As someone who’s very interested in plagiarism and copyright infringement, I watch a variety of searches on the subject. These watchlists send an incredible amount of articles my way. Most of them are off target, making at most passing mention of plagiarism, but the gems from these watch lists have led me to a large percentage of my news stories.
However, over the past few days, I’ve seen a strange uptick in the number of spam blogs, or splogs, targeting plagiarism-related keywords. Where once a splog entry on plagiarism was a rarity, several whole splogs dedicated solely to the issue have cropped up, jamming up search results and, from the looks of things, lifting content.
Though it’s definitely a worrisome trend, what is really going on and what it means in the bigger picture is a little bit less clear.
On one hand, this could be a positive sign for the issue. Generally, only often-searched for terms received the backhanded honor of being splogged. The fact that plagiarism-related terms are showing up in splogs could be a sign of increased public awareness on the issue and the sploggers are merely taking advantage of that.
On the other hand, many of those splogs, which will not be linked in any way here, appear to have been around for at least a little while. This could just be a sign that the splogs have found away to again get indexed in the search engines, which would be terrible news in the war against splogging.
No matter what though, it’s obvious that searching for plagiarism is going to be a more and more complicated matter as the splogs eat up more and more of the results. Those of us searching for these terms might have to tweak our searches and get better about filtering out clutter in order to improve accuracy.
Beyond that though, this is just a fair warning to those doing fact finding, be wary of imitators and be careful where you click lest money winds up in the hands of those that want to destroy our ability to find the information we need.
[tags]Splogs, Splogging, Spam, Plagiarism, Copyright Infringement, Content Theft, Copyright[/tags]