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I was recently accused of plagiarism and this is a summary of the process that I think could be improved.

Once a moderator is notified of possible plagiarism, the post can be deleted even before you have been notified that you might be guilty.

That's OK in my opinion, a temporary hold is required until the issue is resolved.

In the reference to plagiarism, (which in fairness is probably boilerplate text) you are told "you could probably get away with"..."and shrugging the issue off won't do".

I feel there is a lack of sensitivity and balance when making a serious charge of plagiarism and wording similar to the above should be revised and the user given a chance to make his or her own defence.

I simply want to have a charge of plagiarism dealt with exactly the same way as if the site was the same as any serious institution, with no immediate punishment, other than obviously a temporary hold, a notice of the charge and especially no prior assumption regarding any defence.

I know the site is not a formal institution, but it should not be a star chamber either. A comment from the moderator referring to the offending post and giving the users a chance to reply takes 1 minute to write and I feel this should be incorporated into the process.

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    $\begingroup$ Didn't know you could be accused of plagiarism. Not even sure what that means for this site. $\endgroup$ – Jiminion Oct 26 '16 at 13:52
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    $\begingroup$ I'd like to say that reading over both you post (before and after edits) and the supposed site it was plagiarized from, I honestly can't see any plagiarism going on. The image was clearly taken from the site, but there is no copying going on. The information is effectively summarized in a more relevant format and new information was added. I don't see that as plagiarism. Linking to the site would be nice, but this is hardly what I'd call unethical. Especially when the same info is available from wikipedia $\endgroup$ – Jim Oct 26 '16 at 13:56
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    $\begingroup$ I don't know why you think it's OK to raise an issue like this and then curtail others' freedom to respond - that's not how it works. I'm also completely befuddled as to why @DavidZ thinks this question "does not apear to be about Physics Stack Exchange" - this is a perfectly on-topic question, and there is absolutely no reason to close it. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Oct 26 '16 at 14:04
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    $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty I voted to close because the OP declared point blank that they don't want any discussion or answers. Ergo, it's not a question and should be on hold until it is edited to a form that is suitable for the site. If OP would like to allow discussion and give others a chance to respond to the question(s)/issue(s) posed, then it would be on topic. But as it is, it's not. $\endgroup$ – tpg2114 Oct 26 '16 at 14:58
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    $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty The core of the post seems to be "I'm leaving." That's not about PSE or the software, and that is my justification for choosing that reason. In light of subsequent discussion, I think "unclear what you're asking" might also have worked. $\endgroup$ – David Z Oct 26 '16 at 15:00
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    $\begingroup$ @tpg2114 I insist that it is not the OP's prerogative to shut down discussion - they can ragequit if they want, but they don't get to dictate what happens afterwards. Your reading of this post, and David's, seem completely wrong to me, and closing this question seems to me to be completely the wrong reaction. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Oct 26 '16 at 15:04
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    $\begingroup$ In any case, I have asked a substantive question on the handling of this plagiarism call at Was this plagiarism flag correctly handled? $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Oct 26 '16 at 15:05
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    $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty FWIW, I agree with you posting the actual question that should be asked and the discussion that follows will be beneficial. But the question here, as phrased, isn't on-topic. It could be made so if OP chooses and then it could be re-opened. [On-hold] isn't a death-knell for a question. It's not like it was deleted or removed for moderation purposes or something. $\endgroup$ – tpg2114 Oct 26 '16 at 15:06
  • $\begingroup$ and as for the OP - I would really counsel you to, uh, count to ten, before you ragequit over a single incorrectly-handled moderator action. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Oct 26 '16 at 15:06
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    $\begingroup$ You've written a number of great answers on Physics; I'd certainly like to see more from you, and I sincerely hope you'll consider not only not deleting your account, but staying and continuing to contribute. That said - without commenting on whether or not the deletion was justified - a way to appeal such a move is to post on meta about it, as Emilio did. Discussion is always possible, because mods aren't infallible - I certainly know that; I mod other sites. So mod action is almost always appealable. Again, I hope you'll stay on Physics. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Oct 26 '16 at 15:32
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    $\begingroup$ @HDE226868 anonymity or not makes no difference, I still cringe when I see my last paragraph telling other people not to post. I can only plead a possible unconscious desire to become a dictator:). Thanks for your kind comments, I will be staying on, and taking longer walks before similar posts. $\endgroup$ – user108787 Oct 26 '16 at 20:04
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    $\begingroup$ @CountTo10 Cool, I appreciate your not being impulsive :-) For what it's worth, I still think this post is not at all clear, and/or not on topic for meta; I'd advise you to edit it into something like what Emilio posted, but, well, he already posted it, so it'd be kind of pointless. (Perhaps you could edit it into something else.) By the way, next time when you want to edit something, you can just edit it out - no need to leave it and say that you regret it. $\endgroup$ – David Z Oct 27 '16 at 5:56
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidZ. Thanks for your comments, I have edited and hopefully focused the post to my main point. Moving on, thank you. $\endgroup$ – user108787 Oct 27 '16 at 9:59
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The process already has something to this effect incorporated into it: aside from guidance on how to properly reference others' work, there's also a message template for when moderators reach out to users on these occasions. The relevant message reads:

It has come to our attention that several of your answers consisted primarily or entirely of text copied from other answers or websites. We prefer not to simply copy content already available elsewhere in lieu of creating something that adds value to this site specifically.

Whenever possible, we prefer that posts be your own original work, but when a great answer already exists elsewhere, including a small passage of text from another source can be a great way to support your solution. But please note that we require full attribution with a link to the original author, and please be sure you are not copying content without permission.

When sent this message, the contacted user has the opportunity to reply back to the moderation team.

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