I Feel Utterly Betrayed!


In the last few days I was publically subjected to an accusation of plagiarism online because of the publishing of a short story I had written. The owner of the site in question where it occurred has turned out to be nothing more than a ‘fair weather friend’.

Far from stopping the whole sorry affair before it had even begun, the accusation was allowed to stand. Instead of jumping in to protect their site’s No:1 contributor – myself, the site owner chose to do nothing! Had they at least ensured their site had comment approval, allowing either them or the contributor to decide whether or not a new comment was, at the very least inflammatory, or in this case downright slanderous, the accusation would not have appeared.

To say that I feel hurt, betrayed, let down and angered would be a major understatement. For several years I have enjoyed a working relationship with the site in question. It would be true to say that up until a few days ago I thought the site owner was an honorable human being. It appears I was grossly mistaken.

Despite my asking them to do the decent thing, the site owner has done and said nothing of consequence. Instead they chose to bury their head in the sand. Should they read this, I hope that their conscience is bothering them right now. I know that if I was the owner of the site, mine certainly would be. But then again if I was responsible for the site, I would not have allowed the incident to even get off the ground in the first place.

While its true that most online relationships are usually good ones, sadly some are not. Do I feel utterly betrayed?

Sadly yes…

17 thoughts on “I Feel Utterly Betrayed!

  1. I have not read “All Quiet On The Western Front”, and I did not read “The Letter”, but I did read all of the comments there.

    If I were in your shoes, Jack, the evidence given would certainly put doubts in my mind, perhaps not enough to admit I was wrong, but that I could be. Sometimes, being “right” (irrespective of how much you believe the rightness) cannot shield a reputation from damage.

    Look for ways to make some lemonade out of these lemons, Jack. The people commenting on that short story didn’t strike me as being vindictive so with some luck this will all blow over soon.

    Kind regards,


    • I haven’t read “All Quiet on the Western Front” either Steve, nor have I ever seen the film. Since all this blew up consequently I’ve been informed by several of my fellow writers that two versions of the film were made…


    • The ‘attack’ on me is typical of all cyber bully attacks Steve. They’re clever, first they pass a veiled remark to get your attention. When you make inquiries, they strike. Most examples of this type of attack usually occur on sites like Goodreads and Amazon. The completely open site in question is a gift to the ‘cyber bully’. I’m surprised that more of them haven’t surfaced there before now…


      • Hey Jack,
        I hate plagiarism with a passion, if I had written “All quiet of the western front” then maybe I would be be drawing parallels between your story, but honestly I only think two of them are relevant: The drawing of a bird and the name Paul among a troop of Germans.
        The soldier dying at the med station and the protagonist’s death happening on a quiet day is simply coincidence, those events probably occur in many stories. To say that the date (1918) is also plagiarism or that the soldier is German is simply clutching at straws.
        Your attacker made a remake about “a dozen different issues” but could only list eight, some of which are complete rubbish however, the two parallels are quite strong.
        Plagiarism or coincidence is not for me to decide, but I definitely did see an attack on you and an attempt to defame or humiliate you by having your story disqualified. Anyway, my advice Jack is to pick yourself up, turn your back on them and walk away from that website ^_^


  2. I am fortunate i have not read or seen All Quiet On The Western Front. As I commented on the story on your site, it is a vignette seen repeatedly in a war and what I took away was the futility of war. Referring to a specific war as you were, makes it even more likely to have similarities if All Quiet… was dealing with WWI.

    Paul was and is a common name – God knows, my husband, Father in law, son, two nephews, and myself have it in common. I felt the sensitivity in the character because of his talent for drawing, again a common talent, some good, some great within my immediate and extended family. Mindlessly standing up amidst danger, again, is a common happening world wide, and close to home where a life was lost, so to me the story held a pathos that struck a chord.

    If this type scene was used in the aforementioned story, to me it would be pure circumstantial as it would be common to war.

    It would seem that the object was to get you disqualified from the contest and that was accomplished by making accusations that were unfounded. When I heard about the charges, I put your story through an online grammatical help site where it did NOT cite any plagiarism – and that would have been, if it was. I did not expect it to be as I know from dealings with you, you are honorable.

    There is a limited number of scenarios and a major theme that runs through all is good vs evil, one or the other prevails. Unfortunately, we have at the best, self righteousness prevailing, or evil used in the guise of good to remove an opponent seen as superior.


    • You said, “There is a limited number of scenarios” Paula. That certainly applies to the First World War. Men on all sides spent years cooped up in damp dugouts and filthy trenches. You are quite right, Paul is a common name, something which my attacker should have realised before he ran off at the mouth… 😉


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