Publishing twitter, particularly romance twitter, has been abuzz because of an author having plagiarized many MANY (almost 30 last I saw) in her works. It's a fascinating thing, so if you want to check out what went down, go ahead. Roberts touches on it and the key hashtag that came out of it in her post.
Anyway. This is about me. Last May, as some of you may already know, a reader told me someone, at the time going by the name starbucksXlove, had used my stories, Filthy Words and Filthy Acts, to make a work called Voyeur. I was stunned, upset, and immediately filled out an abuse report. I didn't do any public callouts. I wanted it to be handled officially.
ETA: I wanted to add that comments on Voyeur were moderated. I knew they would never approve a comment from me, or anyone else, accusing them of plagiarizing, so they clearly were trying to avoid being called out. I obliged - I didn't feel like a potential dogpiling situation would have done anyone any good. So. Official channels only and vague tweeting about it.
So I waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. And five weeks later, I wrote an angry tumblr post, and then went to bed. And then the next day, still upset, I went to look at the plagiarized work but it was gone. Gone! I was able to pretty easily track down starbucksXlove under their new username - it didn't last long, whatever they changed it to, they shortly changed it once more to DaddyCablepool - and they had, just that day, posted a new cowritten work with the person who had supposedly beta'd the plagiarized work.
I was livid. Had they seen my tumblr post and then deleted the work and changed their name to try to avoid consequences? Because they were clearly still posting work, so AO3 had clearly not done anything to them. (In hind sight, the cowriter credit may have been a posting workaround. AO3 never told me that the writer received any kind of warning or restriction.) I wrote to AO3 to ask if abuse had taken it down, and that I'd been waiting FIVE WEEKS.
Abuse said they were the ones who deleted it, and they had a backlog of complaints and these things take time, etc, etc. etc. Except Abuse also says that they sort complaints due to priority, so my complaint of PLAGIARISM was in the "get to it in five weeks" category of priority.
I'm still so angry with that writer and so frustrated with AO3 Abuse.
I then saw that DaddyCablepool was running a big bang for Cablepool, and after some consideration with awesome twitter folks, I made a post saying, hey, guys, the mod plagiarized me, maybe don't give them your unposted works. I got a very small handful of likes, a "yikes," comment, and a "uh, do you have proof?" comment.
So. You know. That was fun and totally useful.
Right now, DaddyCablepool is no more. DarkDesires, BeniciHOE, and DarkHartwinCasuality are all current AO3 names for starbucksXlove on AO3 as of writing, and they may have others. These are all DIFFERENT AO3 accounts, some new, and one dating back to 2016 and would have been the one using the starbucksXlove name at some point. They change names all the time. I sometimes check to see if I can find any more evidence of plagiarism. So far, I haven't. Which good, don't fucking plagiarize.
But it took five weeks of me sitting on my hands waiting for Abuse to deal with it, because I didn't want to call them out publicly. Not that I have a PLATFORM for that kind of thing. And I don't know if Abuse even DID anything other than take the fic down. I would have thought that would be a potentially banning offense (this wasn't subtle) but clearly a no. I guess it's good to know for plagiarists on AO3 that you can just change your name, maybe start a new pseud with a new email address on the side, and go chugging on your merry way.
Then again, it didn't slow Cassandra Clare down, so hey. Why should AO3 try to be any better than ff.net and worry about plagiarism?
I'm not a great writer. I'm not Nora Roberts, I'm not Courtney Milan. But no one should have to deal with this kind of shit.
(The following images show the now deleted "Voyeur" fic as well as a side by side comparison of a passage to my work. In that image, my work is on the left, and the plagiarized work is on the right.)