Tower of Babble: My Experience With Plagiarism
I woke up Tuesday morning to see that someone was causing a commotion on Twitter over an article about nursing in public. This article, written by Meredith Carroll, was basically telling women who were nursing in public to cover up and deal with it, while “supporting” breastfeeding mothers. I read her article (newly edited) and notice something in the footer at the end:
A chicken wing teether.
I was intrigued so I clicked the icon and was taken to the article. Nope. No way. Not again. Only this time it was flat-out legitimate plagiarism.
It seems Meredith Carroll, who did not attend ABC Kids Expo, thought she’d write about wacky new products that were revealed during the show. And by “write” I mean steal the content from my Perezitos article. I was livid. I snagged a screenshot (seen above) and immediately emailed my contact at Perezitos. I then found the author’s twitter account and began questioning Babble and StrollerDerby as to why they allowed Meredith Carroll to plagiarize my article. I was given no credit and there was no link to the original article to be found. Not cool.
I received a message from Andrea Zimmerman, the manager of Blogs and Social Media at Babble, asking for a contact email address. Although it’s quite easy to find my contact info on my site, I shot her the requested information. I received an apology email letting me know how sorry Babble was that this happened and they assured me they had no idea she had “profited” from my work. Andrea let me know that the bulk of Meredith’s original content and slideshow had been removed and replaced with links to my original post. For this I am thankful.
What I’m not thankful for is the complete lack of apology from Meredith Carroll. I pay to attend trade shows. I’ve busted my ass to establish myself in this industry and maintain relationships. For Meredith to claim as her own a list that I curated and was quite proud to have featured on a huge website is disgusting. I made no money for my Perez article. I didn’t even ask to be paid because I approached them and was happy to be featured on the site, as I was sure it would increase traffic—which it did. As of this post, there are currently over 1400 Facebook “shares” of my article. I certainly cannot say the same of Meredith’s. Again, I am thankful that Andrea Zimmerman reached out and corrected this issue.
But I am waiting. Waiting on an apology from Meredith Carroll. WHY did you think it was acceptable to STEAL my content and what possessed you to think that I wouldn’t find out? And will Babble learn from this that once an author is caught plagiarizing that they have lost ALL credibility? What is Babble going to do, if anything, to keep this from happening again? Trust me, this post will spread throughout the industry. Retailers, manufacturers, media, and educators will see this–“industry” folks and parents are my readers. Shame on you.
I am waiting….