This is a post I was really hoping I wouldn't have to write. I mean, I was *really* hoping I wouldn't have to write it. Because, frankly, the entire situation is not fun.
Recently, it was brought to my attention that a review posted to the Barnes & Noble website contained content from a review I'd written. This post isn't about plagiarism, though. This post is about how B&N responded to my request to have the review removed.
Or didn't respond, as the case may be.
In case you're wondering, B&N has a handy page that details out what is and isn't allowed in reviews. You might notice that the opening section states that "By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes &
Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and
accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you
and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and
will not violate the rights of any third party." (emphasis mine)
Two weeks after I originally flagged the review, it was still up on their site.
Am I angry that I was plagiarized? Yes. But what I'm more upset about is that I went through all the steps. I provided the information to several different departments within B&N showing that the content was not original. And nothing was done.
As I was writing up this post Thursday morning, Amanda suggested tweeting @BN_care as a final step. I did this and was given yet another email address to send the specifics of the issue to. Well, I sent off the email and, surprisingly, the review was down within 30 minutes. Am I pleased by this? Yes. Does it negate everything that came before? No.
In the end, it took two weeks and five contact points before anything was done. My trust in what B&N is willing to do to counteract plagiarism -- no matter the type -- is virtually non-existent at this point. I wasn't asking for the moon. I was simply asking that the words that were stolen from me be removed from their site. I presented the facts, provided links to the reviews in question, and asked for resolution.
Here are my questions for you: How do you think that sites such as B&N, Amazon, and the like should deal with plagiarism in "user submitted" content, such as reviews? What responsibility do they have in maintaining and moderating this content once it has been submitted by a user?