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Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Internet Plagiarism at the White House

In a move reminiscent of lazy high school students, the White House issued a press release that included a biography of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi lifted straight from a website called Encyclopedia of World Biography. Both BBC and CNN covered this because the biography of one of Bush's few European allies says he is "one of the world's most controversial leaders" and his government is known for "corruption and vice."

And the insults just kept on coming. Whoever wrote the biography obviously didn't like poor old Silvio that much. The entry has since disappeared.

What the news sites didn't talk about was the fact that the flaks at the White House press office lifted the information off the internet (probably without attribution) and didn't even read it. If they had, they would have probably changed the bit where it said Berlusconi was "hated by many."

This is what happens when the Internet generation cheats their way through school and ends up with important jobs.

As an author of four books and hundreds of articles, I wonder how many times I've been plagiarized?

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