User-generated content site Associated Content has signed a deal with content tracking service Attributor, to not only track content posted to the site as it is copied across the Web, but also to detect potential plagiarism in author submissions.
This move represents a major step on the part of Associated Content to prevent plagiarism by its members and another major client for Attributor, which previously signed both the AP and Reuters as clients.
This will be a major test for both services. Associated Content, which pays money to submitters at the site, will have to decide how to respond to potential cases of plagiarism. This will have to include both incidents involving its submitters as well those involving others on the Web. Attributor, in turn, will see how well their technology detects duplicated content in a very fast-paced setting and in a manner it might not have been originally designed for.
It is unclear at this time if Associated Content will be using Attributor’s image matching service in addition to its text matching tools.
While Associated Content has always utilized human editors to help with quality control at the site, it is clear that, with so much content being posted, automation is going to be critical in effectively filtering out questionable works. Attributor seems to be rapidly positioning itself as a leader in this area and this latest deal only furthers that stance.
Hopefully this partnership will help avoid future embarrassing incidents for Associated Content and let them move past these issues.
Disclosure: I am a consultant for Attributor.