Anonymity and Plagiarism

In my last post, “Deti on Personal Hypocrisy,” I responded to the claim that withholding private information is antithetical to opposing pseudonymity. In that post I repeated the following claims, which I have long held:

The consequence of anonymity is a degradation of self because it is a lie. Lying is always a sin. Sin leads to defilement. This is one reason why the internet is so toxic and dirty.

How can I fully represent God, under the authority of Jesus the Christ, if I hide myself and misrepresent who I really am? There cannot be a trace of a lie or deception, for those things are the antithesis of God. If I cannot put my reputation behind my words, is it because I fear and am ashamed to take a stance for Christ? If so, then anonymity is a sin. If I need anonymity because I am speaking words that don’t represent God, that is also a sin.

I have been careful to note that not all anonymity or privacy is wrong:

The Bible—and Christians in general—widely believe that withholding information is not a lie, but giving false information—with intent to deceive—is.

For the record, this is what we mean by deceiving:

Deceive — verb — (of a person) cause (someone) to believe something that is not true, typically in order to gain some personal advantage. (of a thing) give a mistaken impression.

One must have intent to deceive, to intentionally give a mistaken impression.

Intentionally misrepresenting the author of another work and passing it off as your own is a form of plagiarism. While plagiarism is a serious offense in academic circles, it is usually not considered a serious infraction in informal settings (e.g. copying memes, loosely paraphrasing, or failing to provide a proper citation). This is especially common in short-form writing (e.g. on Twitter) where space is limited. It is pretty common on blogs too. Sometimes a writer intentionally doesn’t cite someone for privacy or other similar reasons of propriety. Even though I try very hard to properly cite (and link) everything, even I have failed to properly cite my sources.

But I’ve drawn a parallel between being anonymous and developing a habit for deception. When you get comfortable with one type of falsehood, it makes the other kinds of falsehoods that much easier to swallow.

Only two posts earlier, the anonymous Jack plagiarized one of his own commenters:

Sectarianism
Amid all these contentions, eventually someone will ask, “Who are the ‘real’ Christians?”  Then comes the accusation, “You are not a real Christian.”  Then everything grinds to a halt and nothing is accomplished.

This is a modified quote from the user known as “The Eye of Sauron” from May 29, 2023:

But when you have a group of people from different faith traditions trying to solve a problem like this, you are bound to eventually run into this. Who are the “real” Christians? Then everything grinds to a halt. Its one of several reasons I take long breaks.

No citation was given. Jack frequently does this. In the very next post, he cited his references…

The Tale of Huck and Bucky
Author’s Note: Inspired by a comment from LastMod and a private message from Ed Hurst.

…before directly quoting Lastmod in the main body (without quotation marks):

When a man is cornered and all he hears is, “You’re nuthin!”, “You’re a Beta.”, “Loser!”, “You must LIKE being this way.”, “Soyboy”, and the slew of other insults…..  He’ll come back and tell you “he’s everything” and then he’ll try to prove it.

There is no direct indication that this is a quotation. There is no way to know that this is Lastmod’s idea and not Jack’s or Ed Hurst’s. You’d have to do what I did, which is go read Lastmod’s comment and try to find which words were pulled out. If this were an academic paper, it would be blatant plagiarism, despite the inclusion of a general citation. Even exempting the requirement for an inline citation, Jack was still expected to paraphrase what Lastmod had written, to retain the cited idea without retaining the quotation.

Here is what Lastmod had to say about it:

Yeah…saw that. It’s fine.

He can say whatever, twist, agree, or disagree with any of my comments. I mean, that is what many over there have been doing anyway, even when I was posting there.

My case is mild compared to what is coming up after me with Incels.

Perhaps few would consider these to be significant violations of the social contract. Would they get someone into trouble if they had a prominent academic position? Possibly. Outside of that? Probably not. But should Lastmod have to “take it like a man” just because he’s used to it and has low expectations of others? No, I don’t think so.

