Backlinks / Basic blogging / Blogging Tips / content curation / Copyright / increasing traffic / internet relationships Misunderstanding and Misinformation

Opinions that have no basis in fact and are fueled by misinformation and emotionality may plump up your stats and comments, but that kind of discussion environment is not one most bloggers benefit from. Worse still, when one fails to research before publishing that slip can be a hard one to recover from.

All Rights Reserved – Any content reblogged from one cool site must adhere to the terms of © Copyright

What I’d like you Readers to do first, is to to read this post of mine: More Traffic and Backlinks for Your Blog:

twitter bird is a free content curation service that enables people to publish newspapers containing promotional links and excerpts from many sites based their choice of topics and drawn from RSS Feeds. You can use a issues to share news with your readers daily, twice daily or weekly. You can also use the Twitter @mention option to notify followers that your page has been published.

Please take a close look at an example of what is displayed in issues. Note that only the link and an excerpt appear for each entry. This is an example of fair use. No content theft ie. no copyright violations take place because the full articles are not being republished.

Republishing an excerpt, correctly identifying the author of it, and providing a link back to the original post is the correct protocol.

That protocol insures you are not violating copyright law, and encourages any reader who wants to read the full post to click the link and visit the original post on its author’s site. – Copyright basics for bloggers

Copyright Clarity

Bloggers need to be mindful that there are Fair Use principles that permit the certain use of material without express permission of its creator. When it comes to The Limitations of Fair Use  this advice has and will continue to stand the test of time: Focus on commentary and criticism; Use as little of the work as possible; Attribute obsessively; and Focus on transformation.


If one or more links and excerpts of your articles are published in a paper that means they are being promoted to a wider audience, which increases the chances that your site will attract new followers, and the bonus is that your site gets a backlink for every article featured. The number of backlinks a site gets contributes to the site’s Google pagerank.

If you experience situations where you are annoyed or offended by what another has published, the best course of action is never publishing a rant, nor is it publishing an article pleading for advice. If you do either of those, of course, there will be flocks bloggers, who don’t have the facts but who will eagerly post their support, and that may lead to nasty comments from the blogger you were annoyed with. The alternatives are not to publish, or if you do publish, and you do receive nasty comments then don’t approve them.

No blogger wants to establish the kind of online reputation based on publishing posts that elicit emotional comments based on misunderstanding and misinformation, and surely not from eliciting comment exchanges with people, who may not be mentally stable. That is why the best course of action is direct communication off-site with the person concerned. It’s also why comment moderation is a good thing.

I took the direct  off-site communication route I took when I discovered an issue of a paper had been announced with a Twitter @mention to my account, but no articles of mine were appearing in that issue. The paper’s publisher immediately responded to my request to stop the Twitter @mentions please and our relationship remains an amicable one.

If you fail to clearly comprehend what constitutes a copyright violation, and fail to keep your blogging cool, know that after all is said and done, you and your blog will pay the price, because approving and publishing Dumb Comments by Others Makes YOU Look Dumb.

 Related posts:
Attribution is not Permission
Plagiarism, Attribution, Citation, Quotation
What is copyright?

40 thoughts on “ Misunderstanding and Misinformation

  1. This is a very informative post. Thank you for taking the time to write so thoughtfully on fair play, content curation, best practices on keeping online relationships amicable and Although curation and aggregation and tightly integrated into social sharing today, there is still a lot of education needed around this topic.

    As the topic itself evolves, our service also evolves to ensure that publishes have the control they need to create positive interactions and impressions with the community. We are very thankful for the feedback from both publishers and bloggers that keeps evolving in the right direction for both.

    Your comment a few weeks back about not being able to find the edition you were mentioned in is an example: we’re looking into how we can change the archiving logic to link to each edition, not the current edition. We truly want this to be a win for bloggers, publishers and people sharing content.

    – Kelly

    • Hi Kelly,
      Thanks for your comment here. I deleted my site because I didn’t have the kind of control I wanted over what appeared in my issues, and because the past issues don’t have permanent URLs. As evolves I will stay tuned in because one day it I may choose to use it again.

