Crypto-Affirmations: Enforced Transparency, @BiellaColeman, and Nemesis

Biella on repeat via @GradElitist on Twitter

Biella on repeat via @GradElitist on Twitter

We are big fans of single-serving social media accounts at Cryptosphere Global HQ. Who doesn’t love Taylor Swift on Security? Or Fashion Zizek? Or, come to think of it, Zizek Ebooks, although who can tell it from the original?

We are also, big, big fans of payback and sabre-toothed enforcement of The Little Guy’s rights, including copyright. Since Twitter has announced that Tweets are officially considered copyright their original tweeters, this has opened up a Pandora’s Attache Case of DMCA filings, and we say it’s high time. Just to be clear: You can RT to your heart’s content. That maintains attribution and is fair use. You can copy and paste tweets originating in a Tweetstorm document, because that is how a Tweetstorm works and you are actively encouraged to do so by the storm organizers. You cannot take someone else’s tweet, strip the attribution, and tweet it as if it were your own.

That’s plagiarism. That’s theft. And that’s where @GradElitist and his ilk come in.

We were minding our own business on Twitter yesterday, checking out some new followers, retweeting some folks, checking out different accounts, when we found a tweet we thought was brilliant, pithy, and would absolutely suit our caffeine-soaked website, so we posted it.

Not long afterwards, we got an update from the aforementioned GradElitist, a single-serving account that exists to expose plagiarized tweets and other nefariousness by the 37,000-follower Grad School Elitist account, the source of the tweet that made up our post. GradElitist’s tweet clearly showed that it had been, in fact, plagiarized. We edited the post to indicate what had happened and where the correct attribution lay, and then, by way of a lagniappe with a cherry on top, we got this:

Proof that the aforesaid Grad School Elitist account had ripped off one of our favourite academics.

And also this:

An rt of an article about the difference between Piracy and Plagiarism, centered on an episode where AnonHQ stole an entire article of ours, and that article by Kitty Hundal and Raymond Johansen was featured on this very website via (with permission) reblog.

While we may find the premise debatable (have you read many academic papers recently? There’s a reason why not), we find the Scadenfreude delectable.

Categories: Activism, Censorship, Communication, Copyright, Crypto-Affirmation, DramaSec, Fraud, Hacktivism, Hoax, Humor, News, Social Media, Twitter

4 replies

  1. People try too much to look more intelligent than they actually are on twitter. We talk here about plagiarism about a fucking 140 characters tweet.
    These twitter wars, twitter political stands and twitter anything all feel really childish, annoying and retarded.


    • We think Biella Coleman is plenty smart. And that all creators have the right not to be ripped off, no matter how small their creations.

      There goes the business plan of The Anon Message, poof, just like that. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.


  2. Reblogged this on hacktivist culture and commented:

    I Love Irony! =D


  3. Given the now locked-down account, let’s talk about tunneling tweets to the outside world and maybe using some algorithms to find likely plagiarism. This is a totally doable weekend project – just for the fun of it (not a sales pitch). The Twitter API is ripe for some plagiarism disruption, and I could have some fun with this! My email is on my website:


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