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How to correct an internet mistake that's gone viral!

PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:36 pm
by Rosemint
For many years I've written and licensed inspirational sentiments for cards and gift products. At one point a
magnet company stole one of my quotes and published it without my permission. They mistakenly attributed
it to someone else. I provided them documentation of my copyright ownership, etc., and they admitted
their mistake. We settled out of court. But I've discovered that quote has since been reposted on over 2 million
websites (with the wrong author's name).

Can anyone suggest how I can correct the public's misconception about who created this quote?

Thanks in advance!

Re: How to correct an internet mistake that's gone viral!

PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:58 pm
by Tituba
You could try hiring [link removed by request of the folks linked to].

However, it is probably a losing proposition. Everything on the internet is a free for all and once something is viral, it is out there.

Maybe just chalk this up to a life lesson and not let it stress you out.

Re: How to correct an internet mistake that's gone viral!

PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:55 pm
by Rosemint
Thanks, Tituba, for your quick response! I'll try the link you suggested.

Re: How to correct an internet mistake that's gone viral!

PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:29 am
by SquarePeg
First, congratulations on the success of one of your quotes!

There are several websites that specialize in quotations. I would search for your quote on each one and contact the site if you find it there with incorrect attribution. Even if you don't find it on a site, you might petition the site to have it added. I use these site's occasionally if I'm writing a column and want to correctly attribute a saying, like, "As Gandhi said, 'Be the change you wish to see in the world.'" I'd be very bothered if I attributed a quote incorrectly due to one of these specialized sites.

My understanding is that Google will not (in principle) link to a page that includes content that's been plagiarized or the subject of copyright infringement. So I would try a simple and two-pronged approach:
1. Create a simple website with your inspirational message, signed by you.
2. Notify Google that you are the original author and you would like links to any incorrect sites to be removed / replaced by a link to yours.
Good luck with that, because I doubt it will do much, now that I see it written out. But in theory it should happen. Yet it won't remove all the other links from numerous Facebook accounts (for example) to Sally Jones' blog (or where ever).

Another bizarre and admittedly unhelpful idea is this: you could change your name. :)

Good luck!

Re: How to correct an internet mistake that's gone viral!

PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:57 pm
by Rosemint
Hi SquarePeg,

I appreciate your very thoughtful response. I love your ideas! (although I don't
think I'll be changing my name anytime soon!) :)

Thanks for thinking so out-of-the-box.

Re: How to correct an internet mistake that's gone viral!

PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:21 pm
by SquarePeg
Rosemint wrote:Hi SquarePeg,
- snip -
Thanks for thinking so out-of-the-box.

You're welcome! It's what I do best!

Re: How to correct an internet mistake that's gone viral!

PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:39 am
by skannie
SquarePeg wrote:There are several websites that specialize in quotations. ... I use these site's occasionally if I'm writing a column and want to correctly attribute a saying, like, "As Gandhi said, 'Be the change you wish to see in the world.'" I'd be very bothered if I attributed a quote incorrectly due to one of these specialized sites.
Well SquarePeg, you've just illustrated the problem of bogus and wrongly attributed quotes, because Ghandi never said that.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/30/opini ... .html?_r=0

and Thomas Jefferson didn't say many of the things he's supposed to have said
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB1 ... 2814623978

and you know that famous saying of Einstein's about the fish and the tree? He didn't say that either
http://totalsuckage.com/index.php/all-y ... to-us.html

I think you should only rely on quotation sites if they state the original source. It looks to me as if many of them just copy from each other and don't bother checking.

Wikiquote is a place where people are building a compendium of authenticated quotes. You can use it for finding good quotes or checking authenticity. You can also help to build and edit the collection. http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Main_Page

Rosemint, you might be able to add your quote there, or correct it if it's already there with the wrong attribution.

Re: How to correct an internet mistake that's gone viral!

PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:10 pm
by Rosemint
skannie,

Thanks so much! I never thought of wikiquote.

In the meantime, I've opened a Zazzle store and am selling products
with the quote and my name.

I appreciate your comments!

Re: How to correct an internet mistake that's gone viral!

PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:02 pm
by SquarePeg
Thank you, skannie. As I wrote that previous post I was thinking that the quote was wrongly attributed.

And thank you for the links!