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I know something like this has asked before What to do about Copy Cat answers? But my question is slightly different.

What should we do when some user just copied the content from another answer from SO or from other web resources, and they never mention it?

After leaving some comment on the post they mention but again they forget to mention the original post while answering a question. What should we do in that cases?

  • Depends. In the worst case, you flag and wait for it to burn. Do you have an example? – Mysticial Jan 24 '14 at 4:53
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    yes stackoverflow.com/questions/21167077/… this one and the user always doing this. Some other user has posted to include original attribute. But again he misses it. – user3110424 Jan 24 '14 at 4:56
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    Oh. That's blatant plagiarism. Flag and burn. – Mysticial Jan 24 '14 at 4:59
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Good catch. And as always with plagiarizers, it's not the only copy & pasted answer.

If you feel like doing the work, you can go through the guy's profile and Google-test all his answers for plagiarism. Then flag each occurrence where you find plagiarism for moderator attention, and write "plagiarism: " and then the original URL.

Do this for each item separately, as moderators can't be expected to dig for more.

You can also add the same message as a comment, and/or nicely educate the author, but you don't have to.

Edit: OK, this guy is really sneaky. Mods, please stop him.

... and plenty more, pretty much every one of his contributions.

  • I have just seen one example right now ;-) you know what i am talking about – user3110424 Jan 24 '14 at 5:12
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    Yeah, and he knows exactly what he's doing. – Pekka Jan 24 '14 at 5:19
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    another one stackoverflow.com/questions/21158932/… – user3110424 Jan 24 '14 at 5:23
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    His very first answer is copy pasta :/ (edit: it just vanished, now 10k only) – brasofilo Jan 24 '14 at 6:06
  • @brasofilo yeah, 95% of his stuff is. I've gone through pages 1-3 (ordered by votes), calling it a day now, if anybody else wants to go on there's plenty :) – Pekka Jan 24 '14 at 6:08
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    While Googling the other guy's stuff, I also came across this user: stackoverflow.com/users/1265724/ram-kiran who needs a close look – Pekka Jan 24 '14 at 6:10
  • @brasofilo i think his answer is removed from there.. – user3110424 Jan 24 '14 at 6:11
  • @user moderators will delete answers they confirm as plagiarism. – Pekka Jan 24 '14 at 6:12
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    @Pëkka, I think this comment is for you - it seems you're now known as Plagiarism stackoverflow.com/questions/21155030/… – PeterJ Jan 24 '14 at 6:14
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    @Plagiarism, plz stap! – brasofilo Jan 24 '14 at 6:15
  • @PeterJ that's actually a catchy name! – Pekka Jan 24 '14 at 6:19
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    @ALienArrays yeah. A mod has since nuked the questions I'd already flagged but I'll wait with the rest. He's suspended for plagiarism though, can he edit stuff in the meanwhile? – Pekka Jan 24 '14 at 15:44
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Flag it for moderator attention, and explain the problem using a custom flag.

In some cases, the moderators may already know about the problem. The SE software detects copy/paste posts, and raises an automatic moderator flag when it happens. But cast the flag anyway. It provides confirmation to the moderator that it is actually a problem.

Copying from other sites is a bit trickier. In some cases, Fair Use applies. But if it's clearly a case of blatant plagiarism, say so in the flag. Don't raise copyright issues in a moderator flag; mods are not empowered to do anything about copyright claims.

  • Copying is fine at some extent but shouldn't we mention the original post. – user3110424 Jan 24 '14 at 5:24
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    Generally, yes. – user102937 Jan 24 '14 at 5:27
  • you can see what i mean in 1 hour so many flagged answer. and all are plagiarism – user3110424 Jan 24 '14 at 5:29
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    @Alien: I just love it when people come up with new straw men to chew on. – user102937 Jan 24 '14 at 7:30
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    @AlienArrays - There's a very large difference between reusing or building upon code and copying word-for-word sentences and paragraphs from other sources. The system doesn't automatically flag any of this, and we can distinguish between degrees of copying. – Brad Larson Jan 24 '14 at 16:00

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