SO MUCH NON-STOP CRAZY EXCITEMENT
The Subject, She Is Changed

To Whom It May Concern

Or, Hey Girl, I Heard You Were Blogging My Blogs On Your Blog, And Then Again On A Blog That Paid You To Blog, But You Were Blogging My Blogs And Not Your Blogs, In Other Words Stealing Stuff I Wrote Which I Am Pretty Sure Is Not Cool, Girl

Or, Choice Excerpts From The Most Fun Email I Have Ever Had The Honor Of Writing

Dear You,

Well. It's unfortunate that we had to be introduced under these circumstances. Before I go any further, allow me to tell you a little about myself. I think some of this may be relevant in a bit.

Like you, I married very young -- I was 20 years old at my wedding. Couldn't even drink the champagne! I put myself through college a course or two at a time, while working full-time, until I finally got my degree when I was 27 years old. I started my blog in 2003, when I was 26. I was hired as a columnist for AlphaMom -- my first "real" professional writing gig, when I was 28, right after having my first baby. Holy crap, was that ever a dream come true.

Like you, I have three children now: Noah, Ezra and Baby Ike, who was just born last June. When I was six months pregnant with him, my father died of cancer. I don't mention this to play the Pain Olympics or anything, but since you seem to be bringing up your pregnancy as a sympathy ploy, I do want to say that I DO sympathize with what I'm assuming is your current stress level over this mess.The universe has shitty timing sometimes, and it sucks.

The writing you stole was written about my second pregnancy. It is all very near and dear to me, and I am fiercely protective of it, as I'm sure you understand. What you did was like someone swiping your belly pics and passing them off as their own: creepy, invasive and wrong. I imagine if that happened to you, you would waste no time in leading an Internet charge against that person, no matter what excuses they offered.

So on that note, let's break yours down:

"I started writing a long time ago, when I was young and did first start under not knowing the proper rules. I have no real education in writing and never claimed I did, I just liked to share my feelings and my life with my friends and family."

You use your youth as an excuse a lot. And lack of formal education. However, plagiarism -- passing someone's work off as your own -- is something that most of us learn by the time we turn in our first book report in elementary school. My kindergartner knows that stealing is wrong and that it's important to do your own work. So...sorry. I will not accept that one.

Also, this was happening in 2009. Three years ago. While I don't know the full history of your blog, a quick glance through your pregnancy archive reveals that you were already pretty established -- established enough for your entries to garner double-digit comments and for brands to be approaching you with sponsorship deals and free nursery furniture. Free nursery furniture! That's impressive! Even I've never managed that one. Clearly, despite your youth and educational background you hit the ground running as a pretty savvy blogger who knew how to network and promote yourself.

Which is why I do not buy that you did not understand "the rules." Linking. Quotation marks. That little fancy blockquote button thingie.

And barring that, when your commenters chimed in saying stuff like "LOL YOU'RE SO FUNNY" and specifically calling out jokes and lines THAT YOU DID NOT WRITE, you could have stepped in and say, "Whoops, sorry guys! That line came from this post. I should've linked to it, because I really like it!" 

"I have been recently told that I have plagiarized your whole articles, and never intended to steal anything. I took some great lines and did not cite them, which was a big mistake. I am now just 27 and learning everyday as I grow how to avoid these mistakes in the future. I never meant to hurt anyone or steal from anyone."

Seriously? You needed to be told that you did not actually write the words you published? You did not intend to steal when you plagiarized me week after week, in a variety of different ways? You're going with "I didn't cite properly?" Sometimes you reworded my jokes. Sometimes you took just a line or two and flushed it out with your own writing. Sometimes you just copy-and-pasted the entire thing, whole paragraphs at a time. Once you found out your baby was a girl and mine was a boy, you changed the pronouns and left everything else. This is behavior you know not to do by middle school, if not earlier. The fact that it was on the Internet doesn't mean the rules were any different, and I think you knew that. I think you simply figured you weren't going to ever get caught.

And again, stop with the "I am only 27" thing. It's insulting to people younger than you who absolutely know how to not steal other people's writing.

"I have been going through my blog all day long and publishing my posts and just want to make sure I dont have any other mistakes that will come to haunt me."

I appreciate you taking my writing down. I really do. The thing that still kinda bugs me is that in the end you just took everything down because you claim that you simply can't remember what you wrote...and what I wrote. From three years ago. I am pretty sure someone could put a dozen different articles/blog posts/whatevers in front of me and I could tell you which ones were mine and which ones were not.

"I am 27 years old and have made mistakes. I now feel really bad and almost just want to give up."

Really? You are 27? Huh. Didn't know that. Why do you seem to think 27-year-old women should get a free pass through adulthood? I sense you imagine I am some ancient, over-educated old lady when I'm only a few years older than you with a freaking Bachelor's degree from an commuter/distance-ed college in Communications. At 27 I was a grown-up. And so are you. You are far, far smarter and savvier than you are letting on, or are letting yourself believe.

