The Importance of Standing Up

Revolution fist

It’s time to take a stand.

I have to be real with you, this is going to be a weird blog post to write–but due to popular demand, I’m writing it anyway.

If you follow me on Facebook, then chances are that you already know this story. But since a large portion of my readers don’t use Facebook, allow me to briefly recap here.

This past week, a few of my readers alerted me that my writing was being plagiarized.

Specifically, there’s a woman named Ashy Bines (who apparently, is a big deal in Australia), who took one of my favorite blog posts, cut & pasted excerpts of it, and attempted to pass it off as her own work on her very popular Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Not cool, right?

Even worse, when I politely asked her to stop using my writing as her own, she basically ignored me and deleted my comments. As I’m typing this on Monday, November 10th, my words are still up on her Instagram account and are racking up the “likes” at a pretty rapid pace.

So, what’s a guy to do? Move on and take the high road, right?

Well, let’s talk about that.

Taking the “High Road”

Before we get to the “high road” stuff, hopefully we can all come to a simple agreement on one thing:

Theft of any kind is wrong.

I’ve heard a few well-meaning people say, “hey, at least your writing is so good that people want to steal it!”

Unfortunately, that’s like telling a person whose house was just robbed that, “hey, at least your house is so nice that people would want to break into it!”

Not much of a consolation, is it?

Ashy_IG

The Instagram post where Ashy plagiarized the content from my “Being Your Own Hero” blog post.

I work super hard at my writing, and as much as I wish that I could say that this comes easily to me, it doesn’t. I spend many hours (more than you would probably believe) on each blog post that you’ve read here, and I’ve never made a dime from any of it.

That’s why it bugs me when someone takes my words that I’ve spent hours crafting, cut and pastes it less than five seconds, passes it off as her original work, and then use my words to direct her followers to her website where people can buy her products. She’s doing more than stealing my words–she’s stealing my time and my effort.

And it’s not okay.

Even so, I still hear some people say, “Shola, take the high road.”

But what does that mean, exactly?

You guys know me well-enough to know that I’m not going to start calling Ashy Bines names, making fun of her, or engaging in any of that kind of silliness. So there’s nothing to worry about in that regard.

But, I’m also not going to walk away and pretend like this never happened.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–what we allow is what will continue, and I don’t want her to do this to anyone else.

In this case, walking away and ignoring this is not taking the “high road,” it’s a dead end.

The high road is traveled by standing up for yourself respectfully, definitively, and consistently. And hopefully, when I choose to stand up for myself, it will serve as inspiration for others to stand up in the areas of their lives where they need to do it too.

That’s my goal.

The Insanity of Defending Plagiarism

Apparently, a few people from Ashy Bines’s camp responded to a few of my readers who tried to call her out on her plagiarism. Here were a couple of those responses, summarized in bold below:

1. “It’s not plagiarism. She changed around some of the words to suit her needs.”

Let’s break down the craziness of this statement.

I’ve shared with you that I’m writing a book, right?

As much I’m excited to share it with you once it’s done, I have to admit that there some days when it is a pain in the ass to write it. Do you know what would be so much easier than sitting down and writing 60,000 coherent, entertaining, and informative words?

Taking a best-selling book like The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho or Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, switching a couple of the words around to “suit my needs” and then attempt to pass it off as my own work. I could even call my new book, The Solutionist or Eat, Pray, and be Positive. I’m sure that Paulo or Liz wouldn’t mind, right?

Even though that would be easier, there’s one tiny reason why I would never do that.

Because it’s stealing!

I’m not sure why she’s failing to understand this simple concept when it comes to my blog post.

But then again, apparently this plagiarism lesson has been a very tricky one for her to learn. If you don’t believe me, check what others have to say about it

Example #1

Example #2

Yikes.

2. “All of these critics are haters. They’re just jealous of Ashy.”

In a word, “No.”

This is a common response that Ashy’s fans yell loudly as they stick their collective heads in the sand and ignore the shady actions of their fearless leader.

I can’t speak for anyone else out there, but I definitely don’t hate Ashy (I don’t hate anyone) and there’s no reason that I can see to be jealous of someone like her either. Believe it or not, this isn’t about Ashy Bines as a person at all.

This is solely what this is about:

Addressing her plagiarism and ideally making it right.

Any other idea is just crazy talk.

3. “Ashy’s content always get shared around, and she doesn’t care about not getting credit, she just hopes that it helps someone. I wish more people were like her.”

