Imitation as Flattery or Straight-Out Copying?


There’s a line that goes “imitation is the greatest form of flattery.”

To an extent, probably, yes.

But if you just simply copy bits and pieces of it, then that’s just simply copying. Almost like plagiarism.

Just had this thought because of something I found out a few minutes ago.

So I was included in a brand collaboration for a certain food product. There’s me along with some 50 other creators and influencers. In the group chat, we were encouraged to share our post links so that we can engage and reciprocate. Which some already did, including me.

While I was checking some of the newer links, I noticed one post that had captions that sounded familiar.

That’s because some of the lines were from the captions I made for that collab.

The first line, complete with emojis, was from my post. I also saw another of my line — with a semi-colon (who uses a semi-colon in this day and age, right? Lels) — in that person’s post, albeit the sentence was a bit altered at the end. And the last paragraph containing a list had the same format as mine.

If you’re wary if my claim is legit, well, I posted those captions a day before she did. I can prove it with screenshots (SS is my best friend). But I’m not posting it right here for now because I want to calm myself down first.

I’m a bit shocked because I didn’t imagine that this would ever happen to me. I mean, I’m just a nano-influencer/content creator. This isn’t my bread and butter. And if I do get collaborations like this, I take time to think of what and how to post. Sure, I look at other creators’ works for inspiration on how they position their opinions and capture their shots. But I do my own thing. I DON’T COPY WORD FOR WORD.

I’d be a failure as a writer if I did that.

Because copying — plagiarism — is a cardinal sin in writing. Or in creating per se. You can be inspired, but you can’t just copy. Even worse if there’s no acknowledgment or attribution.

Honestly, I don’t know whether to confront that person or what.

It may be a small thing for some, but it’s a very big thing for me who puts out a lot of effort in creating my content.

Content creation is not easy. But it does not give you — anyone — an excuse to grab someone else’s efforts as is and make it your own without acknowledging your source.

Strike One, baby.


  1. Salmoncat
    September 21, 2022

    What’s worse is if some people would think that what you posted is from a PR Kit since there is another entry which is the same as yours.

    1. Michelle
      September 23, 2022

      Yes, that’s true. “Influencers” nowadays don’t know what it really means to influence. 🙁


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