Please do not cut and paste this article

Image source: Wikimedia

I was preparing a short article, and found a quote on the Financial Times that I really wanted to cite. So, I selected the paragraph in question, and copied it. Then, I pasted the excerpt into a word document. When I re-read it, I found the following sentences, at the end of the section that I had just copied into the word document:

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email to buy additional rights.

It seems that the FT is trying to tap into our innate need to reciprocate good deeds: we did high quality work for you; in return, you use the link below to share this article. As I was after a particular quote, only, these instructions weren’t entirely relevant for me. Though, the request did make me stop on my tracks, and I checked my article twice, to ensure that I was acknowledging the source fully and properly.

I am making a note of this example, to use in my classes when we talk about influencing consumer behaviour. You can read more about the principle of reciprocation, and how it influences behaviour, here.

I wonder how many people actually went back and used that particular link to share the article, though. Would you?

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