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tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  July 29, 2014 11:30am-12:01pm EDT

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towards a peace process here for the past year, where we could have two states living side by side in peace and security. that's what he has been working toward. but today unfortunately we confront a situation where rockets are flying out of gaza -- >> it seems to be an easy yes or no question for ores. what would you say to viewers who say the fact that you can't answer a simple question that senior un officials have spoken of really speaks to the
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>> it looks like an u.s. senator lifted a lot of his master papers. he was found to have copied dozens of articles from other places and posted them as his own. plagiarism is the inside story. >> hello, i'm ray suarez. if you spent any time on the
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internet you know how easy to look for articles. now search terms, an engine, key strokes and boom, almost too much to take in. inventing an idea, synthesizing sources, coming to a conclusion a clever turn of phrase, those things are hard. using any of those things already done by others and not giving the creator credit is easy. and the temptations writers, leaders an are finding hard to
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resist. if you google "plagiarism" and click news you'll find a list of academics, journalists and politician plagiarism is the act of using other's ideas, and in the digital age it's easy to do and easy to get caught doing . a decorated iraq war veteran and former general of his state's national guard. walsh is running for re-election in november. >> i'm announcing my candidacy to become montana's next united states senator. to bring our values to washington, d.c. where every montanan knows its badly needed 2347 in 2007 senator walsh got a master's degree from the united states army war college. last week it was reported large sections of walsh's final thesis paper appeared to be lifted.
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he does not acknowledged plagiarism and said citations in the paper were not all done correctly and it was an unintentional mistake. the army war college is investigating. it's the first time a senator was accused of someone else's material. senator rand paul faced criticism for using elements from wikipedia from "gatica." when joe biden ran for president in 1988 he ended his campaign after allegations he used speeches from british party leader kneel kinnick. biden called it a tempest in the tea pot then. it didn't hurt him, he's now vice president of the united states.
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viral politics editor was fired. and they found 40 instances of plagiarism. david fleishman just lost a week's pay for using governor duvall patrick's words in two speeches. he said he was wrong not to cite the source. when you think of plagiarism you don't always consider adults but children. more than a third of high school students admitted to plagiarizing from material they found on the web. when it comes to education both inside and out of the classroom the internet has become a mixed blessing. it's an inexhaustible source of information, and attempting facts and ideas acquired as easy as highlight, copy, and paste.
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>> plagiarism, maybe you feel a little chill thinking back to the time you lifted someone else's ideas. what has the pro fusion of content and the internet done to the idea of ownership, honorship, and o.j. idea. we welcome our guests . alan, let me start with you. that old phrase "content wants to be free." do we have to think about who ideas belong to in a different way in an age when downloading and cutting and pasting and just
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highlighting and clicking and putting something from over here to over there really rules the way we find things out and move them from place to place. >> think about from a technical perspective or economic, supply and demand. on one hand, supply as you pointed out in your introduction piece. there has never been more information, it's never been easier to get. we have people who write for huffington post just to get their planned ou brand out there, that they're a thought leader. to have your knowledge out there and attributed to you, attribution is as important as it ever was. >> but at the same time we have the person that john walsh purportedly took much of his paper from said he didn't think much about the fact that the senator was copying him. >> to be honest that also gets to the richness of what we're talking about here.
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if a senator wants to steal all of my ideas and implement them tomorrow, he or she is welcome to, and that's why i personally produce this stuff. if i was a journalist who was writing for money or an ad copy person or if i work i was doing was very important that i get credit for discovering it would an different story. even though they look similar context really is important. >> barry gilmore, there have always been honor codes. there has always been the idea that you shouldn't cheat or steal somebody's ideas, has that a had to change in the era of the internet? >> it's had to change in our students today with access to files, media and videos that they haven't had before, and they freely share these things around. the work they produce and the work of others. most of our students know the difference when it companies to text to the sort of attribution
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that we see in the academic field. if you look at the difference between what senator walsh did and what benny johnson did, they are two very different kinds of plagiarism in the scope of the language that they took. both are what we call academic dishonesty in my school. but one is in appearance possibly unintentional in some areas and intentional in others. senator walsh lifted pages without attributing or putting them in quotation marks. most students understand that is not an appropriate to conduct themselves in writing. >> is it hard to figure out which one it is whether it rises to the level of an academic offense, or is misattribution or misunderstanding the rules of the game. >> i think it's very hard, but i think as our students age and develop we expect more nuance in
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their understanding of the rules. we can look at paraphrasing and summarizing and giving attribution and we do that all along through middle school and high school years. by the time our students go off to college, graduate school we expect to wave through some of those nuances and actually be able to attribute where they need to attribute. >> i don't think i'm giving away the confidences of middle aged men, but there was an idea before it was easy to check, the more obscura place you founding is the more confidence that you could use it without fear of detect. has that gone away? >> yes, for a great deal of it. now we have computers who track things. we have tools out there that allow you to say not only has this sentence appeared in some services out there that say that we can check a million,
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10 million different documents. we collect other student's papers 20 make sure you didn't buy it off the internet. it's less of a shield. ultimately no matter how good your program is, unless someone has copy and paste giant chunks it's going to come down to the educator, the teacher. you know what your students are capable of. certainly the graduate student level. if you've been working with a student for an entire semester and they give you something that doesn't sound like them or has demonstrated different level of quality you're going to be suspicious. most of the time that's how plagiarism is caught. >> barry, do you you turn it in, and similar programs at the hutchinson school? >> you know, it's interesting and we have used those programs. they're very good.
