There have been many plagiarism cases that, despite being noticed by a large volume of people, haven’t been subject to severe consequences. Others however, have felt the wrath, with employees being fired for their infamous actions. The lesson to be learned here is to ensure that you keep all of your content original, and reference others where necessary – don’t fall into the trap!