So honestly, I’m a little stunned. I have been reading all the drama surrounding the plagiarism scandal that everyone in the book blogging community has been talking about. If you haven’t yet heard, Kristi from The Story Siren, one of my most beloved bloggers, was caught with at least 6 blogs on her site that weren’t originally hers. (All the links are at the bottom, if you want to know more, you can get the info for yourself from all angles and make your own mind up.)
I’m a bit heartbroken. As you would have seen yesterday, it’s my one year blogoversary. The Story Siren was the first ever YA site I remember visiting. Her posts and advise on how to be a better blogger were like a Bible to me, and I read every single post she had on her site, and tried to follow them in the attempt to make my site even better. Now I am left wondering what is real on her site and what is taken from others.
Remember when you got in trouble and your parents would say “I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed?” and somehow, that seemed far worse than actually getting yelled at? Well that’s how I feel right now. I am not angry at Kristi, but I am so disappointed. I read her posts thinking about how wise and in touch with blogging she was. Those words weren’t hers. She’s shattered the illusion for me. She’s broken my trust. :( Please don’t take my words as me acting holier-than-thou, as I certainly do not think I am better than anyone. Far from it. But these are true feelings I have right now.
That being said, I abhor bullying, and as such, it is not okay for people to start calling names. I feel like a small amount of bloggers have long been jealous of Kristi’s success, and want to use this scandal as an excuse to try and knock her down. That’s not okay either.
There’s a few things we can take from this.
Your readers are important. When they come to your site they want to read something that you yourself wrote, that’s why they visit you. I try not to read other peoples reviews of books I am yet to review. AFTER I post my reviews I will read what others thought, but I stay clear of others reviews because I don’t want my opinions swayed, I don’t want to even inadvertantly take someone else’s ideas and pass them off as my own.
I don’t want my readers feeling cheated, like I felt cheated when I learned what had happened.
Will this be big enough to close down The Story Siren? I doubt it. Will Kristi bounce back? Probably. But the bottom line is, plagiarism is never okay. I think I feel so strongly about this as Kristi herself posted a blog in 2010 stating how vehemently against it she was – and this happens.
Below you will find all the links I found about this myself. If you want to read about it yourself, do so. It’s good to discuss this as a community I feel.
The Scandal Itself
Beautifully Invisible’s take on what happened (One of the blogs the content was taken from)
Grit & Glamour’s take on what happened (The other blog the content was taken from)
Kristi’s initial post regarding what happened (I found this one to be quite vague and didn’t know what was happening at the time)
Kristi’s clarification post
Beautifully Invisible’s post after Kristi’s apology happened
Plagiarism and The Story Siren by Smart Bitches Love Trashy Books
Amber from Down The Rabbit Hole on the situation and bullying
Radiant Shadows feelings on the matter
The Book Lantern’s feelings on the matter
Ten Cent Notes posts about the situation
Read Breathe Relax posts some tips on how you can avoid this from happening to you
What’s Your Story with her opinions on what happened
Make your own mind up readers. I will be heavily reconsidering visting Kristi anymore though.