Most of us are taught from a very young age not to copy other people's work. In first grade you wouldn't take another student's Popsicle stick puppet and claim it was yours. In sixth grade you wouldn't copy spark notes and claim it was a book report. In college you wouldn't copy and paste a scholarly article and claim you had some brand new theory. So the question is, as an adult on social media, why would you claim something is yours when it isn't?
You would think this would all be common sense: that if you shared something from someone else you would attribute it to them. It's really not that hard to add a sentence or even just a few words explaining where you got it from. As a writer, blogger, and a decent human being it leaves a bad taste in my mouth when I see people blatantly claiming other people's art, writing, or even ideas as their own.
Yes, I realize that sometimes it's not done intentionally but doing a simple Google search can save you a lot of grief. There are times when I find passages or quotes that explain ideas covering the topic much better than I can. The simple solution is to put that passage in quotes and write a short citation on where I found that. I use quotes a lot on my social media pages and it takes me maybe 2 extra minutes to properly attribute them.
So here's my plea to my readers: if you are sharing something that isn't yours take that extra few minutes and give the originator credit. In addition if you know of someone who is plagiarizing whether intentionally or otherwise point it out to them. Lastly, if you know of people who are constantly stealing others' ideas, artwork, or writing, report them. We can't let this run rampant; as social media grows bigger and bigger it is my fear that it will.
The image above is from the blog: http://stopiptheft.blogspot.com.au/. Visit the blog to learn more about plagiarism on Facebook and other social media. (see what that so hard?)