This is a classic plagiarist’s defense, and as always, it fails miserably.

This isn’t about “sharing content.” I’m all for sharing content–that’s why there are share buttons at the bottom of every blog post. I hope that this blog post gets shared 1,000,000 times (really, I do.)

But like I said, this isn’t about sharing. This is about a woman ripping off my work by pretending that it’s hers.

So, in response to this comment–theft helps no one and the last thing that the world needs are more people like her who are willing to steal content from other unsuspecting people.

No matter how you slice it, there is no sane or logical defense of plagiarism.

Rise of the Solutionists

In comparison to Ashy Bines, I have a pretty small following of people. Believe it or not, The Positivity Solution has less than 1% of her total fan base. 

She has over a 500,000 people following her on social media. I only have a little over 5,000 people. Maybe that’s why she felt that she could pick on the little guy.

Big mistake.

My readers (affectionately known as Solutionists) didn’t take very kindly to this behavior, and they stood up for me, my writing, and most importantly, our community, in the most amazing way.

They shouted from the rooftops, they demanded that she take the post down, and they even reported her on Facebook and Instagram multiple times.

Why such a passionate response?

Many of my readers shared with me that they’ve been picked on before too (by bully bosses, emotionally-abusive spouses, fake friends, etc.) and it felt empowering to stand up for what was right.

That’s the message that I want you to take from this:

It feels good to stand up for what is right.

If there’s an area of your life where you feel the need to stand up, I am urging you (no, begging you) to do so today. Maybe it’s at home, at work, or someplace else–please honor yourself and do it. Even if it’s not easy.

Especially if it’s not easy.

Lastly, I have some final words for Ashy if she is reading this blog post for some reason:

Please remove my blog post from your Instagram feed, create your own content going forward, and most of all, be the positive role-model that you claim to be for your followers (and an apology would be nice too, but I won’t hold my breath on that one.)

The world is watching.

Your Turn

Do you ever hesitate to advocate for yourself when you know that you need to do it? For the writers out there–have you ever been plagiarized? If so, how did you deal with it? Either way, jump into the comments and make your voice heard!

Shola

Shola

Founder of The Positivity Solution
Author, keynote speaker, and kindness extremist who is committed to changing the world by helping as many people as possible to live and work with more positivity.
Shola
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Comments

  1. You know what happens if you plagiarize written work in college? You fail. And it might not just be that assignment or the class that you fail… they might also expel you from school.

    Yeah, so borrowing other people’s written words without giving them credit (or hey, how about asking for permission?!?!?) is simply wrong.

    When I saw this happening over the weekend, I was so impressed by all of the Solutionists who were there to defend your work, Shola. It is a testament to what you do for us every single day, and a testament to he high level of integrity that your followers both expect and promote.

    Truly, this young woman is sad. She has found a way to make money but does not see the intrinsic flaws in her ‘system.’ She has no integrity. I suppose that is because she is very young. She still has a lot to learn about life and how to treat people.

    Your example of how to treat someone who has wronged you is powerful. You never became unkind. You simply stated the facts and acted on the side of right.

    As always, thank you Shola. Your blog is such a powerful tool for those of us who want to be positive in spite of the rest of the world!!!

    Happy Monday my dear friend!!!!

    Kathy

    • Thanks so much for your support, Kathy! I honestly think that this woman has been doing this for so long that she probably doesn’t even realize that it’s wrong, not to mention who she’s hurting in the process. I sincerely hope that this blog post showed that it is possible to stand up for yourself without being an ass about it. In the meantime, I’m going to keep spreading the positivity regardless of what that woman chooses to do 🙂

  2. You know what makes me look like a genius? When I refer people to your blog. I don’t have the time or inclination to blog but I am so happy that I discovered yours. Before I started my foundation last year I did some research on the name. That’s when I discovered you. I emailed you and asked you if there would be a problem if I used Be Your Own Hero as the name of my foundation, and you gladly gave your consent. It really takes a great deal of effort to plagiarize and there is no upside. Your words are pure inspiration and your site makes referrals real easy. You speak so eloquently and truthfully for a great number of people. So, yes, stand up for yourself as we stand up for you.

    • That’s right, Charlie! You reached out to me and asked if you could use “Be Your Own Hero” as the name of your foundation (and you didn’t even have to do that, because I don’t own the right to that phrase), and I happily encouraged you to make it happen. It was amazing–just the thought of potentially engaging in plagiarism or infringing on my intellectual rights (and again, you weren’t within 1,000,000 miles of doing either) caused you to reach out to me. That’s integrity. Thank you for everything Charlie, it is greatly appreciated.

