Jason Quintana's picture
Submitted by Jason Quintana on Fri, 2006-06-23 01:21

Recently there was an obvious instance of plagiarism here on SOLO. Since we didn't have a specific policy in place regarding plagiarism we gave the user a stern warning as per our general guidelines and have allowed him to continue posting following a public apology. This apology is accepted by the SOLO staff. In this particular case it may have been a mistake. 

This will not be our policy moving forward. Anyone who the SOLO staff believes is guilty of plagiarism on the SOLO forums will be placed on moderation permanently. Property rights and honesty are critical elements of the Objectivist philosophy and acts of plagiarism run contrary to both.  I want to make it clear that plagiarism will not be tolerated here on SOLO.

- Jason


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I thought Victor was OK

Rex Wilkinson's picture

Victor did a lot of good work here and I apreciated his comments.You do not have any worries that I should fall victim to the same charge as I havn't read anything and all of my writing and opinions are my own,I did like Phills comments on pseudo intellectuals,I could see how a few in here might qualify.

Over on OL

eg's picture

VP is relating what a bunch of X Y & Z's comprise SOLOP.

Wayne, you are mostly right.

Jason Quintana's picture

Wayne, I believe that Victor did make a momentary lapse of judgement. And it is something that he does quite often in his internet communications!! In fact it seems as though it happens every time he posts on a message forum or writes a private email! One minute he's running around in threads denouncing people for this and that and then the next minute he's making petty excuses for copying copyrighted material! One day he's a hardcore SOLOist and ARI loyalist and then a few minutes later he's over at making friends with MSK! He needs to get the hell away from his keyboard until he's thinking clearly!

However, I agree that this is not worth pursuing any longer. I got pissed off with Victor and wrote one post too many on this subject. My initial (pre edited version) of the plagiarism post was an emotional step on my part. I appreciate it that Lindsay had my back in his above post and technically I didn't do anything wrong. But it was an unnecessary action and it wasn't in the best interest of SOLO or myself. It certainly didn't do anything for Victor. As per Victor's request we have removed the post in question from the site and unless he wants to continue with this discussion it will never see the light of day again.

- Jason

When Tempers cool down, perhaps...

Wayne Simmons's picture

Jason could look at this objectively and see that Victor had an honest momentary lack of judgement. I spoke to Victor and he explained what happened. I agree, Victor was wrong in his actions. But, Victor also agrees he did wrong. To me, it sounds like he's being harshly judged because of Jason's personal emotions. He made the mistaken assumption that everyone knew who he was quoting.

Victor is new to debates and flame wars on online forums.
Over the years, I've been in many heated flame wars and debates with libertarians, etc, on various websites and e-lists. I've told Victor about many of my heated exchanges. Some of the most heated exchanges were on: The e-lists Altantis and Atlantis 2, Wendy McElroy's ifeminist website and, of course, when Solo was born.

Debating in these forums can be difficult. People will frequently argue for pages over something that could be resolved in mere minutes if they spoke in person.

I have something more far

Peter Cresswell's picture

I have something more far more serious to point out: Did Jason really use the phrase "moving forward," as in "This will not be our policy moving forward"?

If plagiarism attracts moderation for the perpetrator, then something far worse must surely be devised for jargon, buzwords, and Bullshit Bingo cliches.

Plagiarism, Which Post?

Wayne Simmons's picture

I'll have to confront him on this. Admittedly, I'm concerned. I've known him for 13 years. I don't know what to make of this and will have a talk with him. If he did this - and I still remain skeptical
- it would've been a foolish thing to do. His Art is definitely his own. Btw, I don't mind if people here take extra care and monitor my posts.

I'm reading a lot of

eg's picture

I'm reading a lot of Victor's posts. Were they undeleted? He's now on OL sounding pretty sad and contrite, complaining about how he was sucked into tribalism here.

This is pretty much a put it up and take your licks forum. Phil for one has taken great advantage of that. But wolfpackism is more projection than reality. If I post something that certain others might agree with I am suddenly informed that "Brant Gaede has joined the Wolfpack," and just because I took a bite out of someone's ass.

Geez. Howl.


Nice guys huh?

Olivia's picture

I tend to feel a stab of suspicion when it's important for someone to be seen as a "nice guy".

What was the topic that was plagiarized?

He's angry? I didn't think

Boaz the Boor's picture

He's angry?

I didn't think much of it because I immediately took him as quoting something (and a not very good something, at that), and for no good reason. It was gratuitous, but at the same time it was hard to believe he intended to plagiarize when it would be so easy to recognize as someone else's.

What did I miss that made it clear he was pawning it off as his own? I'd taken to ignoring most of his posts.

My Goodness

MJ's picture

I guess Victor is what you would call a “sensitive artist”.

I didn't follow the

eg's picture

I didn't follow the plagarism issue and didn't know Victor was an artist. I went to his Web site; it's obvious he's a tremendous talent.



Robert's picture

... is theft, pure and simple.

I'm sure Victor would throw a wobbly if I obtained one of his paintings and publically proclaimed that that I was the artist who painted it.

"Victor lifted someone else's writings and passed them off as his own. And wasn't prepared fully to take ownership of that crime."

Good riddance to unrepentant thieves!


Lindsay Perigo's picture

For those wondering why Victor has disappeared from SOLO, it's at his own request. His posts have been deleted, by him—including those where he'd taken to attacking me. He took exception to being faulted for plagiarism, even though that's clearly what he committed. We were prepared to let him off this serious offence with a warning. He claimed to be the victim of a vendetta by Jason. Jason was independently pissed off with him, to be sure, and backed off a bit—but the bottom line is, Victor lifted someone else's writings and passed them off as his own. And wasn't prepared fully to take ownership of that crime. "Mistake" based on an "artist's hot temper"? Gimme a break! *I'm* hot-tempered, but I would never use that as an excuse for plagiarism. I am entirely satisfied with Jason's handling of this.

It's sad, because Victor was establishing himself as an energetic and (to me, at least) valued contributor. I tried to dissuade him from burning the bridge, but he was intent on fanning the flames. So be it. He got what he explicitly asked for.


Further: people should be

Ross Elliot's picture

Further: people should be careful to cite well and clearly. There's no shame in using another's words if you can't say it better, but make sure readers know the source.

Good call...

Robert's picture

... what is to be done with the offending post(Drunk?

Good Move

DianaHsieh's picture

I'm glad to hear of the new policy. Plagiarism is a serious breach of honesty. (I'm still all boggled over the recent incident.)

-- Diana Hsieh

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