War erupts over stolen SA tweets

2013-10-24 12:45


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - A war has erupted over the alleged theft of tweets in South African business reporting.

According to a report on Mybroadband, Business Day TV complained that rivals CNBC Africa had copied tweets relating to the former's pronouncement on the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement.

A Business Day tweet on the spending on debt service was copied by CNBC Africa without giving credit or retweeting from Business Day.

CNBC apologised, and blamed the tweet on an intern.

The issue has highlighted the fragile state of news reporting in an online environment where sharing of information has created an atmosphere of content producers feeling that they being taken advantage of.

Some organisations have appealed to the courts to limit the ability of so-called news aggregators to be able to share content, but the law has not been properly tested, especially as far as sharing on social networks is concerned.

Academic plagiarism

In academia, the issue of plagiarism is more clearly defined and there have been examples of academics who have passed off the work of others as their own.

Researcher Shao Yiming was charged with plagiarism after publishing a paper in the Lancet. It is alleged that the researcher used the work of several authors without permission.

On social networks like Twitter, the sharing of information makes charges of plagiarism a gray area because the information is submitted on a public platform.

Social media experts have said that social network users should be aware of the repercussions their statements can have.

"I think that social media users need to wise up a little; they need to become a little bit more sensible as digital citizens," social media consultant for Afrosocialmedia Samantha Fleming told News24.

The relative anonymity of the internet also plays a role in what people choose to say online.

"The first and most noticeable is that people do things and say things in the online world that they would never do or say in the real world. People hide behind what they think is the anonymity of the internet to say things they would never say in the real world," said Webber Wentzel social media lawyer Emma Sadleir.
Read more on:    twitter  |  social networks

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.