  3. I agree that you you should definitely stand up for yourself. I’m not a writer but if something is not sitting right with me, I reflect, pray, and then talk to the person. I can only control myself so even after I’ve talked to someone that doesn’t mean their behavior is going to change but I always feel better standing up for myself…You have to teach people how to treat you…I will ALWAYS speak/stand up for myself.

    • That’s what it’s all about, PhillyL. It’s simply about standing up for ourselves respectfully and consistently. To me, that’s the essence of true modern positivity.

  4. Shola there is so much clarity in what you have written so I hope it is instructive for us to see how to address injustice with a calm but impassioned voice without vitriol or hate.
    Glad you came back for another attempt as that also speaks well of making another attempt to right a wrong.

    • Thanks Bert, that is really kind of you to say! I truly hope that my words and my actions can be of a small service to anyone looking to stand up for themselves in a respectful manner. There’s no need to ever fight fire with fire. In most cases, just reporting the facts should be good enough 🙂

  5. Some people are full of it!!!!
    Not to quote someones work is bad.
    Not to credit someones work is just plain wrong.
    But to out right copy and paste work and pass off as your own equals fraud!!!!

    I feel for her fan base, I really do!!! If they can’t see the woods from the trees and that they are dealing with a fraud then, God help them.

    I think there is away to disable your posts from being copy and paste, if a would be assailant try’s, what has been copied will come up blank. Also go for a CC license that is Creative Commons license, so people can copy your work however they have to sight the origin and author of such work. You’ve probably doing this anyways and I like the approach your taking.

    Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks Oyenu! If nothing else this has been a HUGE wake-up call to alert me that I need to take more precautions in protecting my writing. I’m working with some people behind the scenes to make it happen. Stay tuned!

  6. Great job on this, Shola. Not only did you address the problem, you undoubtedly helped others by giving them some things to think about before paying for services on that site, AND you gave a positive, empowering message. (Which, coincidentally, was exactly what I needed to hear right now.) Nicely handled.

    • Thanks Maria! I can always count on you to see exactly what I’m trying to do with of my blog posts ;). Hopefully I did give some of her future paying customers a moment of pause before they slap down their credit cards to make a purchase on her site. I mean seriously, if she has no problem stealing from me, why wouldn’t she steal from them too?

  7. Thank you Shola. This was exactly the message I needed to hear. Today I took a step toward standing up for myself and hired an attorney to seek back support payments from my ex. I was second guessing myself when I found your post. Thank you.

    • Do it, Denise! Standing up for ourselves isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but it is necessary in order to live our most positive lives possible. Good luck, I’m rooting for you!

  8. Catherine Young says:

    Shola – you are absolutely right. There are many times in your life that you must stand up for yourself. It took me until I was in my 50s to do so. I wasn’t successful but it paid massive dividends in increased self-worth & tougher moral fibre. You stand up and stand for what’s yours. Good luck!!!

    • Right on, Catherine! It took me until my late 30’s (I’m 40 now) to figure out the life-enhancing power of living this lesson fully. I’m so glad that you’re right there with me, and here’s to us continuing to stand up!

  9. So well said, Shola. All the better that you make your case and defend your point without name calling. There’s no better way to stand up for yourself than to stand steadfastly on the truth.
    I got here (to this post) by way of your brother’s FB post and I’m here to stay. 🙂

    • Thanks Jennifer! I’ve never understood the need to devolve a conversation into name-calling and personal attacks because it completely detracts from the power of the message. I’m just about reporting the facts and letting the chips fall where they may. Also, I’ll have to give DDW a fist bump next time I see him for bringing you over here!

  10. Good morning Shola,

    This is an important topic on many levels. Not only should you maintain your own integrity, you should also encourage others to keep honesty and fairness in their lives. Deceit will always catch up to you and in the end it will only damage you (eventually). The first thing you learn in any writing or literature class is you must site your sources, even an idea that someone else has expressed. As you said, writing is hard and it is why we have laws to protect it.

    It is why I find this blog so important. With so much misinformation and scamming on the web the more people (like you) who bring honesty and the concept that it is ok to be you, flaws and all, to the world maybe we can flush out the nasty. There are always going to be people who enjoy cheating and stealing, taking advantage of the unwary, but if we stand together against it maybe the effect will be diminished.