Read through the emails you have sent to everybody involved in this and count the number of times you bring up your age and being "young" and seriously: Figure out why you do that, and knock it off. It's. Not. An. Excuse.

"I wrote about my pregnancies and never meant to have it backfire in my face. I just wanted to share my joy and I found those lines great, just didnt quite understand the proper rules to citing."

But you didn't technically really write about your pregnancies. You wrote about MY pregnancy. MY joy.

And let's not forget when and where you were ACTUALLY caught plagiarizing: yesterday, three years later, in a paid column at Babble. (Big thanks to alert reader Catherine for the heads' up, by the way.) Presumably, by then, you DID know the rules, yet you posted my words as yours on multiple occasions.

I also write for Babble. Like AlphaMom, I have nothing but wonderful things to say about their editorial guidelines and standards, and the people I work with for who inspire me to write to the very best of my ability. And so I have read the contract you signed. It is very, very clear that you are expected to write your own words, to clearly cite and attribute and link. I'm not entirely sure why you thought it was a good idea to copy-and-paste your own archives as part of a PAYING, PROFESSIONAL JOB, but even assuming that you had cleared that with Babble ahead of time, there's still the little problem that one of the articles you posted there -- the sex & pregnancy one -- was a top to bottom copy/paste job with only a few minor word changes. And I never found that one on your personal blog, and yes, I looked very hard and very carefully. (Which is not being "obsessive-compulsive," by the way -- nice tweet! good call on deleting it, though -- it's called protecting my brand and my writing.)

That's...quite troubling, and negates a lot of your excuses and explanations that you thought you were only technically plagiarizing yourself at Babble. If I am wrong about this, I am sorry, but I still feel like we're splitting hairs here. 2009 vs. 2012. You still stole it, and I cannot honestly believe you're trying to convince me that you simply FORGOT that you didn't actually write a single word of that post.

BTW, you stole an article I wrote about my SEX LIFE. Holy SHIT.

***

Okay, since the rest of your email is pretty much a repetition of your age and how you never "meant" for this to happen, let's move on. I'd like to give you some PR crisis management advice here. From one old, ancient, decrepit blogger to a younger one. Come clean, publicly. Apologize -- to me, Isabel and the folks at Babble -- without any excuses or revisionist half-truths that are easily proven wrong/shady by five minutes in Google Cache or the Wayback Machine. Plagiarism is a big deal, yes, and it is -- often -- a career killer, even for older, educated, established writers/journalists who made one measly little mistake. It's not a question of maturity, but one of integrity.

Yes, I have a very large readership and Twitter following. I sense you didn't know that when you chose my articles to swipe, and I know that you're terrified now of this getting "out" -- I noticed your husband tweeting cryptic messages about sinister Internet stalkers keeping you down, as if he's hoping people will think that's why you were fired from Babble, and play this mess so anyone who dares to say anything is just trying to "ruin" a poor, hard-working 27-years-young (OMG STOPIT) woman. Even though, again, I sense you two would not be nearly so kind to anyone who stole as much as a recipe photo from your blog.

I am not a bully. I am not a mean girl. I have never even engaged in a single Twitter argument with anyone and seriously, Internet drama gives me hives and I avoid it at all costs. I HATE this stuff, really and truly. I have no desire to "ruin" you or send people after you with torches and pitchforks.

However, I am a professional blogger with a brand and a reputation to protect. I am also a person with feelings who writes about those feelings and any and all significant (and insignificant) events in my life on the Internet. You stole -- over and over and over -- MY words, and made money and sponsorships and connections using them. So I will be writing about this today on my blog -- I have every right to, as I'm sure you understand -- and I will NOT be naming you or linking to you or anything.

But this is by no means a get-out-of-Internet-drama-free card. Mostly, I just don't care to send you the traffic. I imagine some people will figure it out. So tread carefully. Don't give the Internet what it wants, which is a drawn-out childish temper tantrum about what counts as stealing and plagiarism and what the definition of "is" is. Own what you did: I stole. I was stupid. I'm embarrassed and I am sorry and hoo boy, I will never, ever do it again. Pledge to earn your readers' trust -- and the trust of the brands and advertisers you attracted using someone else's words -- by giving them nothing but the brutal truth now.

I accept your apology for being very sorry you got caught. I still sense I am owed one for being serially -- and very deliberately -- plagiarized.

Sincerely,

Amy

PS. In the interest of full disclosure and transparency, I should note that some lines have been changed from my original response I sent directly to her, for reasons of timeline clarity or identification purposes.

PPS. And also that my "apology" email contained the following confidentially footer, that I willfully and knowingly ignored while copying-and-pasting her words: This email is intended only for the person(s) or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged, confidential, and protected. It is not to be disseminated, distributed, copied, or shared by others. On the plus side, though, I believe I clearly marked her words vs. mine with quotation marks and italics. So. There is that. 

