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A couple of weeks ago, I flagged a post as plagiarism; this flag was marked as "helpful".

Yesterday when speaking with a friend, he told me he flagged the same user for the same reason but on another question with the same result: helpful flag.

Both plagiarized answers were directly taken from Stack Overflow.


In both cases a mod sent a public comment to that user linking the plagiarized question and asking for credit, result: both answers were modified, one linking the source, another modifying the plagiarized part to seem original...

So I'm wondering,

As far as my concrete case, is a high rep user in a site that is still in beta...

  • Can different rules be applied?
  • Is this up to the mod's consideration?

SIDE QUESTIONS:

  • Shouldn't these answers, detected and confirmed as plagiarism, be turned into Community Wiki?
  • Should rep points obtained with these answers be removed from this user?
  • "Can different rules be applied?" no, never. Same rules apply to everyone irrespectively of sex, religion, skin color and reputation. – Braiam Sep 26 '16 at 10:58
  • @Braiam person is not what I mean, i mean different forums different rules....there are different on-topic questions, rep privileges changes and other features in small-beta forums... but I agree on your point – Jordi Castilla Sep 26 '16 at 11:01
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    SE sites are not forums. – Catija Sep 26 '16 at 11:18
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Both plagiarized answers where directly taken from Stack Overflow.

Then those questions might be duplicates of those at Stack Overflow. Instead of going over the answer again, the question should simply be closed as duplicate and the answer deleted. This will only work if the other post is on Stack Overflow too. If not, it might not be entirely on-topic on the beta side. If it is, then the answer should stand on its own.

If they are not just duplicates but just somewhat related, and the user wants to copy some content over from another post, that is okay as long as they properly attribute the content and the answer has some useful comment besides the copied content. No need to delete those posts or the reputation gained, since the other content is just supporting.

Is there a general rule that says how many plagiarism flags a user can have to be banned / warned?

No, not that I am aware of. Some users have to learn and if there were just two existing answers which needed attribution, there is no need to ban that user immediately. I think this is up to the moderators to judge when a user goes too far. Eventually he will be suspended for a while, then maybe longer, until it stops or he gets suspended long enough.

  • Then those questions might be duplicates of those at Stack Overflow. Instead of going over the answer again, the question should simply be closed as duplicate: that's not possible, in this case, is a non english site... so questions are not exactly dupes, but plagiarism has beed recognized, by mods when resolving flags and use by modifying answers – Jordi Castilla Sep 26 '16 at 12:27
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    That is a quite important detail. Still, no need to go over the exact content again. Language-specific sites are not to meant copy-paste sites of their English counterparts. A translation of a SO post is a good start for a post as long as it is correctly attributed. – Patrick Hofman Sep 26 '16 at 12:29
  • are not just duplicates but just somewhat related, and the user wants to copy some content over from another post, that is okay as long as they properly attribute the content and the answer this is my point... how many times should this user be warned for this behaviour to consider this a bad practice? – Jordi Castilla Sep 26 '16 at 16:03
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    That is something that has to be judged case by case. A moderator can see the history of a user and can judge if someone crossed the line from a simple mistake to blatant plagiarism. – Patrick Hofman Sep 26 '16 at 17:00

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