    Stand tall and I believe in your mission.
    Eliminate abuse in all its forms.
    Kat

    • Kat, that is exactly what I’m hoping for. If enough people stand together and are willing to do what’s right, I’m convinced that the effects of the scammers, thieves, and cheats will be diminished. And yes, I promise that I will stand tall, my friend. Thanks, as always for your support!

  11. If she is stealing your content, it is pretty likely that she is also stealing content from others. Hopefully they will do the right thing and report her as well.

  12. Hi Shola,
    I so wish there were more people like you, especially near me in bonny Scotland.
    It is so lovely to hear your genuine, honest concerns and thoughts and ensuring great integrity in a world that at times seems completely amiss of any thought to their actions.
    Absolutely stand up even for the little things, it does not always have to be a battle as they are so tiring at times and can completely absorb all your energy and focus to where you are going.
    However, to say your piece and ensure people know that you are not accepting of any bad behaviour is essential.
    I love the scripture to be as wise as a serpent and as gentle as a dove, is always a lovely way to go.
    Warm Wishes
    Sharon
    ps hope you feel better soon!

    • That is so sweet of you to say, Sharon–if I every get over to Scotland, I will have to make sure to find you and say hi! Yes, we do have to stand up for the little things, because those little things end up becoming big things down the road, if left unaddressed. I sincerely hope that this post has shown others the importance of standing up for what they believe is right–even if it isn’t easy. And on an unrelated note, I’m feeling MUCH better today–thanks for the well wishes!

  13. Um, you should let this thief take your stuff and spread it around, because it helps people? The advice, if properly credited to you, would still be helpful. And
    she spreads it around to promote herself and make money. Where is your royalty? Why is she deserving of pay for your work when you are not? Sounds like we’ve been listening to yet another person together: Elizabeth Gilbert. Remember she addressed the issue of peaceful, and if that logically results in passivity. She calls up the examples of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and the Mahatma Gandhi. She says, hey, they were LAWYERS. They fought against injustice and they never gave up. And both did so in peace and love, and both changed their societies in a revolutionary way, except without the revolution. Shola, sometimes a Solutionist has to kick butt with positivity (and make sure that butt positively has your footprint on it). I hope that shady operator has figured out that you and your loyal Solutionists are keeping her on the radar, and there will be a lot of noise any time she plagiarizes you (or anyone else we catch her at). Thank you for opening up about this issue. We need to be reminded that being positive means we have self-respect, and we stand up for what’s right. I hope a few days of rest will get you back to good health Shola. Take care of yourself.

    • Donna–you are just too good. When in the hell are you going to start your own blog?? You’d have a reader in me, for sure. Yes, Gandhi and MLK Jr. both stood up for what was right without name-calling, violence, or any other craziness–and both of them positively changed the world in the process. I believe that we can also positively kick some ass by standing up for ourselves strongly, firmly, and respectfully without reducing ourselves to name-calling and the other stuff. I think that blog post (and the unbelievable response to it) has effectively put her squarely on the world’s radar. It would be insane for her to pull this stunt again on someone else, but if she does, the world will be watching. Thanks again for lending your brilliance, my friend!

      • Shola, I am happy to hear you are feeling better. I do not have the words to express how flattered and humbled I feel right now, that you would suggest I could have a blog too. I have been thinking about it, not sure what the focus would be. It is actually percolating back there in my brain. Thank you for saying that, I am greatly encouraged.

  14. Shola,
    In that kind of problem I always think that basically the thief depends on me, or on my writings.
    He/she cannot do anything if I did not write and, by my good intention, publish my writings.
    Thus, he/she is not a person with the capacity to make MY writings.
    And anything he/she obtained by stealing other people’s works will be ended soon.
    They do not have consistency on whatever they put in any site, Shola, and people will realize it.

    Regards,
    Fransisca

    • Excellent point, Fransisca. You are so right, anything that she obtained by stealing other people’s work will be ended soon. Thanks for the reminder! 🙂

  15. Hi Shola,
    I am really unhappy for you that someone is taking your work. It is so unfair. But I am pretty amazed at the way you chose to deal with the wrong that is being done.
    Also, I want to let you know that I appreciate and value every single word of yours in each and every one of your blogs. (I didn’t realize that it takes you many hours to write each blog) but that just makes me value your blogs even more. So thanks again Shola!

