Why are you picking on me? Because you are a lazy thief!

in #steemit6 years ago (edited)

Not here to post much and really only on steemit because it's an investment to me. I planned to hold steem for some time and my brother inlaw told me I could make some extra steem while holding. So decided to create an account and lease some power to him and was going to lease the rest but decided to play around a little to see why he likes it here so much.

@thedarkhorse is my brother inlaw and the guy who runs the #payitforward curation contest. see current week here. He spends a lot of time on this and its all about helping smaller members. So as i poked around steemit I decided to help him with votes and voting for entries on his contest which is what he would use the steem for anyways, but this way he doesn't have to pay for it. My way of giving back to him.

source: CC0 Pixabay Image

To the point of this post. Once I learned that flagging someone for stealing content and posting it as their own was an option I have, repeatedly. Stealing content and posting it as your own even if you use software to change out words to make it trick the plagiarism checking bot @cheetah into not catching you doesn't make it ok. Actually it shows the world that you knew it was illegal and not allowed on steemit, but tried to cover up what you are doing.

Here is an example from @crystannson. This is just the most recent example so it's fresh in my mind.

They swapped key words to make sure a plagiarism software doesn't see the theft and posted with a link to the source. Then when called on it gave this reply

But I cited my source, isn't that allowed any longer, the link is below

But if you didn't think it was wrong why would you butcher the original text with incorrectly using a thesaurus and swapping out words with ones that completely change the meaning of the writing. If you thought posting the text was allowed by including a source link then you wouldn't bother to try and hide your theft.

@steemcleaners has a plagiarism guide which calls this type of content as "“spun” content" and this is how they define "“spun” content"

Our definition of “spun” content, is content almost copy and pasted, however, contains small changes to words to avoid detection from plagiarism tools.

Going to reuse some of my reply here. Never has been allowed here or anywhere on the internet to steal someones work and post it. There are laws against this and can create legal issues for yourself and potentially the site hosting your stolen content.

Do you get that? The site hosting plagiarized content is potentially legally on the hook when the demand to have it removed comes over. Do you want to see Steemit.com in trouble? Even if they win it costs money to defend against lawsuits. It costs money when a DMCA Takedown notice is served to steemit.com and they need to answer it. these are things that worry me as an investor in steem. Couldn't find a quality source on the legal issues for the host of the content, but it's correct. added the word "potentially" before "legally on the hook" just in case I'm wrong on this.

Do you get this? As the thief violating copyright laws you can get in legal trouble for stealing content (even with minor edits) and posting it without permission. Do you want legal problems in the future so you can earn your pennies today? Read what University of Purdue's Copyright Office says about potential legal issues for violating someone's copyright.

This applies to both written works and photos (info from LegalZoom)! You can NOT use google images to find a photo you like and steal it, yes you are a thief when you steal other peoples photos or written work.

If you need photos check out Pixabay for photos you can legally use.

In case you think I'm an idiot here is the important quotes from steemit.com FAQ (have you bothered to read it?)

What are Steemit’s policies on plagiarism?
If you are posting plagiarized or copied content, you can get in legal trouble for violating copyright laws. Plagiarized posts and spam are seen as abuse and will be downvoted by community members. If you are posting or using someone else’s content, you must ensure that you have the rights to use the content, and properly reference the sources where you got the material from.

the most important part is "you must ensure that you have the rights to use the content,"

without permission you are violating copyright law.

same for images, here is the info from the FAQ

Is it okay to use random pictures from the internet?
If you are using an image that is not your own, make sure you are allowed to use the image, and cite the source of the image.

Using random pictures from the internet without giving credit is discouraged. You may, however, use photos from “free image” websites such as Pexels.com or Pixabay.com. All photos on Pexels and Pixabay are free for personal and commercial use.

key parts for this:
"If you are using an image that is not your own, make sure you are allowed to use the image"

That means you either have automatic approval because they have posted their release of copyright claim under the Creative Commons CC0 or you have Written Approval to use the image. This page on Pixabay is worth a read if you don't know about CC0.

Read from copyright.gov their FAQ which covers most things you might ever want to know about copyright.

