theMoMA wrote:So when you don't know all the facts, post to allow ridicule? Right. You know how to contact Ezra and the Iowa team. This is clearly a problem of attending teams submitting plagiarized questions, a problem that is nearly impossible to prevent at any team-submission tournament. And you could have found that out in a few hours and sent a strong message to the individuals responsible that such action is irresponsible and detrimental to the game. Instead we are sitting stuck on whether or not Deep Bench packets cause retinal bleeding.
We're stuck on no such thing, since I've already confirmed the retinal bleeding for you. What do you want, pictures?
Seriously though, it's not particularly important to me who is involved or what school they are from. Question plagiarism is a serious offense, about as serious as one can get in quizbowl outside of actively cheating at the game. When instances of
plagiarism occur, people bring it to light because it's a despicable practice. While I'm willing to believe that whoever submitted that question genuinely thought that it was a house-written tossup, at some point, someone at Iowa (or elsewhere) incorporated that question into a set without proper attribution. That's just not acceptable.
There was no need to drag Deep Bench through the mud because the copying was in a team-submitted packet, a nearly unpreventable problem not exclusive to Deep Bench by any means. It's no coincidence that two of the first three responses blame the tournament, not the plagiarist. I'm not saying that blaming the tournament was the intent, but it was definately the result.
In principle I would agree that there's no need to blame the tournament.
In practice, Deep Bench was clearly a most lazily written and edited tournament; very little effort seems to have gone into any of the packets on either end of the submission chain. It is quite conceivable to me that a tournament whose packets feature multiple crappy questions written with what look like slightly paraphrased quotes from Wikipedia is exactly the kind of tournament where I would expect to find plagiarized material.
Furthermore, the notion that plagiarism is unpreventable, while probably technically true, does not appear to reflect the reality of the situation. In fact, it is quite rare in quizbowl, although it has happened on occasion. Most people have the good sense not to do stupid things like plagiarize Wikipedia or other packets. When someone does so, I think it's perfectly acceptable to make that information public in order to shame them into refraining from such actions in the future.