  2. You probably have a million awards, but I’m nominating you for 2 anyway! You have taught me so much and encouraged me more than you could ever know! Please check out my last post and follow the instructions should you choose to accept. And if you are still feeling under the weather, I hope you get better soon!!

    • You are so sweet but I don’t do awards. Please forgive me but I’m practicing for a concert and I love to sing so much that I’m neglecting my two blogs to create enough time to sing in.

  3. Thank you for explaining to me what the heck is all about. I’ve wondered when I see it on Twitter, but never investigated.

    Your negative experience, whatever it might have been, reminds me of Gina Trapani’s famous line: “Do not feed or tease the trolls.”

    Amen, sister.

    • Hi there Ally,
      I just realized I had not acknowledged your comment and I’m sorry I didn’t. You are right quoting Gina -never feed trolls. I will add:

      Never ever get into it with a person who appears to be mentally unstable. If you let any nutter use your blog comments or social network page,etc as a showcase for the symptoms that ails them, it can backfire by making you look either too dumb to notice their condition, or mean-spirited for leading them on.

  4. Thanks for the link to Dumb Comments – it was a good read. I rarely have to delete something that gets through the spam filter, but I did get one meek troll.

    Fortunately, I have thoughtful commenters and I think they add to the discussion.

    • Hi Jamie Ray,
      I’m glad you read that article and appreciated it. It’s a good one. Most bloggers don’t recognize that we are publishers, who are in the content marketing business, and that applies whether or not we charge others to access our content. Taking untenable stands on legal issues like copyright and approving dumb comments either (1) makes us look like we are dumb (2) or that we are trying to increase traffic by stirring up controversy.

  5. I subscribe to two feeds, one for M.E and one for Stockport. I find them useful to a certain extent but don’t read them every day as they tend to be repetitive. To be honest, I didn’t know they just picked up on other posts, Twitter feeds, etc. (you know what a technept I am).

    It also never occurred to me that I could comment on them.

    Sorry to hear you had a bad experience, but that’s the nature of the internet beast. Will you try again in the future?

  6. I don’t know what prompted this post (and I’m sorry to hear that whatever it was made you feel sad) but I have found it incredibly useful. So thank you.

    There’s a post I’ve been wanting to write for a while which includes excerpts from published academic papers. I haven’t written it in the way I originally intended because I assumed I would be breaking copyright law. I didn’t really understand the principles of fair use as linked to in your post.

    I’m going to write my post as I originally intended and include a paragraph justifying the excerpts according to those principles along with a promise to remove the post if the original author (who will be fully credited and referenced) objects to it. I always learn something new from your posts! :) x

    • Hi Kerry,
      I’m glad you found this post to be helpful. I would like recommend that you read the related posts I linked to in the post and especially, Plagiarism, Attribution, Citation, Quotation

      You do not need to include a paragraph justifying your use of any properly attributed quotes. You do not have to promise to remove anything at all.

      I do not advise doing so because it will contribute to the misinformation that already prevails, by implying that you are not clear about copyright and the principles of fair use.

  7. Hi — Not sure what happened but I reviewed it all … What I got was it’s not polite to say anything unless it’s a positive for all .. we get enough negative to start with! Also I was unable to respond before but I think I rep[lied and when one is down a friend or even good acquaintance never abandons them … If Jesus wouldn’t do it then I can’t either nor should anyone … I’m here for whatever and not to worry — just get well! Rick =) YOU’re in prayer! Blessings

    • The world is full of negativity, and it takes just as much energy to take offence, when none is intended, as it does to deliberately offend another.

    • No one has to play. We are all volunteers. If we choose to play, then we need to educate ourselves in the rules, or we may become the ball that’s kicked through the goal posts of reality.

  8. I hate that the world is full of misunderstanding and such opinionated people. Posting a nasty blog about ANYONE is merely a desperate attempt to get supporters, to boost ones ego. “I’m right, they’re wrong, cheer me on guys!” What is wrong with the mentality levels here?

