We’re not starting a cult but some followers on Instagram would be nice. Thank you.
After apologising for plagiarising parts of an essay on eating disorders, influencer Brooke Lim is now facing accusations that her tuition centre had plagiarised from another TikTok creator, Jiabao’s Insights (@gejiabao).
In a 16-page document available via her Telegram channel, Jiabao highlighted several parts of Brooke’s website, juxtaposed against TikTok videos that they were allegedly copied from.
She also uploaded a series of four videos in which she accused Brooke of copying her approach to teaching the General Paper (GP) subject, and tweaking examples to make the plagiarism less obvious.
Replying to @Yahoo！ thank u for letting me know
Jiabao claims that she was alerted to the issue after someone tagged her in the comments section of another video uploaded by @sugaresqueessay, the account that first exposed Brooke’s plagiarised essay.
She then paid S$15 to access the paywalled material on the Classicle Club website, before supposedly realising that the material had been copied from her.
Is “insights” really just a word?
Central to the debate, it seems, is the use of the word “insights” and its iterations.
Jiabao says that she knows that her approach was copied as she had been using “insights” as an approach to studying for GP, even before Cambridge had revamped its syllabus to emphasise on “insightful” responses, as opposed to the previous syllabus which emphasised a “personal voice”.
According to her, Brooke allegedly “edited all her blog posts just to incorporate this one word”.
“Just by incorporating ‘insightful’ into your blog post you copied my entire approach to studying GP… It’s not just one word, it’s the entire teaching concept,” she continued, visibly upset.
Another point that Jiabao raised was that Classicle Club still references the old syllabus for their students, which, if you recall, does not have a requirement for “insightful” answers.
She also accused Brooke of making burner accounts to defend herself.
What Brooke said
In a video that came close to seven minutes long, Brooke addressed these allegations, which she called “unfounded”.
In response to Jiabao’s unfounded allegations. Our students come first — classes & sign-ups will continue as per normal.
Brooke explained that she first encountered Jiabao when her content appeared on her TikTok feed, and was “flattered” that Jiabao followed her.
Despite the allegations, the influencer said that she still had “utmost respect” for the content that Jiabao produces.
Here are the points she addressed in the video:
1. Multiple uses of the word “insightful” in her website copy
To this, Brooke said that the word has been used “multiple times” in the GP A-level rubric, and is “nothing new”.
She also claimed that humanities students would also come across the word frequently, and that several news sites used the word as well.
2. Reference to the older General Paper syllabus
Jiabao’s issue with the reference to the older General Paper syllabus was that there had been no requirement for insights, which contrasted with the multiple mentions of the word on Classicle Club’s website.
However, Brooke did not directly address this, but said that her colleague had referenced the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board’s (SEAB) A-level GP syllabus and given credit accordingly.
She also added that she “cannot tell which part was supposedly plagiarised” from Jiabao.
3. Similar teaching concepts and wording
Brooke added that techniques, such as examining examples from a wider perspective, were “commonly used” essay techniques, and not lifted from Jiabao’s videos.
She went on to say that in several examples raised in Jiabao’s document, she did not see the similarities in their content.
In another instance referencing techniques to conclude an essay, Brooke said that these were “derived from the Cambridge examiner’s report”, and were “very different” from Jiabao’s video.
The samples provided by Classicle, Brooke says, are “entirely original and has gone through multiple vetting processes.”
She concluded the video by saying:
“I can assure you that neither I, my colleagues or my students have plagiarised directly from Jiabao’s work.”
What the Internet thinks
The comments section seems to be largely on Brooke’s side, at least for now.
On Jiabao’s latest video, several commenters pointed out that her techniques were not new and already utilised by other GP teachers.
Others also disagreed with Jiabao that Brooke had copied her content, as people may have “common” ideas and arguments.
Brooke also received supportive comments for her response video.
In any case…
Top image via Jiabao’s Insights’ TikTok and Brooke Lim’s TikTok.
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