Jack also has a habit of editing the viewpoint content—as opposed to spelling and formatting—of other people’s comments. This is a double falsehood: of the original author and the undisclosed editor. Whether you call this plagiarism or ghostwriting, it isn’t ethical.

I do not know how much is Jack just being sloppy and how much of it is a true intention to pass off someone else’s work as his own, but it is a common occurrence. When I quote someone, I invert the colors and put it in its own dedicated box. I often put it in a special quote box. It’s not clear why Jack cannot—or won’t—properly cite his sources.

I continue to implore my readers: do not be anonymous. It is a falsehood that defiles and will defile you. Don’t make spreading falsehoods to other people—with or without intent to deceive—a habit.

NOTE: I reached out to Jack by email on the Thursday prior publication on Monday to see if he had any comments, or if he wished me not to publish the article. I received no reply, and so this post was published automatically.

3 Comments

  1. professorGBFMtm

    ”I do not know how much is Jack just being sloppy and how much of it is a true intention to pass off someone else’s work as his own, but it is a common occurrence. When I quote someone, I invert the colors and put it in its own dedicated box. I often put it in a special quote box. It’s not clear why Jack cannot—or won’t—properly cite his sources.”

    What I don’t like is where it’s not told that the ”red pill” didn’t start or was based on Rollos ”Game” but Roissys ”Game”.i know it’s done to ”keep it simple” but the same who state that, will yell and scream about others being ”moralizers”,”non-”devils advocates””, and preaching ”hellfire sermons” in other words it all (in the ”Christian MANosphere”) comes down to ”Matthew 7:1-3 New King James Version (NKJV)
    “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?”

    It is like claiming that the GREAT BOOKS FOR MEN are based on 15th-21st-century versions of ideas(the BOOK part doesn’t mean the printing press era of BOOKS) when the GBFM is instead based on age-less ideas from long ago.
    & not the ”good books of Game” that were popular in the 2000s i.e. ”Game”, ”double your dating” and ”bang ” by Roosh or even the 2010s ”colorado rock :my early days of butthext preaching” by Saint Dalrock and ”trolling for data from churchians(does jack know ”churchian” means ”you are not a true Christian?”) or wife-spanking for amatuers” by bgr=larry.

    1. Derek L. Ramsey

      Professor,

      As you say, Christ said:

      Matthew 7:1-3 New King James Version (NKJV)
      “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?”

      Paul also said:

      But as it is, I am writing to you not to associate with anyone named as a brother or sister who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or verbally abusive, or a drunkard, or a swindler; with such you are not to eat. For what have I to do with judging those who are outside? Aren’t you supposed to judge those who are inside the Church? But those who are outside God judges. Remove the wicked person from among yourselves! — 1 Corinthians 5

      Paul had nothing to do with judging those outside the church. He was focused on one thing: judging those within the church, and expelling those who needed expelling.

      In sum, Christians are to expel the wicked, but only if they themselves are not guilty to the same thing.

      Peace,
      DR

  2. Lastmod

    A few deacades back, Arnold Schwartzenegger was our governor of this fair state.

    The press of course hated him. Phil Bronstein, editor of the “San Francisco Chronicle” lamblasted him daily over everything. No surprises here. He of course thought he was so “brave” and “bold” for “standing up to the extrme right wing governor” (and actually, Arnold was more aligned with Bronstein’s views if truth be told)

    Anyway, Phil Bronstein was married to has-been actress Sharon Stone who by that point was a “has been”

    At some press interview, a talking head asked the governor what he thought about “The Chroncile’s” most recent attack on him and his leadership

    He replied “Ah, yes, Mr. Stone is entitled to his own opinion”

    It caused lots of laughter and did regulate / showed that who was wearing the pants in that relationship

    I dont care what they say, interpet or use or apply about me over there. They did this when I was practicing as well. It says much about many of them. I am an example of what not to be, and an example for other men to not join a church or get involved.

    They know it all anyway 🙂

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