Grandma, I think you’ll get a kick out of this post. Just recently you made a comment about your frustration with folks who steal content.
Being new to Xomba, I decided to set a daily schedule of adding Xomblurbs/Xombytes. It seems that the successful Xombies (??) are those who post new content on a regular schedule. Wanting to become successful, I decided to do what successful people do.
Things were moving along swimmingly until I went to click “Submit” for one of my Xomblurbs and got logged out of my account. Thinking it was a computer glitch, I tried to log back in only to be met with a notification that my account either was not yet activated or blocked.
What??!! I knew I had activated the account so the only other alternative was that my account was blocked. Not knowing why I immediately sent an email to the Xomba team using their “Contact Us” link.
While waiting for a response, I looked over my Xomblurbs to make sure that I didn’t violate any of their terms. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out what I did wrong. All I was doing was linking to my previously written articles and/or blog posts. There were a few links to news articles and TV videos, but nothing that would be considered a violation of their terms.
The Long Awaited Response (actually they responded rather quickly)
Here’s the response that I received from Xomba:
Your account was blocked because we have found a lot of your content to be copied from official website. Law websites such as “(website link removed because I’m in the process of dealing with these plagiarists)” and others as well.
WTD??!! (In our house we say WTD instead of the more popular WTF. WTD stands for “What the Dude?!” Don’t ask, it’s a long story.)
I sat there with my mouth open for a moment. I was down right angry when I saw that response. Accusing me of copying from another site? My integrity was being questioned. What a royal slap in the face!
So, without thinking, I responded as follows:
That is not true. Each of the articles I posted today I wrote.
My name is Felicia A. Williams and if you look on Suite 101 I am the insurance Feature Writer.
I did not plagiarize any of the information. I was promoting my own articles. Is that against the terms?
Without waiting for a response, I stewed a little more and wrote:
Please go through my Xomblurbs. There is not a single link to the website you mentioned.
I’m very upset at being falsely accused of plagiarism.
You must be confusing my account with someone else.
All of the Xomblurbs I linked to today and most of them on the past few days were my own works at Suite 101 and eHow. Additionally I have links to my own blogs.
There are a few links to Fancast and some news items but most of my links are my own work.
To which Xomba replied:
I am not questioning your links. What was copied was your summary before your links. These summaries have the exact same content as the website links that I have sent you. All summaries must be completely in your own words.
And then I wrote:
They are my words. I wrote the article in 2007. If you look at the other site they copied it in 2008.
I have almost 200 articles on Suite 101. They are high quality articles and unfortunately unscrupulous people plagiarize them. I feel I’m being punished for writing quality work.
Are you saying that I cannot use my own summaries in the Xomblurbs? If I write an article and then promote it on Xomba, do I have to then re-write my own words?
No no…we found your summaries on other websites. We just wanted to get your attention and let you know that this is not allowed. All of your words need to be your own. If they are…believe you but we needed to show you where we are finding your words and if you are coping them…please refrain from it. That’s all.
Sorry for the inconvenience and I hope that you understand what happened.
Man oh man! I was both outraged and thankful. I’m outraged because plagiarists are causing honest folks to have to prove they are honest. On the other hand, I’m thankful that Xomba is a reputable site that does not accept plagiarism and have pointed me in the direction of thieves who are plagiarizing my material. What really ticks me off is that the first site Xomba linked to is an attorney’s site. My goodness, you would think that an attorney would know better!
Now I’ve got to go through the process of issuing cease and desist letters. Will it work? I don’t know, but I can’t let them get away with it. Oh well, something else on my “To Do” list to get done.
P.S. Xomba reinstated my account so I’m no longer blocked.