PPPS. OMG THESE POSTSCRIPTS ARE IN ITALICS SO WHO IS TYPING THESE WORDS HOLY CRAP WORMHOLE NOOOOOOO...

Comments

Jenni Chiu

The ridiculousness is almost too much for me to handle. It's not a matter of being internet, or blogging savvy - it's a matter of right and wrong.

lindsey

Holeeeee Shit.

and honestly, since when is 27 sooooooo young? i'm here now. i know that stealing is bad, mmk? what rock was she raised under?

preach on!

Kat

Wow, I'm shocked at the gall she had in stealing your stuff AND posting it on a hugely popular website. How could someone not put two and two together?

No surprise. Her blog just seems fake to me, and poorly written (at least her "real" post). That girl needs some grammar lessons.

Lydia

Maybe she's ripping off writing from all kinds of other bloggers which is why she can't remember what she "wrote" and when. Add stealing to the list of pregnancy side effects!

Starbuck

Well said, Amy. I also read the apology to her readers, though not directly to you. I'm just really dumbfounded that people do this on the internet, of all places. I don't have a blog but I can't tell you how many of my sentences have started with "You know that girl, Amalah? Well she said..." I can't even verbally plagiarise you, lol. Although, if I tell you that I had "I am not made of magic" inscribed on the back of my iPod will you still be my friend?

Tammy N.

Longtime lurker here, wishing I had the talent to write like you do! So, found "that person's website" and put this:
Interesting. In your "About the Author" it states, "Kristin has been online and consistently creating new and original content under the Ordinary Life brand since 2006." REALLY? Shouldn't it also state that you've been plagiarizing Amalah.com since 2009 which makes the first statement a LIE? Shame on you.

I feel so much better now and you ROCK, Amalah.

Ann

Way to go girl! I am a long-time reader and I love that you stood up for yourself.

Starbuck

So as far as the blog of topic and the other blog Jules linked, if you aren't smart, funny or creative enough to post your own, original shit then get off the internet!!

Julie Marsh

Despicable. Even if she doesn't take your damage control advice, this story serves as a fabulous cautionary tale for anyone else who considers plagiarism a youthful folly.

Katie Allison Granju

Amy,

What a gracious, compassionate and yet, clear response to being robbed of both your identity and your intellectual property (which as it happens, is how you make a living). Plagiarism is always ugly, but when it's very clearly done for financial gain - theft with a profit motive - it's straight-up criminal.

I'm really, really sorry this happened to you, but you've now set the standard for our community in how to deal with it.

- Katie

-

Annie

UGH. So sorry you had to deal with all this. AGAIN. I think Babble should take action against her.

Bev

seriously, this is some messed up business. How someone could get this far in life without realizing that stealing can get you into trouble (and lose your job) is shocking.

Dakotapam

This woman has had my poop detector going off ever since her Pampers days. And her husband is her goon...he'll be after you...

Jessica

I love the confidentiality footer. I should put that on all my communications because obviously it's completely binding and means nothing I write in an email can ever be used against me.

In all seriousness, I also abhor the internet drama but sometimes you've just gotta say what needs to be said. Thanks for doing so.

Holly

People are just awful and horrible sometimes. Sucky sucky sucky.

I was introduced to you via the Zero to Forty pregnancy calendar, and LOVED it. And guess what? I forwarded (and continue to forward) the link to others I thought would like it too. Amazing. No one got hurt. But, I am also older than 27 and thus my head is not full of cheez whiz apparently.

CarrieP

Word. Your writing is your child as well, and you have every right to mama bear all up in this joint to protect it. But let me use this opportunity to stop lurking and say that you have evolved into "the" voice of the Internet for me: sincere, insightful, make-me-pee funny. If I could only read one blog, I would read yours. (Or hers I guess, since those words are yours.) (Too soon?)

Ellen Lloyd

Holy flip-ping CRAP!

Har yunno, I can come up with a possible reason why she "couldn't remember" what was written by you and written by her.

If she plagiarized you, why not others? What if nothing at all had been written by her and she wanted to save herself further embarrassment?

Totally likely, IMO.

Kari

I will be STUNNED if this person (1) is actually 27 and (2) is actually a mother and (3) even a woman.

My money is on the "husband." I just can't shake that spidey sense that this is a guy, pretending to be a married, 27 year old girl.

Elizabeth@Table4Five

I have been so mad since learning about this mess that I practically can't think straight. Why? Because I know the blogger being discussed, I have been her friend, her supporter, even her defender. "Look how much she has overcome in her life", I have said to people, "look how hard she works".

I feel like an idiot.

Also, you? Are unbelievably classy for taking the high road the way you are. You are right, if had stolen words from her? It would be World War III on Facebook and Twitter. There would be lawsuits and shit being slung about you, I guarantee it.

Babble shouldn't just fire her, they should ask her to send back the money she earned for posting a plagiarized article.

And if I read "I'm only 27" one more time....Tavi Gevinson from Style Rookie started blogging at THIRTEEN, and as far as I know, has never copied from anyone. Even her images in her header are credited in her sidebar!

