Social media trolls and non-winners

Some days ago, the German broadcaster Deutsch Welle (DW) ran a “taxi” contest, announced on its TV channel and Facebook page. All you had to do was to take a picture of a taxi in your city and send it to them by email. One lucky participant would win a mini iPad. The winner of the raffle was from India and her picture, of a three-wheeler autorickshaw, was uploaded on the DW Facebook page. Immediately, the non-winners (we can’t call them losers, for there could be losers only in matches and races) found technical problems with the winning entry. For them taxi=car. While the winner was thrilled with her luck, there were others who were clear that her interpretation of ‘taxi’ should have pushed her out of the reckoning, advising the organisers to quickly choose another winner. Of course some were sporting enough to congratulate her, while lamenting about their own poor luck. Continue reading

Plagiarism, children and the pressures of social media

According to The Oxford Dictionary, plagiarism is:
The practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own.

If we look back, many of us have been plagiarists, or more simplistically put, copycats, at some time in our lives, probably during childhood. Those who have judged children’s drawing / painting competitions will agree that they inevitably encounter similar artworks, though often of varying standards. Teachers will agree that sometimes they think they are reading the same student’s assignment again, only to see that it is from someone else.

By the time children are old enough to understand right and wrong, it is expected that they will realise that stealing is wrong, and recognise that plagiarism is a form of stealing. However, this is often not the case. Continue reading