Plagiarism in the age of the internet

One more case study on the impact of what the internet does best: distribute information. 

Twitter user @prodigalsam  has come under heavy fire for building up his Twitter follower count to over 100,000 by plagiarising the jokes of other comedians. He had reached 130,000 followers, though the recent controversy seems to have pushed that back down under 125,000, still a hefty number.

Given the massive volumes of text being indexed on the internet, plagiarism seems like an increasingly shaky proposition unless you're flying so far under the radar that no one notices.

Not a scientific study, just a hunch: fields where artists depend on originality to make a name for themselves are much more sensitive to enforcing norms around plagiarism. Magic and comedy are two fields where a code of honor is enforced with great intensity by the practitioners themselves.

As an example, read this great article I cited here a year ago in Esquire about Teller of Penn and Teller fame going after magicians who've stolen some of his tricks.