Tuesday, January 9, 2007

DovWeasel Comes Up for Air

OK. I know I promised to return to my hole, but things I have seen on various blogs has forced me to emerge for another (final?) post.

1. DovBear has linked to a post by Renegade Rebbetzin, which reports on a review she did of DovBear's blog using a plagiarism detection website called copyscape, which showed only a few other instances of plagiarism not detected by me. She concludes by giving DovBear her "Seal of Approval." DovBear's post read as follows:
The most respected name in Jewish-blogging has checked my blog for further instances of plagiarism. Her results can be found here.
The implication is that Renegade Rebbetzin's integrity is so great that her "Stamp of Approval" is, to quote the title of DovBear's post, the "Epilogue" to the DovBear plagiarism revelations.

I was perfectly content with the way DovBear apologized and corrected his previous posts and had no plans to re-emerge. But this attempt to procure this supposed "clean bill of health" is laughable. No offense to Renegade Rebbetzin, but while she may or may not be "the most respected name in Jewish-blogging," she is by no means impartial when it comes to DovBear. As anyone who has been reading either blog for any period of time knows, DovBear and Renegade Rebbetzin have a rather longstanding, warm relationship. In fact, Renegade Rebbetzin has referred to DovBear (or "Dovie," as Renegade Rebbetzin calls him) at least 46 times!!! Some might call her fixation on DovBear a bit odd. Either way, she should by no means be serving in judgment of DovBear.

Second, this "Seal of Approval" comes more than two weeks after the revelations were first made. I don't know if DovBear changed any posts prior to Renegade Rebbetzin's review, but her "Seal of Approval" is no proof that he didn't.

Third, the review in question does not prove that DovBear's website is clear of plagiarism other than the instances identified by me and in Renegade Rebbetzin's post. All it shows is a lack of plagiarism from online sources. As the resource used by Renegade Rebbetzin makes clear, it is only designed to identify plagiarism of online content. For all we know, DovBear's site could be full of plagiarism from non-Web based material. I don't know this to be the case, but it cannot be ruled out based on Renegade Rebbetzin's review.

2. This post makes my blood boil. He concludes:
But Renegade Rebbetzin's findings also point to another possibility. The anonymous blogger who outed DB, the so-called DovWeasel, appears to have miraculously found the only instances of plagiarism in over 3000 posts. He claims to have done so in two hours of looking. How could that be true unless he used plagiarism software to find them? I believe he did or was fed the information by someone else who did. That would make his claim that the 12 (or 14) cases found were the "tip of the iceberg" false and intentionally misleading. Worse than that, when combined with how DB was outed, it points to a hit, an organized attempt to destroy DB. That indeed is what I believe happened.
The logic of this post is so twisted and full of holes, but I guess I can't expect more from this guy. First, for the umpteenth time, I did not use any special plagiarism software. All I did is review DovBear's archives and selectively copied and pasted text into Google from posts that used good spelling and were too formal and well-constructed as compared to DovBear's usual output. This wasn't too difficult. I skipped posts that included phrases like "Still, the announcment put into my head an impertanent question," or "These are ordinary kids, then, ordinary kids, the sort of kids who flourish when given love and patiance and understanding." I had a feeling that those egregious cases of bad spelling and horrific usage somehow didn't make it past the rigorous copy editing that separates DovBear from TNR and Slate. The entire checking process took a couple of hours. In any event, Renegade Rebbetzin's identification of additional instances of plagiarism proves that I did not use any special tools. If I did use special software, wouldn't I have found those examples as well?

Second, when did I say that "the 12 (or 14) cases found were the 'tip of the iceberg'"? Never. Maybe Robert Avrech did, but I am not Robert Avrech. I have suggested that we don't know whether there are other cases, but that's a very different claim than the one Failed Messiah says I made.

Failed Messiah's final point is that the "tip of the iceberg" claim (which I never made) "when combined with how DB was outed" (DovBear was outed?) "points to a hit, an organized attempt to destroy DB." I don't understand this statement. Suppose I did use plagiarism software. How does that show this was "a hit, an organized attempt to destroy DB" any more than if I had spent hours and hours going through the site post by post with Google?



like anyone gives a shit.take the bear out back and kill him like da animal dat he iz

Anonymous said...

Oh shut the fuck up already.

Tzemach Atlas said...

Thank you for the update.

TheTruth said...

DovBear never thought he was wrong, liberals never think their wrong, they only think how they can spin this and what do the polls say. He knew he had to apologize to protect himself so he "did the right thing" but he never actually thought what he did was wrong and to him, your just picking on him.

I'm particularly ashamed at RenReb for writing that post. She of all people should be outraged and instead of letting her obvious bias towards DB should, it would have come off as truly the most respected act if she were to just admit while she liked DovBear, wrong is wrong.

Keep up the good work, don't let the bullies get ya down.

The back of the hill said...

liberals never think their wrong

What a moronic thing to say.

But then, you probably do not think that you are wrong, do you?

Anonymous said...

you are an idiot.

kishke said...

You're doing fine. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

What a commentary on Jewish teaching and morality that people are debating whether or not it is wrong to "borrow" without permission. All of the explanations ("it's only a few posts", "it's only a blog", "he didn't intend to plagarize", "he didn't hurt anyone") all speak to a culture where morality is relative. Is it okay to steal just because someone else has more -- even (or especially) if that "more" is words or ideas? Is it okay to steal as long as you don't take too much? (And what is too much, anyway?) Maybe stealing doesn't matter as long as you don't know the owner of the objects you are taking? (Especially because he is not a member of your community anyway.)

It is enlightening to watch men who are clearly deeply educated in Torah -- liberal or not -- display such a lack of moral conscience. A light unto the nations, yeah, right.

Caralee said...

Interesting to know.