Source: CC0 Pixabay Image

So if I flag you for being a Lazy Thief don't cry about it and Don't make excuses like "everyone else is doing it", because no they aren't only other lazy thieves are. We don't need thieves on steemit and you got what you deserve.

Now if you change your ways and then actually post some real content let me know. If I see you do this for multiple posts in a row and look like you actually want to produce your own real content I'll give you a 100% upvote for doing so as a reward.


Great Post!!! Absolutely needs to be said, re-stated, shouted from the roof tops, rinsed and repeated. Thanks for posting. You have a new follower. All the best.

Right??!! It's interesting, now judging this contest, how many more examples of 'theft' I'm really seeing. Would you agree @energyaddict22? or have you always noticed it? Perhaps I was never really looking for it before.

Thanks for posting this! @bjgeese
It really brings to light the effects of plagiarism on our wonderful community. However I think it best to serve a warning first hand to offenders just to give them the benefit of the doubt for those who are not aware, if they continue to do such, then that's asking for trouble.
I only heard about this post from @thedarkhorse
He told me about the dangers of using google images and I was actually shocked, but knowing it is wrong now, I have no intention of doing so anymore. I even suggested making a post about it but I can see that you've already done that.
I will go through steemit rules and guidelines again to see if there is any other thing that I may have missed out on and based on my findings, I may or may not make a post regarding this issue.
I will resteem this post however so that others can get the message too.
Thanks for looking out for the steemit community! @bjgeese
I will follow you for more great posts such as this. Do have a great day!

glad it helped. its potentially a real issue for steemit in the long run and very serious issue for those who take other peoples content without permission if they get caught. the first step most will do is send a demand to remove the content. problem is after payout you can't change your post to comply with this legal demand.

Very good article with a message that really needs to be heard again and again and again.

thank you. going to link to this each time I flag someone. maybe some people will change their ways.

As a rather small minnow (no money to invest -just my time and writing), I am wary of flagging people, having recently seen first hand the damage an irate whale can cause! I will stick with steemcleaners at present though sometimes, I'll leave a little courtesy note saying that "Google Images" isn't a source... or something like that if their article was otherwise good.

As a rather small minnow (no money to invest -just my time and writing), I am wary of flagging people, having recently seen first hand the damage an irate whale can cause! I will stick with steemcleaners at present though sometimes, I'll leave a little courtesy note saying that "Google Images" isn't a source... or something like that if their article was otherwise good.

not messing with whales either. but they don't tend to be the ones stealing content.

Agreed there. My point was actually that sometimes there are low-level accounts associated with whales. Some of the ones currently duelling each other rather publicly have extra accounts - though again, as you point out, even those don't normally steal content.

wouldn't that suck. flag a bs account from a whale and get crushed for it. That is a risk I'll have to take.

haha! it sure would!

Hey @bjgeese! It's so nice to meet you finally; I've know of your existence through @thedarkhorse, of course :) I've been seeing your upvotes (thankyou) and wondered how long it would take for you to post something! Baby steps, cautious at first, and then suddenly, bam, you're hooked.

I'm talking about me of course :)

I'm so glad this is the topic you chose to focus on for your post! I guess there will always be people who are thieves, who choose to take the easy way out, and who don't seem to care about the efforts put in by the original author, BUT, there will always be people like you, who take the time to find them, and put them in their place :)

So, did you report the one's you found to steemcleaners? or just flag them?

Thank you again for a valuable message...hopefully those who need to hear it will listen!!

just flag them. think if one is to big then steemcleaners will be an option but most of the rewards are so small it's more fun to just smack them around a little. @thedarkhorse said you are one of the good ones. nice to meet you too.

haha "smack them around a little" is always an option too:)

you are one of the good ones.

That's some high praise, and I think he is too :)

An excellent post dude, thanks for this. I've been getting increasingly irritated by plagiarism, and what comes down to sheer laziness. I've been watching one user in particular who has started a one man flagging campaign against everyone and anyone who dares call him out on his bullshit. Bizarre.
Anyway, great to read that there are others who aren't going to allow this bullsh!t to carry on anymore. Keep up the good work!

who? maybe I can counteract his flags and upvote the innocent by watching his flags on steemworld.

the bs needs to dealt with and there really needs to be a way for those violating copyright laws to be banned.