Anyway, just wanted to let you know I am outraged on your behalf. I've been reading since, well, forever, and there is no one on this Earth that can write the way you do. I could never copy your words and claim them as mine because it would be so obviously not my writing!

If I could be any other blogger, I would be you and that isn't hyperbole. Go Team Amalah! :) xo

Nicole

So, I saw this from my Alexa toolbar about the article on Sheposts. And i can honestly say this does NOT surprise me about her.

She was fired from Momcentral 2 years ago for plagiarizing reviews. They will not work with her anymore.

Once a cheater always a cheater.

Jenn S

wow, just wow. skeeeeeetttttcccchhhhyyy. very sketchy. very glad she got her comeuppance.

Jenn S

also, does it make me evil that i snickered when i read her apology and started picking out errors like "I copied another writers words" instead of "writer's words"

Jesabes

Wow, I thought I was shocked before, but now that I've read the comments I'm dumbfounded. Other sites also plagarizing the Zero to Forty calendar? Kristin having plagarized elsewhere before, yet apparently still getting hired by other sites? WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE WORLD? Geez, people.

Love you and everything you write, Amy!

katina

Yeah - plagiarism. Suck. But as you said, I learned about it in 3rd grade when we had to make rhyming books - the teacher read a book called "Sheep in a Jeep" or something and my book was called "Sheep in a Jeep Say Peep."

The gardening blogosphere has also been having some plagiarism issues - both with pictures being used by businesses without permission and with entire entries being lifted (word for word, picture for picture).

Again. Suck.

Kira

For me, the creepiness comes less from the plagiarism (which is VERY creepy) and more from the fact that she thought she could get away with it. I teach elementary school and high school students, and nothing bothers me more than when they *think* they've gotten away with breaking or cheating the rules.
The rules are for everybody, regardless of age, sponsorships, or mental actuity. People who break the rules get punished. End of story.
Well-written, to the point, fantastic reply, Amy. :-)

Amber

Dude WTF?! I can't even. I don't have anything clever or insightful to say, just ugh. I am so incredibly sorry this happened to you. Karma will get her. Your pregnancy and sex life? Seriously.
Creeper.

Liz

Lucky for all the real writers, “I didn’t know” is not a legal defense to plagiarism. I am pretty of anti-litigious, but I do think you should sue her. Not like, take her house and starve her children, but just to have a civil case rule against her. She needs to be put out of business, because her business is FRAUD. She has broken more laws than just plagiarism, because she has profited from her plagiarism. Disney and all of her sponsors should be informed that her writing is not hers, and she therefore should not be paid for her words. They won’t want to touch her with a ten foot pole, for fear of being involved in any litigation and for tarnishing their name.

Not wanting to snark, but god, her site is a clusterfudge of flashing ads. She and her husband need a new line of business because this is perhaps the worst blog I have ever seen, stolen content aside. I feel sorry for their children, having greedy scam artists for parents. I’m sorry they violated your personal words, Amy.

Ang

Can you hear that???? It's the sound of Kristin's life as a "blogger" circling the toilet...Oh to be a fly on the wall at their house.

Misguided Mommy

So wait, how old is she?

Ryan

Awesome. Sorry to hear this happen to you but it
Sounds like you got this one in the bag. Great response to an icky situation. Way to go!

Poppet

I just had to! So I primed my "googling fingers" and the hunt was on! This, this- person is unbelievable! It's psycho-stalkerish how her life imitated YOUR life and it gave me the chills... This could be a movie... If you put your life and her life side by side and compare them, it's UNCANNY... It's like she didn't just COPY your snot out, she wanted to BE YOU! (googled amy+plagiarized+babble)

Erin @ The Speckled Palate

Way to stand up for yourself and put this all out there! Seriously. I'm disappointed in my generation and that someone who is the same age as me - WHO HAS CHILDREN! (and I do not) - doesn't know the difference between fair use and stealing. Disheartening, really.

May your post be cited as something that anyone should read... especially if they're considering passing off someone else's words as their own.

Moe

"_____ has been online and consistently creating new and original content under the _______ brand since 2006." Did you see this on the bio at the bottom of her homepage. I don't usually feel compelled to point out that my blogs are original. I kind of thought hat was a given...

Cassandra from TX

Wow. Didn't this happen to you once already? Like a looong time ago, some girl was copying your blog posts for her myspace blog (Myspace! Ha. Remember Myspace?)? Wow, I've been reading Amalah.com for a long time.

I'm sorry you have to go through this (again!). At least take comfort in knowing that the internet is on your side, and will never let Kristen Ruiz live this down.

Cassandra from TX

Wow. Didn't this happen to you once already? Like a looong time ago, some girl was copying your blog posts for her myspace blog (Myspace! Ha. Remember Myspace?)? Wow, I've been reading Amalah.com for a long time.

I'm sorry you have to go through this (again!). At least take comfort in knowing that the internet is on your side, and will never let Kristen Ruiz live this down.

