According to Meta.SE: What to do when plagiarism is discovered

If your flag [for plagiarism] gets declined, flag again and/or raise the issue on Meta.

The flag is still pending (now retracted; see update below) but I was advised to raise the issue here since it hasn't been discussed before on av.se. Note: Due to the flag character limit, there is not enough space to let the mods know what exactly is happening (that's why the details are here).

Link: https://aviation.stackexchange.com/a/48298

Exhibit A:

You can actually adjust the actual cg on the right A320 MCDU since the system then shifts the cargo AFT/FWD in the P3D Fuel & Payload menu.


I noticed that I can change the CG value on the right MCDU and this affects the actual CG since the system then shifts the Cargo AFT/FWD in the P3D Fuel and Payload menu.

From: forum.aerosoft.com -- Not to mention that the user does not (?) realize that the right CDU of an actual Airbus does not shift the actual CG (P3D is a desktop game/sim).

Exhibit B:

On the A380 they were able to reduce the size of the tailplane area by 10% and reduce trim drag by 0.5%, which in turn lead to a reduction in weight of 1,500 pounds.


Airbus believed it could take maximum benefit from the move by reducing the size of the 2,580 square-foot tailplane by up to 10% to approximately 2,153 square feet. This could reduce trim drag by about 0.5% and save 1500 pounds in weight (...)

From: pprune.org

I'd rather have wrong answers that show genuine effort (or lack thereof) than see the above.

Plagiarism does not have to be exact copy and paste, moving the text around and not saying the source, is plagiarism. And when it is fluff and nonsensical to the topic at hand, I don't know what to politely call it really.

From what I gathered from Meta.SE, regardless of how many upvotes, plagiarism calls for immediate deletion, and suspension if it is 3 strikes (but I'm not sure about that exact procedure).

The way it is woven-in for this example makes it hard to flag it, to comment on it, and/or to edit it. Compared to this other case here, which was much easier to deal with.


Dan Hulme's answer informed me about the differences between academia and SE when it comes to plagiarism. Unethical as it is to my eyes, I'll just shrug it off as a low-quality non-answer and as thus will retract the flag.

Anyway it's good to know where we stand on the subject matter.

  • $\begingroup$ Related, and I think the same reasoning applies here. I upvoted Dan's answer, FWIW. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Feb 7, 2018 at 15:31

1 Answer 1


If we were writing academic papers, then quoting a fact you learned without citing its source would be plagiarism, regardless of how you phrase it. On Stack Exchange, plagiarism just means copying. You can't copyright facts, so you can mention a fact wherever you got it from (though obviously nobody should believe you if you don't justify it).

Your exhibit B is nothing like the text you're claiming it's plagiarised from. Maybe the numbers are copied, and in that case this would be plagiarism in academia, but for our purposes, it's not at all.

Even your exhibit A is pretty borderline. Half of a sentence is the same, and thanks to the reference to P3D it's obvious that the answerer got his wrong ideas from aerosoft. But if you accept the premise that copying the facts from an external source is fine, then how else would you expect the answer to be phrased? It's a small enough fragment that you'd never convince a copyright lawyer it was actionable.

Plagiarism does not have to be exact copy and paste, moving the text around and not saying the source, is plagiarism.

This is the part of your question I take issue with. We are not in academia. Taking the details from an external source and phrasing them in your own words is not plagiarism, it is research.


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