    I have no idea what you are talking about, but I get the idea someone wrote something nasty about you, or offended you in some way, as my dad has always said… consider the source. If this is in fact the case, you are absolutely right.

    I’m fairly new to blogging, and I’ve yet to come across any nastiness. In fact, everyone has been extremely supportive. I’m sorry that you’re sad. It’s such a waste of time. Be thankful that you aren’t that nasty person.

    You don’t rant negativity. You don’t need a cheering section to make yourself feel better. You just continue being you and be truly grateful your mind has evolved to a level much higher than those who do such rants.

    Wishing you peace and happiness…

    • No that’s not correct. No one published anything nasty about me at all. I apologize for not being clear enough for you to understand that. But when it comes to the rest of your comment, I’m with you. :) Check the source, do your homework, and avoid ranting online and/or getting into nasty comment exchanges.

      Yours in peace and happiness,

  9. I make it a practice not to use my blog for ranting and raving. And I make an effort not to do either in the comments I make. Seems to be the best practice.

  10. So is this online magazine a good or rotten thing? At a glance it seems like a copyright violation regardless of the fair use claim.

    • SIGH … What you are witnessing is promotion, not a copyright violation, John. There is no copyright violation at a glance or even close up.

      Bloggers are publishers, who have a responsibility to know what they are about when it comes to copyright and fair use. Consider this please. If we are not quoted and our posts and sites do not receive backlinks, they do not achieve a decent pagerank, and we do not establish authority in our niche, simply because no one considered our content to be valuable enough to post a snippet (quote) from and backlink to the original source.

      If and when links to our posts and snippets (quotes) from our text appear in publications like, we are NOT being ripped off. Snippets of our properly attributed content is being promoted to a wider audience in an online newspaper. We do NOT have any legal grounds to stand on by asking for removal and doing that makes us appear to be dummies who do not understand what fair use and copyright are.

      The post that prompted me to publish this one is a case of a blogger, who was not educated in copyright law and fair use. The blogger took the untenable position that permission is required to publish properly attributed excerpts from his/her posts in, when she/he did not have a legal leg to stand on.

      P.S. Read the Terms of Service and know that we agree to allow to publish our posts in their Reader and it is, in essence, an online magazine. Also note that reblogging is fair use. Lastly, note that any of us can publish properly attributed excerpts from any online publication, without breaching copyright.

  11. Always fact check by authoritative neutral sources. Always.
    Comment moderation is a good thing. Staying calm is important – sometimes best to walk away for a bit.
    Those that are just after ratings…not worth returning to read or pay attention to.
    Always enjoy your insights

  12. Having your work hijacked and uncredited would make most folks hopping mad! I do give credit to quotes and photos I use. In one recent case, the photographer said his work was free for people to use and just asked that people notify him where it was being used. I got his permission and sent him a link to my post.

    It is gratifying to know that people respond to your blogs. I love the thoughtful and humorous insights people have made to mine. To go to extreme lengths to boost readership, however, would be as “M-R” above says “exhausting.”

    • Hi Judy,
      I think M-Rs comment may have led you astray. The important take away from my post is that bloggers need to conduct themselves responsibly. Do not ever accuse anyone of a copyright violation, when what has taken place is fair use, and if you don’t know what fair use is, then educate yourself.

  13. Are many bloggers really do driven to increase their readership, Titi ? – that must be exhausting.
    And what has made you grumpy such as to cause the intro. to this post ?

    • Yes there are many bloggers that blog on controversial topics simply because they know they can crank it up and get lots of comments. But in this case that wasn’t the case at all. The whole nasty business was based on misunderstanding. I also didn’t mean to sound grumpy. In fact, I am sad.:(

        • Bloggers are publishers, M-R. They ought to know the basics of copyright law and be clear about fair use. If they don’t, and then they huff and puff or cry the blues when in fact no copyright violation has occurred, and if their commenters support their untenable position, and nasty comment exchanges take place, then they all look dumb.

          • Fairy nuff. As you’re dealing with us from morning to night, I can see that it must become overwhelmingly tiring to come across the same things, day in, day out …

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