Miriam

what a twat

Wallydraigle

Wait, you can be old enough to be have a husband and children (tiny little souls who depend on you to raise them to be ADULTS), but not be old enough to understand plagiarism? No, no, no. Even she doesn't believe that. This is what she came up with when she was thinking up sympathetic excuses.

When we learned about plagiarism in fourth grade (very first research paper), they scared it out of me so badly that I thought you could go to prison for it. I think I was like 13 before I realized you didn't go to prison for lifting words from someone else's Social Studies paper.

Also, how do you NOT REMEMBER copying and pasting entire articles from someone else? This isn't a reworded sentence or two that just barely cross the line of paraphrasing vs. quoting. Come on, lady! If you're going to write a blog post entitled "Owning It," well, OWN IT.

My Little Otter

"But, OFFICER, I didn't know I couldn't steal this car. I'm only 27!"

That's so cute that she thinks she is YOUNG at 27. At 27, I also had two children. If she's pulling the age card, she's an immature little you know what and I'm going to question any parenting decision she makes.

Suzy Q

Ok, I haven't read all of these many comments, but HOLY SHIT, this is the same conniving dipshit who got Kristine DQ'd from the Chrysler contest? Heh, karma's a bitch! And, I so rarely get to see it actually happen in my life.

Seriously, WOW, those are some huge-ass balls for a young 27-year-old "girl" to be carrying around. Unfortunately, she probably will be playing the victim card now.

Amy, as always, you have conducted yourself with dignity and humor, and, most importantly, proper
punctuation. Kudos!

WifeMotherMe

When I grow up I want to be as kind and gracious as you are. I want to be as understanding and I want to be able to take the high road in disputes and disagreements. I have always had a HUGE level of respect and admiration for you, but both counts just went through the roof. You had every right and every reason to just lay her out. I personally would have hunted her down at blog-her and punched her in the nose. I admire that you cut through the bullshit in the very insincere apology and cut right to the case of the matter. Yep I wanna be you when I grow up.

Kris

Unbelievable. So sorry this has happened to you. YOU are a funny, wonderfully talented writer. I can understand why someone would want to use your words but to actually do it. Geez . . . that's ugly and wrong.

Nina

Um, I'm 29, was married when I was 21, had a baby when I was 23 and then again when I was 26, my pregnancies were difficult, sometimes I get stressed, I blog to share my feelings (that is, MY feelings, not anybody else's), AAAANNNDDDD I've know that copying other people's writing was wrong since I was 7.

You are absolutely right when you say it's not about maturity; it's about integrity. Sorry you have to go through this. Obviously, this woman has major issues.

Tiffany

The problem is that her excuse is impossible to believe. Any writer should be able to easily identify her writing, regardless of how old the writing is. So, I have to believe that she knowingly made the choice to submit your writing to Babble as her own for pay, and that happened this week, not three years ago. I simply cannot believe she thought she wrote that post. Your writing styles are completely dissimilar. The only other explanation is that she so frequently plagiarizes others’ words that she cannot distinguish her words from words she stole, and that’s even worse.

Professional Critic

Echoing what others have said--you have handled this so gracefully. Just a quick glance at Kristen's website confirms she isn't half the writer you are. That she ever got any writing gigs at all makes me wonder how much of her stuff is stolen. Hopefully editors will vet their writers a bit more carefully from now on. Not that you're asking but I agree with others that legal action is appropriate--she gained financially from your work.

t

Amy,

Just joining the choir of support here. In addition to the plagarism, now you've also got this Big Deal spewing in a very public way across the Internets. WTF, yo. Take care, and breathe.

Hailey

I am so sorry! What a pathetic person to steal your words and stories. PATHETIC.

Oh and it's mommies that are stealing from you? Super lesson for their kids. Stellar parenting right there. Seriously.

I hope you lay the legal smackdown on her.

Serror

WOW. Just WOW. Amazing that she has her blog name with a TM after it on Facebook, talks about her own blog's branding, is a brand ambassador and major brand promoter through her blog, and has a giant copymark on the bottom of her blog yet was "too young" and to figure out that stealing is wrong. Or, now "can't remember." She obviously doesn't want anyone stealing from her. Geeze.

StatMom

OMG this one that Valerie above found -- even left in the reference to Noah! Too much work, I guess. Sheesh.

http://hansenslife2011.blogspot.com/2011/05/73-days-left.html

stephanie (bad mom)

Eloquent & maturely written, bravo.

As a teacher of teens (who will one day be 27 and I'm hoping much smarter), I do my damnedest each day to promote original thinking and demonize plagiarizing.
You're welcome. ;)

Jess

Girlfriend you're a saint. I'd be throwing fire bombs. FIRE. BOMBS.

Mom101

I am shaking angry, Amy. I feel it as though it was me.

This is not a mistake. It's a character flaw.

