Tumblr leaves student feeling cheated


Morgan Garrett Instagram

Tumblr became a source of frustration for junior Morgan Garrett after she finished second in a poetry contest in which the winner plagiarized from the anonymous social media site.

Haley Brown, Staff Reporter

For most students poetry is a chore reserved for tackling in the English classroom, but for junior Morgan Garrett it’s a beloved pastime that leads her to periodically enter poetry competitions that often offer real cash prizes.

However, her last entry fell short leading to a second place finish. But it had nothing to do with Garrett’s skill. Instead, the entry that won was plagiarized.

“I entered a writing competition and ended up winning second place along with one hundred dollars,” Garrett said. “I was intrigued to see who won first and checked to see if they posted the writing. When I read the piece I realized I’ve read the piece off Tumblr before and that this person was not the original author. I’d even reblogged it a few times and could recognize the original author’s writing style.”

Garrett has been entering competitions like this for over six months, but this is the first time she felt cheated and she didn’t plan to be silent about it.

“The competition called for an original piece,” Garrett said. “I contacted the organization and linked them to the original Tumblr post, and also contacted the original owner of the work.”

For Garrett, the cheating was a personal blow. She had posted her own works on Tumblr, but now she plans on thinking twice before doing so.

“Tumblr is a fantastic place to put your writing, but I’ve learned to save my best for these competitions,” Garrett said. “Seeing that other people are stealing work does affect what I post.”

In the end Garrett’s story has a bittersweet justice, while no immediate changes will be made to the contest or its applicants, the company in charge of the competition has promised to investigate.

“The organization emailed me back with an apology,” Garrett said. “And said they’re looking into it. However Tumblr is where I’m able to express myself anonymously and I see a lot of beauty and security in that. I just hate how people abuse it.”