What is plagiarism? It is “the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own.”
In this age of blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter, plagiarism is an unwanted but common practice. Recently, I applied for an internship on Content Writing at a company. They selected me and a few other people and I received a mail with a bunch of terms and conditions that must be met by me to get a stipend. One of the rules said that I must check whatever I wrote on a particular plagiarism checker on the net, viz. this, and my article must be 95% unique. Fair enough, I thought, but I was curious about how the checker works, etc. So, I clicked on the link and went to the site. I copied a short story I had written not too long ago and added it there. It came out to be 88% unique. Uh-oh. Then I copied an article from this blog on Mr Perelman. That came out to be 40% unique. What the! Then I copied the Windows 10 vs Ubuntu blog. And this came out to be 4% unique. Oh my God!
But then I realized, of course! It found my blog post on the net, that must be the problem. Then I delved into how they were checking plagiarism. They were searching Google for phrases. They were using exact search, of course, with inverted commas attached. But the problem was, even if Google couldn’t find anything, Google was removing the inverted commas and searching the same phrase, and of course finding millions of results and saying did you mean this? The checker, however, did not realize that this was happening and it was counting the “suggested” search results too.
Thankfully, the company agreed to check the plagiarism themselves and not use the checker. But this made me realize something. Isn’t the Internet getting a bit too saturated?
I believe the checker has been improved since this happened because this post came out to be 97% unique and I can live with that.