Chuck

"...I dont like people who cheat. I dont cheat, so others shouldnt cheat. I get your OK with cheating, but I am not, I dont care who you are. I would rather lose than cheat..." this is a comment made by her husband a week ago on another website about a seperate issue.Isn't plagarism cheating? I hope he still likes her after all of this..assuming he didn't know what a blogging cheat she is.

Tanya

I have to confess... a while ago, you wrote the term "Douche-Canoe" and I thought it was hilarious and so I read the sentence to my 18 year old son and well... he stole that term and says it all the time! Sorry! Love your writing and good for you for going at this girl with guns blazing!

MamaByTheBay

Awesome letter, and you are so composed and thorough...love it! Call me naive, but I am absolutely shocked that anyone would steal someone's writing at all! She clearly knew what she was doing, and obviously has other serious problems. This is like shoplifting...there's no "oops" about stealing. And as a newish blogger with big dreams of someday being paid for my writing, it really pisses me off when someone like her gets the chance and takes it for granted.

Jess

WOW, I'm so sorry that you had to deal with this! I don't blog much - and when I do it's for myself and my (maybe) 12 readers - but I would NEVER take someone else's words and use them as my own! For someone who has a lot of readers and has a paid job to blog - that is just absolute stupidity.

The apology on her blog is sort of a good start, but the fact that she basically said that pregnancy stressed her out and she made a mistake is ridiculous. Don't blame this on your pregnancy. Sure, hormones make you crazy and angry and sad, and if you are like me, they make you crave DQ. But I was never crazy enough to go in and hold up a DQ just because I was stressed out and pregnant and I needed an Oreo blizzard dammit! Why? Because it's WRONG. I feel like she kind of just insinuated that pregnant women (especially under the age of 28) are idiots and that makes me angry.

You did a great job here taking the high road. I'm not sure I could have done the same!

Beth

slow clap

the muskrat

When I was in the 9th grade, I got in trouble with my World History teacher for using a bunch of World Book Encyclopedia in a paper I wrote on the Korean War (or is it "Conflict"? Should we care?). It was just a rough draft, but I caught serious flack for copying the encyclopedia. I was sorry I got caught and sorry for doing it, as I knew better. On the final draft, I found new library books from which to steal words (i.e., not the encyclopedia)!

Acting like a pregnant 27-year-old doesn't know better is disingenuous at best. At worst? Fucking pathetic.

Janssen

Argh, I am just irate about this for your sake, of course, but also because I'm only 26(!) and I have no thoughts that it's a slick career move to swipe content from big bloggers. Just because you're young doesn't mean you're an IDIOT.

And dude, bashing you on Twitter? Way to keep it classy.

Beau

In the schools today, they so beat the plagiarism drum that my 10yo would not cut and paste the recipe for rock sugar crystals for notes (including the URL) for his science project.

Everyone makes mistakes, but how one recovers from the is what's truly important.

It sucks that you had to write this, but your writing reallly was funny.

Brie

You go, chick. I am amazed by the balls-out brazenness of someone who can sit there, confronted with straight up theft, and drop a BS non-apology apology about citations.

The college students I teach don't pull that nonsense, and most of them are much younger than 27. I didn't know 27 was the new 5.

JoLynn

Hi Amy, As you already know, we became friends when you and I worked at a Publishing Company and we were in our early twenties, and we, of course knew not to plaigarize. I adore your pregnancy journal and am glad that this situation came to light. Love your blog!

Wendy

Okay, I went over and read some of her stuff; how did no one question the inconsistencies in her writing? Her (what I assume is "real" writing is not very good. Stylistically, your writing is way different (better).

But, also? I almost feel sorry for her. Not for this; she was wrong. But damn, she likes the drama and being the victim. Seems to have some sort of personality disorder due to what seems like a really effed up childhood with trauma. And her husband appears to be a controlling d-bag. I am guessing she played up the age thing because, in so many ways, she is still very much an adolescent.

Alyssa

I'm 25. Barely. And I DO find the "only 27" excuse offensive! I would get my ass kicked out of college for doing half as much. One tenth as much! And I knew that well BEFORE I went to college because it was a life-rule, not just a school-rule. Rude!

Amanda

Honestly, none of us who started out blogging around the same time Kristin did are shocked by this. However, that doesn't excuse what she did or downplay how you must feel. As a long-time reader of your blog, I'm sorry she did this to you, but so damn glad someone with your influence called her out on what she has done to so many people over the years.

I am shocked that she was hired at all by Babble. I used to look at her blog and wonder what I was doing wrong and why I couldn't seem to achieve the ambassadorships and opportunities she was offered. Now I know that everything she has "earned" has been ill-gotten. Apparently, what others were saying about her and her creeper husband were absolutely true.

Lizneust

You are awesome, Amy - funny and classy even while furious. Kudos.

Anne

I'm 25 and know that plagiarism is wrong. I knew it was wrong when I was 10. Either she's the stupidest 27 year old alive, or she thinks everyone else is stupid enough to believe her. Either way, what a moron!

