The Glowing Spider-Worms of New Zealand
For over one hundred years, millions of tourists have flocked to the ancient limestone Waitomo Caves on New Zealand’s North Island, where a stunning species of fungus gnat called Arachnocampa luminosa live.
Unique to New Zealand and Australia, they are found in caves, grottoes, and other sheltered places. Arachnocampa means ‘spider-worm,’ as the gnat is known for the way their larvae hang strong vertical silk threads from their underground habitats. Since the larvae are luminescent, the thousands of tiny threads light up cave ceilings like a starry sky.
Alright, this has been going around for the past month, and it’s time I actually said something, because this text is directly plagiarised from my own post on the Waitomo Glowworm Caves last November.
They sourced scientificamerican instead of me, but the text clearly does not come from there. To make things easy, here’s a screenshot of my article:
See any similarities?
I’ve messaged the original poster and they have ignored me; I’ve messaged a prominent science editor who reblogged this to two prominent science blogs, and they have ignored me too.
I’m going to contact Tumblr now and get this removed on the basis of copyright infringement, but this isn’t the first time someone has plagiarised my writing, and I wanted to let people know that this is a thing that happens—not mistakenly, but very deliberately—and that it is not okay.
I know I put my content out there on the internet, but that does not mean it’s fine for people to plagiarise me and take credit for what I have written. Work published on the internet is not exempt from the laws of theft and appropriation—you’re still falsely claiming ownership of someone else’s content.
Basically, this is a shit thing to do. I post my writing for people to enjoy and learn from, and I shouldn’t have to take a risk every time I do so. A couple of paragraphs of writing seems small, but if someone thinks it’s perfectly fine to plagiarise a few lines, who knows what else they think is okay?
The REAL Text Source for the Waitomo Glowworm Caves
A blog called Science in a Can, that I do not and never have followed, has accused me of plagiarism. Without giving me a change to investigate and responsd to the matter, they have gone on a rant, criticizing and calling me names. How mature.
Before you accuse someone publicly, try speaking to them first.
I have searched the Internet and have found where I obtained the text for my post that I should have sourced.
The following is from the website Cheezburger.com:
and their description matches hers exactly, as it is longer than mine:
“For over one hundred years, millions of tourists have flocked to the ancient limestone Waitomo Caves on New Zealand’s North Island, where stunning species of fungus gnat called Arachnocampa luminosa live. The genus is unique to New Zealand and Australia, and they are found in caves, grottoes, and other sheltered places. Arachnocampa means ‘spider-worm,’ as the gnat is known for the way their larvae hang strong vertical silk threads from the ceilings of their underground habitats. The threads are from one to fifty centimetres long and are studded with evenly spaced drops of sticky mucus, acting like fishing lines to lure in prey. Since the larvae are luminescent, the thousands of tiny threads light up cave ceilings like a starry sky. Other insects are attracted to the light and fly up—but then become ensnared in the sticky mucus, which contains proteins that researchers think may act as an anaesthetic. The larvae live this way for many months, trapping and devouring their prey, before becoming a shot-lived adult gnat.”
What an ego someone must have to automatically assume that I cut and pasted another blog on Tumblr. I present the following as the REAL text source for my post.
Thank you for responding; I believe you when you say you didn’t deliberately plagiarise me, but I don’t think it was egotistical of me to assume you did so. Seeing my own writing without credit is still annoying, discouraging, and upsetting.
I did try speaking to you privately first. I messaged you approximately a month ago and you didn’t respond in that time, and I think it was fair of me to wait that long before speaking out.
If that link is where you got it from, then you must have copied it from there anyway without credit (even if abridged). So, even though you didn’t know it was from my blog, I’m not sure how copying something without searching for the source is any better.
I’m sorry for accusing you of taking the text directly from me, but I stand by the fact that my criticism of your conduct is warranted. Plagiarism is not okay, and neither is neglecting to source content, especially when a 30 second google search would have found that I was the original author.
Thank you again for responding.