@camillesteemer and their secondary account @mybestnews, along with their new downvoting accounts @trollshunter, @a-cmsidl and @a-steemdefleague

I filed a report with Steemcleaners and they seem to have finally taken notice, other than that it's hard to get other users to take notice of what's happening

they don't have any voting power to speak of. their flags are meaningless and just annoying. it will make no difference to your experience level or payout even if all 5 accounts hit you.

if you ever get hit by them just ask and I'll give you an upvote larger then what they have done.

total bs that someone can open 5 accounts using delegated (free) sp to flag people. think this is something that needs to be fixed. flags should only be available with vested/owned steempower, or at least with SP you are paying for and not the free starter SP.

Absolutely, plus when you factor in the sheer amount of time they're putting into this effort... you just gotta wonder why bother? They've added another account to their roster this afternoon, but even with a dozen of these dummy accounts, they'd still be unable to noticeably affect me. I have a few SBD saved just in case I need to purchase a vote in the future, but I appreciate the offer bud.

I worry about smaller and/or newer users however, even if it's not financially problematic, it could be quite discouraging. On one of the accounts there's a link to a justpaste document that has, no exaggeration here, hundreds of accounts that they have deemed trolls. I kinda admire their commitment in a twisted way.

Totally agree with you though, they shouldn't be able to setup accounts misusing their delegated power. At least this person hasn't got any SP to start with, but if someone threw a few Steem at each of the accounts it could start getting more troublesome.

That link was really interesting, I'd heard about the dust vote rule but couldn't find much about it when I last looked. I'd noticed all these bizarre chat bots being used on crappy posts, so it's reassuring to know their self-voting won't earn them anything.


Working on a counter bot. Here's a sneak peek of the graphic I have put together for the post.

Love it! I got a good chuckle out of that.

If I can help in any way, let me know! I'll definitely delegate what I can when the bot is up to assist you in your quest.

Great post. The program is called Cheetah I believe that checks content.

I always use the site Pixels or something but never change the picture name and download information so it is embeded in the photo its self.

Thanks! adding that now to the post. OMG, look at the log report from @cheetah for one day. that is crazy!


Great post BJ! This is a very important topic that needs to be brought up over and over.

Seeeriously. Didn't we all learn not to plagiarize in like, third grade??

for sure! Maybe sooner these days with kids using computers so young.

Last week we flagged a guy and it looks like he has changed his ways . So it can be a very good attention getter if flag used properly .
It is up to everyone to insure that the platform stays as a great place to be if we all just do what we can .

"you must ensure that you have the rights to use the content,"

Properly reference the sources does not give you the right to use it . The right to use it has to be in writing from the source. And shown to anyone who requests verification

Nice post to remind everyone of the legal requirement

noticed that person posted some original content. nice to see they want to create vs steal.

I find accounts posting 5 YouTube videos a day. It's pretty annoying to see it as it is a pretty blatant money grab. On the other hand, most of the payouts are below the dust threshold. But it feels good to dob in one that has had a nice juicy bot vote on it!

Edit, I forgot to say. Pixabay can be confusing as well. If you don't have a paid account, most of the pictures are not available to use which isn't totally clear to a noob like me. In the end I was pointed to unsplash and I use wikimedia commons as well.

I've rarely encountered a Pixabay image that wasn't free use without attribution.

I just went back to Pixabay and saw what I was doing wrong! On some of my searches, I only had returned results that were in the Sponsored line. These were watermarked and not free to use! Hmmm, thanks for opening up a new avenue of picture hunting!

I use the Google Search tool for "use" restrictions. I don't trust anything off Flicker, admittedly (though I could be wrong there), but I usually have a number of free image sites to choose from.

Some are so insane. From what I've been watching around steemit a lot of people feel that flags are bad. But without them spammers would have a field day here.

Oops, you are faster than me. I edited the comment to add a bit about other sites. Flags are a mixed bag. There are unintended consequences where the strong can bully the weak.

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