    • Thanks Seeree! I really wish that I was one of those bloggers who could bang out blog posts in an hour, but my brain just doesn’t work that way. I have to spend hours crafting, deleting, editing, revising, etc. before I’m able to hit “Publish” on any of these posts. To me, that’s a huge part of why this plagiarism issue is so personally disturbing to me. More importantly though, I’m so happy that you have found value in this blog and I’m so happy that you’re here. Thanks again for the kind words and support!

  16. Shola, with respect — yes, “standing up” and rallying one’s troops to charge off into online wars in defense of truth and justice does “feel good” to the extent of feeling more powerful, but it also stirs up a lot of negativity that could have been avoided. To be clear, I am speaking generally from my own experience with past online wars, and do not know any of the people involved in this particular incident.

    While plagiarism is indeed wrong and I certainly don’t blame you for being angry, you could have written this post, or an equally strong post on the subject, without naming the perpetrator. Standing up for yourself does not require publicly shaming a person who has done you wrong. Perhaps she deserves whatever is said about her, and all the bad feelings. But you don’t deserve to inflict such negative feelings on yourself…

    • I respectfully disagree. Telling the truth is not the same thing as being negative. By naming the perpetrator, he has let people know that she is passing Shola’s writing off as her own. (And it appears that Shola is not the only person whose work she has stolen.) Some people are clearly not bothered by that and will continue to pay to subscribe to Ashy’s site and buy her diet plans; others are bothered by it and will make choices about how to spend their money accordingly.

    • Meg, I’m with Maria on this one and I have to respectfully disagree with you too. Reporting the facts isn’t “publicly shaming a person.” The facts are that she stole from me and she has stolen from others, repeatedly. Getting ripped off is a pretty violating feeling, and if I can use my platform to help put a stop to it happening again, then it’s a no-brainer for me to do this. Also, it’s important to use Ashy’s name because I want people to know that this is a real situation. Saying, “some person, who must remain nameless, plagiarized my work recently” is just needlessly cryptic and borderline insulting to my readers. I addressed the issue with her directly, I never became rude or unkind, I never called her childish names, and stayed consistently respectful. Most importantly, hopefully I inspired others to do the same in areas where they need to stand up too. I don’t see what’s negative about that.

      • Shola, a few months ago, you wrote a powerful post about not responding to a woman who hollered a racist insult at you in a parking lot. You were proud, and rightly so, that you hadn’t allowed her to provoke a reaction out of line with your values. Though you didn’t use her name, it was very clear that you were describing a real situation. Do you believe that post would have been improved if you had found out her name, published it on your blog, demanded an apology for her rudeness, and sent your readers to her Facebook page to tell her all the reasons why she was wrong, in the hope that doing so might “help put a stop to it happening again” and inspire others to stand up to bigotry?

        I know you don’t believe that, of course, because you’d have done it if you thought it was a positive way to deal with the situation. Instead, you made a well-reasoned choice not to give away your power to her, and to keep control of your own emotions.

        There’s a fair argument that perhaps this plagiarism incident is different because it involves a commercial website, whereas the woman in the parking lot was just an ignorant individual with nothing to gain. Still, I don’t see how there is anything constructive to be gotten from “reporting the facts” about Ashy. Maybe she’ll lose a few customers, and maybe she’ll be a little more careful about whose posts she helps herself to in the future, but it seems unlikely that she’ll be motivated to give you a heartfelt apology and change her ways…

        Also, you’ve put in a lot of effort building up a public image as the go-to guy for positive solutions and high-energy motivation. Personal branding can be a tricky thing; it’s very important to maintain a consistent, authentic message, while steering clear of anything that doesn’t fit well with your public image. What do you want your potential customers to find when they search on your name? Positive reviews for your work, or your supporters “shouting from the rooftops” about Ashy? You might want to reflect on which of these has more value to you.

        I admire the hard work you’ve put in here, Shola, and would be disappointed to see it all fall apart because of a moment of anger. Five years ago, I was involved with an online community that had a colossal meltdown because of arguments between various camps that decided to use their platforms to put pressure on the other groups. It got really ugly. The lesson I took away from that incident was that power, in blogging or anywhere else, comes with responsibility. Before I hit “publish,” I take the time to consider the potential consequences of what I’ve written. I believe you do the same, judging from the thoughtful tone of most of your posts; but sometimes, despite our best efforts, one gets through that could have benefited from more reflection.

