Friday, September 20, 2019

Plagiarism: Someone is publishing my blogs under their byline

Someone named Chris Lynn at the blog Worldwide News has taken dozens of my blog posts and put his own byline on top of them.

Evidently the sole purpose of the blog Worldwide News has been to kill the online version of an investigative report about official corruption published by the Mail & Guardian newspaper in South Africa.
Both of these blog posts were published by me. Chris Lynn's byline is on them now. Click to enlarge image
It's a clever scheme in which this Chris Lynn (whoever that is) copy-pasted the Mail & Guardian article onto his own blog, then claimed to have been plagiarized by the original publisher and got the Mail & Guardian's internet hosting site to remove the supposedly plagiarized original article.

Update: The people behind the plagiarism

The original investigation, which describes the activities of a man in Africa posing as a U.S. Congressman, appears among dozens of other articles on the Worldwide News blog, most of which are my blog posts. Evidently the thinking was -- and this is a humbling thought -- that search engines would see a blog with mostly academic content by an obscure American professor and not call attention to an article about scandal hidden in the academic weeds.
A journalist with the Mail & Guardian's, Jacques Coetzee, contacted me on Tuesday to verify that I was the author of the blog posts and then explained the situation. He is uncertain who is behind Worldwide News, but is working to identify the source. 

Meanwhile, Mail & Guardian then decided to publish the entire investigation, in bite-sized chunks, on a Twitter thread.

Click on the image to englarge it.

The investigation continues.

The Mail & Guardian has a long reputation as a fearless investigator of public corruption and has won numerous awards for its work. According to its website, "The publication belongs to M&G Media Limited, which is majority owned by the international non-profit Media Development Investment Fund, together with CEO Hoosain Karjieker as the local empowerment partner. A 10% share is held by the M&G Staff Share Trust, and the remaining stakes are shared by minority shareholders."

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