Mod Podge Amy

I write for Babble too - at The New Home Ec. I'm glad Babble handled it the way they did and your blog entry here is very respectful considering the circumstances. You said it all, and mostly I'm just sorry you have to deal with this.

lifewithgusto

Man, that is so fucked. I'm sorry that happened to you.

edenland

Bloody brilliant post.

Imagine how often this shit goes on .. and people don't get caught for it?

erin r

TEAM AMALAH. all the way. can we get shirts made?

Pam

plagiarism is one of the things that they instill in you from at least middle school on every year without fail. you are told that you will be expelled if you are caught doing so. so i call bullsh*t on this woman claiming ignorance. i'm glad you called her out, and you also did it in a very tasteful way here on your blog. i think i almost have a feeling who this could be, because i don't really know, but just a hunch. good luck with it all.

jgottlieb

Amy love your blog .....now you're my hero!

Pam

omgosh i was right in knowing who it was...all due to you mentioning how her husband got involved. yikes.

sarah

I usually read your work in my reader but after reading this post I busted on over to comment for the first time to show my support! Well said!!! And I'm sorry that it happened. :(

Katie

idk how you are going to ever have time to read all these comments, but I wanted to give you a virtual hug! Thank you for everything you write - not only does it provide me with entertainment but makes me think about being a mom (first baby 3 months)!

Diana

So sorry this happened to you Amy. As a 25 year old, who learned about plagiarism in grammar school, this person makes me sad. It's obvious this is not the first time she does this and you are not the only one she has done this to.
Lesson Learned: Don't plagiarize !

Christy

I am so sorry that this is happening. And reading some of the comments, it's not an isolated incident! Way to stay cool, just keep it up! I knew there was a reason you're my favorite blogger! :) Just remember, what goes around comes around and she (and the others that can't even bother to remove Noah's name!) will get theirs in the end!

Becca Lynn

Earlier, I was going to *not* post, because you're probably never going to read it, but UGH. I couldn't NOT say anything.


I have been following your blog since before Ezra was born. I followed your Zero-to-Forty pregnancy article every week, even when I wasn't pregnant. Then again when I was.

So, Obviously, I am a very loyal Amalah follower. I adore you, and have for years. So, this greatly upsets me.

When I was pregnant, I followed every word of your pregnancy "walk-through" as I called it. Because it was accurate, some-what knowledgeable, and REAL.

I didn't want to be preached to, but rather, I wanted to read the facts of my pregnancy without having HERE'S WHAT YOU SHOULD BE DOING AND IF YOU DON'T YOU SUCK.
Plus, you made me laugh every week. I felt your pain! I felt your joy! It was awesome!

During my own pregnancy, I wrote several times, and mentioned some of your words in the posts. However, I ALWAYS linked back to you and I ALWAYS put it in those fancy blockquote thingys. :-)

I was 23 when I was writing that. I am now 25.

Possibly the difference is that I'm not retarded? Or, that I'm and honest person.

Which she obviously is not. She lied by posting your words as her own, using them to gain popularity and readership, and she's lying now. I read her response. It's as insincere as her email to you.

I'm sorry, Amy. I agree. Internet drama is just... Dumb. :-/

Becca Lynn

Sorry. If you want me to prove that I quoted you and linked back to you, here's my blog.

Also, that was 2 years ago, and Yes. I remember exactly what I wrote, and without having to go back and look, I know beyond any shadow of a doubt that I quote and linked back to you.

Leigh Ann

SERIOUSLY. I only had a craft post scraped once (and I almost never do craft posts), and I felt so violated, I can't imagine had it been something personal. What an asshat.

Heather (Laptops to Lullabies)

Well said! I can't believe someone would do that, and I'm glad she got caught.

Oh, and I'm 28 and VERY insulted that she seems to think being 27 is the equivalent to being a moron or something.

Charlotte

Wow, just wow. Finally had an evening to sit down and read some of my favorites blogs and find this. Some people are just too much. And no, 27 is not excuse. I wouldn't use "I'm only 14" as an excuse from my freshmen students when they plagiarized either. Big fat "F" my friend. Wow!

Michelle

Wow! Just came across this whole issue today and found your website through that. (So glad I did! There's a lot of cute posts!) So sorry to hear you were plagiarized. What a horrible thing to have happen. This is my first time visiting you blog but I think you are handling this with a lot of poise. More than I think I would be able to!

ememby

I'm nearly 34 which makes me very old and perhaps senile (wacky Internet age reasoning, yo) so I guess it would be all right for me to borrow your words for some of my own posts, right? Because I can't possibly know any better... forgive me?

In all seriousness, I'm sorry this happened to you but I'm glad you found out about it. And glad you are standing up for yourself, as you should!

