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Old 10-08-2017, 10:40 AM   #1
MindsMirror
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What to do about comments

In general we leave nearly all of the comments written on our stories. Today we have someone anonymously claiming we aren't the original authors on the first chapter of a series in which we've just published the seventh installment. So what do we do?

1. Delete the comment and risk further anonymous claims?
2. Challenge the commenter to tell us where the story goes next?
3. Leave it there without comment?
4. Something we haven't considered?

-MM
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:01 AM   #2
TxRad
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Delete the comment. It they come back, report the post to Laurel.
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:18 AM   #3
Darkniciad
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This seems to happen a lot in the incest category. Even the remotest similarity causes people to blather about plagiarism.

I'd go with Tex on this one. If it was a serious accusation, it would have included at least some detail of author or story. Just delete it and report it if the anonymous harassment continues.

I got lucky in the one time that it happened to me, several other commenters disagreed before I even saw it, and then the author I was accused of plagiarizing popped by and called it hogwash as well.

That pretty much killed the argument LOL
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Old 10-08-2017, 01:06 PM   #4
latecomer91364
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Step 1: Hire a hacker.
Step 2: Hack the site
Step 3: Identify commenter's IP address
Step 4: (tricky) Find physical address
Step 5: Go to commenter's address
Step 6: Kill commenter
Step 7: Cover tracks

OR

Just forget it and go about your day

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Old 10-08-2017, 05:50 PM   #5
SimonDoom
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This happened to me. An anonymous reader accused me of ripping off another story without alleging any specifics that supported the accusation. I knew it wasn't true.

I decided to respond with my own comment, explaining my position and making clear that the anonymous reader was wrong. I said that I took such claims seriously and I did not denounce the commentator or say anything I thought was provocative toward my accuser. I received no further comments from that person and that was that.

I'm probably at one extreme end of the spectrum on this issue, because I have never deleted a comment, even though I've received some that are way out of line and/or repulsively phrased.
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Old 10-08-2017, 05:57 PM   #6
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Delete the comment and don't debate. As soon as you reply, you give them oxygen (I'm assuming they gave no details of their claim).
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Old 10-08-2017, 06:11 PM   #7
SimonDoom
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Originally Posted by electricblue66 View Post
Delete the comment and don't debate. As soon as you reply, you give them oxygen (I'm assuming they gave no details of their claim).
I think this is good advice if you are fairly certain the comment is written by a troll. It is not productive to engage with trolls. But if it's ambiguous, I'm not so sure.

Some readers, maybe a lot, genuinely don't know what plagiarism is and don't know it when they see it. A very large percentage of stories on this site are variations on well-worn themes or ideas, to which no one has any exclusive or proprietary claim. My story in question was one such story -- a variation on the extremely common "mon and son get pressed together on a seat, and stuff happens" theme. It's not an original theme, but it's not plagiarism to use it, either. I thought it was useful to point that out, not just for the accuser's sake but for the sake of any other readers that might have read the comment and wondered whether the accuser was right. In that particular case, I think replying was the right call. But it might not be in other cases.
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Old 10-08-2017, 06:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonDoom View Post
My story in question was one such story -- a variation on the extremely common "mon and son get pressed together on a seat, and stuff happens" theme. It's not an original theme, but it's not plagiarism to use it, either.
Lol. The only variation with "mom and son in the rear seat" is the make of car, I'd have thought.
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Old 10-08-2017, 06:30 PM   #9
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We don't think the story theme is particularly common and no details as to why the anonymous person thought it was stolen were given. So, we took the prevailing advice of deleting it without comment. We'll see if that is the end of it.

Thanks,
-MM
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Old 10-08-2017, 06:39 PM   #10
rjordan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonDoom View Post
I decided to respond with my own comment, explaining my position and making clear that the anonymous reader was wrong. I said that I took such claims seriously and I did not denounce the commentator or say anything I thought was provocative toward my accuser. I received no further comments from that person and that was that.
The Comment section is not like a normal discussion board. Readers post when they get to the end of the story (read it, scan it or just jump to the end). They leave a comment, but most of them never return to see if there was a response. No real dialog takes place other than a shouting match flare up now and then.

So it's not unusual that "that was that". The commenter probably has no idea at all you responded.

I agree with those who say delete or ignore. Trying to engage is like the old joke about teaching a pig to sing.

rj
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Old 10-08-2017, 07:52 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by rjordan View Post
Trying to engage is like the old joke about teaching a pig to sing.

rj
You can't teach a pig to sing? Oh my god, I've wasted my life!

Yeah - delete and ignore and do it again. It takes no time at all when you're looking through your new comments to do that.
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:15 PM   #12
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Whoís the de facto moderator of your story comments?

You are.

So moderate. That requires judgement, which some donít have. If you canít moderate, or wonít, just turn off the comments.
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Old 10-08-2017, 10:01 PM   #13
rjordan
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Originally Posted by KindofHere View Post
You can't teach a pig to sing? Oh my god, I've wasted my life!
And pissed off at least one pig.

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Old 10-09-2017, 12:10 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by electricblue66 View Post
Lol. The only variation with "mom and son in the rear seat" is the make of car, I'd have thought.
Not so! My variation wasn't in a car at all, but in a loveseat in front of the TV.
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Old 10-09-2017, 01:09 AM   #15
electricblue66
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Originally Posted by SimonDoom View Post
Not so! My variation wasn't in a car at all, but in a loveseat in front of the TV.
Ok, that's a variation on the theme. Or your loungeroom is strangely furnished
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