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we often find with certain age levels a simple google search can do as well. i agree completely with what alan is saying. once you've been caught by a teacher or by the press you've burned your credibility. one thing we try to communicate to our students is the academic integrity both for their own sake but also as a character-building piece. you can't get back what you lose. that's true whether you're in high school or the public arena. >> and presumably making that kind of mistake at the middle school level you can survive, and it's probably good for a kid to understand that, while the higher you rise the tougher it is to get over that. >> that's absolutely true. the cases in the news that you were citing become our case studies to work through with students and talk to them about consequences as they move up to the academic ladder. at the middle school level there is developmentally appropriate
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response having discussions, possibly consequences, reworking the material and figuring out how to do the work yourself and to do it better, and why there is value. >> we're going to take a short break when we come back we'll talk more about cheating, about plagiarism, and about taking someone's ideas and repurposing them as your own. this is inside story. stay with us.
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>> welcome back to inside story on al jazeera america. nile harmon of the times in london was recently found to have liberally helped himself to parts of 50 articles published in other places to fill out his own coverage of tennis for the season rated british national newspapers. he's since been
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suspended. these were published in one of the most rea -read news sources in the united kingdom. >> absolutely. this is something that we would talk to our students about. the question we would like to get to is the why question. it's fine to teach students when to attribute and how they should attribute, but to discuss why it's important to come up with your own ideas, these case studies would be a nice window into those discussions. >> one of the things that technology has done has made it possible for people who are public intellectuals to be significantly more productive. to be everywhere. you see them on television, on the lecture circuit. you see them teaching college,
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books on the shelves, if you still enter a bookstore . appears all over the world on the lecture circuit. has that liberation of productivity the internet provides created a temptation to farm out work. to try to be everywhere at once, which is a little bit beyond human capability. >> i think you're dead on. the challenge when you have people who are expected to push out content either because of one hand they may be at the very high end or in demand or at the low end where they're expected to crank out content. they work for some of the major
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papers, employ people who crank out blockbuster blockbuster. people don't have the capacity to put out great pieces each and every day. another thing to do is look at the editor and say why weren't you responsible for make sure that there was production. >> it was my research assistant. it was inadvertent. it should have been in quotes. comments coming from people. it seems more work than we realize is being done by otherwise and being sent out under the grand name of a famous person. >> i think it will be interesting moving forward how
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we respond. a lot of applications have weathered this type of storm fairly well. on the other hand on the public and intellectual side there is a black mark. there is an asster risk to the name. i think they're going to realize their brand is on the line and have to push down further to make sure that they're supervising a little better. >> is it tough in a world where kids have become used to total availability of content. all the time repurpose ability of content. things that they'll see in a half dozen different places. click throughs and leading you to other click throughs that ideas actually belong to people. they've been created by companies to pay people who make them.
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is all of that a tougher sale than it might have been since 1970 where it was difficult to acquire other people's work? >> well, you're right in 1970 it was difficult for students to plagiarize, it would take more work. they still did it. they went to the encyclopedia and did their home work on horses and went right through and copied. it's easier now. i do think the availability of material on the internet has blurred some of those lines for many of the purposes that our adolescents use the internet for. in an academic setting i think students get it. do they quote wikipedia without using quotation marks and citing, sure, and it's also much easier to catch them. i think students in text writing are still becoming pretty savvy. i want to say an interesting
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correlation to what you were talking about with the availability of material and pressures to put it out is that we see students plagiarizing not only on the low end of the academic sale but the high end and we have pretty good research that says that students who have that kind of academic pressure and expectation on them will tend to plagiarize almost as much as students who are doing it just for the grade. >> and are expected to maybe go to a better list of sources, stealing from the best, instead of stealing it from anywhere. >> absolutely, or to be smarter about it. >> with kids feeling the pressure to produce that we may not even associate with childhood? even at the middle school level?