Candace

Oh my gosh I read this and was appalled and then fear clutched my heart because I know I posted about your pregnancy calendar during my pregnancy because it's the best damn resource on the Internet for pregnant moms. So I went back to 2008, and you know what? I CITED YOU! When I was 25! And had never blogged before! And knew no rules! Because, gosh gee, I don't know instead of copying and pasting your words (and posing them as my own) I just posted the link to your article, because I DID NOT WRITE IT! So 1. Am so glad that at the young young age of 25 I was SO smart ;o) and 2. SO GLAD SHE WAS FIRED. Yikes.

Sarah

I stumbled upon this fiasco thru Wendi Aarons. I just cannot believe someone would think they could get away with that. What a fool. Sorry that happened to you.

roo

What she did is wrong, no matter the circumstance.

But you are such a well-known, widely read blogger-- why wouldn't it occur to her your words would be recognizable?

And then to use your words on a website YOU were writing for?

She must be terminally stupid.

And, given her response (yes, I checked her site out of morbid curiosity) she strikes me as the sort of vapidly "pretty" person who has been able to use her prettiness and victim-y innocent act as her ticket out of ever having to work hard, her whole life.

But when that doesn't work, the secret claws come out...

Maybe not. I don't know her. But I feel like I've met the type before.

I hope she fails. Miserably.

Della

Uh oh, shit gon' get real all up in da house.

...

Furthermore, can authors not sue in situations like this, since the plagiarizer actually received payment for the use of the real author's words? Doesn't this seem like the *appropriate* situation for a lawsuit, not a suit-happy wishful thinking situation?

Della

Amending my previous comment (after reading more from others) to add: seriously... if she's done it before, she needs a lawsuit, or she's going to do it again. She may still, even, but at least it'll be easier for the next person to "out" her with the winning suit on the books.

Maxine Dangerous

I agree that you were much nicer than I would've been. Plagiarizers are weenie heads. (Vast understatement.)

Ali

Hat tip to you, my dear. You are a class act. I am a long time reader and I will keep coming back for more because you make me laugh out loud more than anyone else.

I also LOL'd at this, don't know if you've seen it but pretty freaking hillarious:

http://www.avitable.com/2012/03/13/our-plagiarized-life-or-blogging-101-what-not-to-do/

Jessica

Seriously? Some dumbshit tried to pass off her writing as yours? Wow. That absolutely dumbfounds me that she thought she wouldn't get caught. I don't mean to sound like an elitist, or maybe I do, but people like her are part of what's wrong with America. Nothing surprises me anymore. And the thought that she could try and make those weak apologies? Fucking classic. Amy - I so adore you, and if I'd ever read this moron's blog I would have instantly known what she was doing because your voice and viewpoint are so unique and fabulous I heart you as much as I can possibly heart another person. She, and her dumbass husband, should be horrifically embarrassed. Their behavior seriously defies description. Thank you for calling her out - I wouldn't have known otherwise and her behavior is complete bullshit. I love you and your family and will read you til one of us kicks it. Thank you for putting it all out there every week - you make me realize I'm either not batshit nuts, or there are a whole bunch of us storming the planet. Pardon any typos - typing on a smart phone because I'm so irate couldn't wait. Love you and your family!!!

Kelly

Asshole, that's a word right?

Rachael

Ugh. That sucks. I'm sorry. This is a really good letter/post though. Because you are awesome!

Ashley Fitting

Holy fucking hell... People are idiots

Cyn

I'm sickened by this, Amy. I've been reading your blog for years, and I've never heard of this twit. I agree with the posters who say you should get a lawyer. We're all out here reading, and on your side. After reading the comments here, I did figure out who this person was, and I commented on her "apology"...though I doubt it will be posted. I hope other lurkers will speak up, too--and let this bitch know who she's dealing with. Keep rocking, Amy--you're the best one out there.

Caitlin

I'm a Public Relations student at the University of Oregon. One of my classes this term had us start our own blogs and a friend mentioned they really like your style of writing. I'm so glad you called her out for using the age card because we definitely started learning about plagiarism in middle school. I am 22 years old and I'd say I've done a good job of citing/referencing other posts in my own new blog, and every teacher I've ever had has stressed how important it is to give other people credit for their work. I hope that not only the 27-year-old takes this to heart but that other people who have plagiarized will stumble upon this post and realize why it's such a big issue!

Sarah

Just wanted to add my name to the chorus of people here cheering you on, and in particular I wanted to thank you for writing this blog, giving so much to all of us, and for continuing to do so despite these knocks. Much love to you.

tila

I read your blog all the time. I have laughed and cried! I have identified with SO much on your blog. But I would NEVER steal your words! That is like stealing a part of you. It's wrong and totally disrespectful.

Oh, and did I mention... I'm also 27.

Steph

I guess I should start by saying that I know Kristin and I do consider her a friend. I, however, in no way condone what she did. It was so very wrong. (and I've told her that). I wanted to comment and say thank you Amy for being so truly classy is this situation. Honestly, I don't know many people who would be this nice after being hurt so deeply. You are a great example to us all on taking the high road.

I hope that you and Kristin can find peace with this awful situation.

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