        • Meg, I appreciate your response, but I have to clear up a few things. Comparing these two situations is like comparing apples and oranges. The blog post that you referred to in your comment (The Response) was about refusing to fall in the trap of responding to vitriolic hate with more vitriolic hate. The woman in the parking lot’s comment toward me was so cartoonishly ignorant that it didn’t merit a mention, much less a response. Unfortunately, I know too many people who would have cursed her out, threw a rock at her car, or worse. My point was to give people a better tool to respond to in-your-face hate (i.e., choosing your values) instead of fighting fire with fire.

          This plagiarism thing is very different. This isn’t about getting cursed out in a parking lot and having to manage my emotions in a critical moment. This is about a focused and thoughtful response to my work being stolen. Contrary to what you might believe, this isn’t about emotions running high either–again, this is about dealing in facts. When I politely asked Ashy to remove my work from her social media pages, she ignored me. She has stolen work from other people and ignored them when they addressed her too. As you know, my platform at its core is about helping people. And on that note, if I can help bring attention to a known thief who could steal from my readers, you can count on the fact that I’ll use my platform to a) warn them about it and b) show them how to stand up for themselves respectfully. If we all lived in the same neighborhood and a burglar was on the loose and I knew who he/she was, I would do the same thing. I didn’t give my power to Ashy Bines by doing something stupid like losing my cool and devolving into childish name-calling. I kept my power by staying calm and thoughtfully responding to this issue with respect. However, based on reading your previous two comments, we’re probably not going to see eye-to-eye on this point, so I’m thinking we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one.

          Also, as you compared the parking lot situation to the plagiarism situation, you insinuated that I demanded an apology from Ashy for her rudeness and that I sent my readers to her social media pages to tell her “all of the reasons why she was wrong” (or for any other reason.) I did neither. Just wanted to clear that up.

          Most importantly, after every blog post that I’ve written, there are always a few people who don’t agree with me and/or my viewpoints and they let it be known privately or publicly. That comes with the territory of being a writer, and it’s a very real consequence of finding the guts to hit “Publish” week after week. I know that I can’t please everyone who reads this blog, and I’m good with that. You might think that I handled the situation poorly and not to your liking, and that’s fully within your rights as a reader. But given the opportunity to do this over again, I would handle it in the exact same way 100 times out of 100. Every time I hit “Publish,” I ask myself as I read it over for the final time, “is this blog post true to who I am?” And this post fully passed that test. I sincerely hope that your work is never plagiarized in the future, but on a positive note, if it is, I’m confident that you’ll be ready to handle it in a way that makes the most sense for you. The last word in this conversation is yours, if you want it.

          • I’ll bow out respectfully here, Shola, as of course it’s entirely your decision where you want to take your blog! And to clarify, I did not mean to insinuate that you accused Ashy of rudeness. I was referring to the rudeness of the parking lot woman. And if I misread the tone of this post and was incorrect in thinking that you wanted to send your readers to Ashy’s pages, well, that’s very good to know! Best wishes to you.

          • Inspiring! Every word and intention that vibrates from all this situation. Thank you for honouring your integrity… I am learning a lot from here…. Will have to face a challenging meeting this week and so but so so glad came across this post. Thank you!

    • Meg, I first of all thank you for joining our discussion. It is an important lesson in positivity, than we can have different points of view, and in this forum, we can disagree agreeably. I don’t totally agree with you, yet first and foremost I DO AGREE that there is no place for public shaming. It serves no purpose, other than, as you say, to create great negativity, that affects everyone, not just the one being shamed. It affects the person who says/writes it, as well as everyone who is exposed to it. That being said, I do disagree that Shola engaged in public shaming. His approach struck me as a good balance: he simply stated the facts, and let the readers decide for themselves. To me, the relevant factor is that the woman in question is an entrepreneur, and runs her website for profit. She used Shola’s words to further her efforts to make a living. I don’t begrudge her making a living, even a very nice one. However, as she used his words for profit, I do feel it would have been proper to 1. credit him by name and 2. offer to pay him a royalty or percentage, or even just a flat fee. After reading Shola’s comments, I was curious, so I visited this woman’s website, and googled her too. She is really quite young, and I think Shola brought this up in a way that can be a learning experience for her, of how one conducts themselves on the web and in life. He is not going after her, there will be no repercussions, and she is not “shamed”. She has been corrected, and we all need that from time to time.

  17. Hi, Shola! I’m fully on your side in this case!!!

  18. Thank you so much for this article and for exposing Ashy Bines. =) Fight the good fight! <3

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