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>> i think they are. they're standing producing and producing for school. and the expectation of the quality for that work is actually going up now that you can make it look and feel very professional even at a very young age. i think that pressure is there. i also think that the pressure is there on the national scale we will we're seeing entry into college is becoming more competitive. we're becoming more and more worried about the college ess a, ying either plagiarizing or going beyond the level of health. there is a whole age that daddy did it h essay that college application are being recognized recognized. >> if you're tapping from a particular source we're getting better at protecting that. it's not just use that specific
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string of letters and words together, was that seen somewhere else. now we can do a better job of detecting this sentence rearranged or this substituted synonyms in there. they're getting good in changing patterns of citation. it turns out if i copied from a journal article, they'll cite five experts. what we don't have is we're still not great at a benchmark of knowing what you should be able to dig for. that where theducator comes in to play. one, does this smell funny? which is true. i think it will always be true for law enforcement or any attempt to detect wrongdoing. there is no substitute for someone o has been in e business for a while. computers are a very powerful tool. >> we're going to take a short break. when we come back we'll talk
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about ideas. who owns them and if part of the assignment is being a student or public official is to take ideas and present them to others when does it cross the line into stealing. that's inside story. stay with us. >> al jazeera america presents a breakthrough television event. borderland. six strangers. >> let's just send them back to mexico. >> experience illegal immigration up close and personal. >> it's overwhelming to see this many people that have perished. >> lost lives are relived. >> all of these people shouldn't be dead. >> will there differences bring them together or tear them apart? >> the only way to find out is to see it yourselves. >> which side of the fence are you on? borderland, sunday at 9 eastern, only on al jazeera america.
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>> you're watching inside story on al jazeera america. i'm ray suarez. we're looking at the embarrassing revelation of plagiarism popping up in this program. along with high school students who are copping and pasting under deadline pressure. last year publisher had to pull copies of jonah lahers best seller, imagine, from store shelves, and after several
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passages were shown to have been lifted from another's work. plagiarism is still with us. barry, quite often people who deal with words, deal with inside write, speak, have to do research. they have to collect thoughts and material, and then spit it out again in some other form. where does the line cross between taking the best of people's thinking and propositions about the world, and copying them before you spit them out in another form? >> well, we try to come up with limits, the three-word limit. the seven-word limit, and there are legal limitations but in reality i think it's about
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feeling your intentions and what you've communicated to an audience. we know that citation and attribution is a conversation between the author and the audience to make sure that the audience can go back and find the sources, that they can trace the ideas. it is difficult for today's students and we have a challenge and responsibility to prepare them for an environment that will exist in a workplace where they work with ideas of others, where they build off the ideas of others. but we also want them to have respect for the integrity of the product. >> there are a lot of sources, barry, that are for free with the intention of making ideas viral. one of the sources that benny from buzz feed stole from was the white house website, what could be more public than that, but he did it without attribution. if you look at one or two benny johnson's postings, you may say he was paraphrasing or
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summarizing, but when you look at the aggregate of 40 to 500 posts it becomes a habit. he was going in and taking information from one place and repackaging it. that's the sort of thing we want to talk to our students about. you might not be 100% accurate, we stripe for 100% accuracy. but you certainly can't let become a habit again and again. >> at the outset of this program you talked about an information society. as we affic inas as much as stuff nowthis country are we at the same time looking at a rewrite at some of the r. the les that the ade has created er centuries, really, about where information comes from and how to tale peopl to tell people where it does. >> we can start with something like buzz feed. so, you know, it's one thing to say, well, he took content
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without attribution. but on the other hand if give an entire website a lot of information on that website is just taking jokes or witty observations from other people and having a relatively small citation. there has been an i don't know going request about whether that is sufficient. citation may not. there will be other cases where it's very important to get ideas out there, and the context might not be as important particularly if you have consent. >> gentlemen, thank you for being with us today. that brings us to the end of t of this edition of inside story. the program may be over but the conversation continues. we want to know what you think
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about this or any day's shows. you can log on to facebook. twitter, and our handle is @a palestinian operation, humanitarian, trust, israel says it wants to hear directly from hamas. ♪ hello from doha, the latest from gaza as well as the other news of the day, possible ceasefire at an oil depot in libya. and china launches a probe against


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