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Name: Sybyl
Alias(es): too numerous to list, see page for details
Type: Sockpuppet
Fandoms: La Femme Nikita
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One of the biggest scandals in La Femme Nikita fandom was the ongoing saga of a determined plagiarist who used many different pseudonyms. Her original postings used the name "Nyky", but because she reappeared under so many different names (and because of her fondness for overusing the letter Y), the fandom eventually started calling her "Sybyl." She was also unaffectionately referred to as "IT." She was always identifiable through IP address matching, and later through her history of repeatedly plagiarizing the same stories.

Her first appearance was as "Nyky" on Storyboard One in 1999, when she posted a story that didn't get much response. She posted another story, and when she received positive feedback, the comments had similar IP addresses to Nyky's, and the accusation of sockpuppets was raised. Her next story contained large chunks of text lifted from existing stories. When the plagiarism was noticed, she was kicked off the storyboards.

She reappeared using the name "shaleyn" and posting "Broken Heart", which was flagged at a certain point because of plot similarities to Scorch's story "Shadow Mind". When people noticed and commented on the similarities, shaleyn e-mailed to first protest her innocence, and then attack, claiming that the story was inspired by events in her real life and threatening to use IP and browser information to hack into her critics' computers.[1]

When the board's moderator deleted shaleyn's story, shaleyn spent several hours posting abusive messages on the storyboard. Those posts are dated September 23, 1999. [2] Several regular posters on the board were targeted, including people who had accused shaleyn of plagiarism and the original authors of the stories. The moderator left the messages on the board while she contacted the owners of the message board service, but many fans were upset that the racist and xenophobic attacks were allowed to stay on the board for any length of time.

In October, she appeared on The Writer's Alternative storyboard (now defunct) and posted a story that plagiarized sections of a published novel by Johanna Lindsey. The moderators of the board kicked her off.

Reaction of the Fandom

Because LFN was a gateway fandom for so many of its fans, Sybyl was many fans' first experience with plagiarism, sockpuppets, flamewars, and IP-matching.

Security Concerns

In the middle of November 1999, a member of the fandom believed that the plagiarist (by then, using the name "Silk Angel") was enough of a creditable threat to the actor Roy Dupuis to require alerting security at the production company. She gathered many of Sybyl's posts, which included statements that Dupuis had broken up with his long-time girlfriend, and sent the information to the production company. In a post to the Heyn's Hussies message board (now defunct), Sybyl stated her source for these claims was the magazine "Mexican People." On one of her personal webpages, she later posted an article supposedly from "QUE PASA? A NEWSPAPER IN VENEZUELA" that repeated the claim about the breakup.[3]

Webpages and Pseudonyms

Over the years, Sybyl has reappeared periodically [4], usually creating a webpage on a free hosting site. She has posted under the names Nyky, Amanda, Bijoux, Silk Angel, Soie Ange, shaleyn zafyre, Rachel, Hanna, Lisette, jewel love, Darian Lagup, Aughras, Angel Baby, Dark Angel, valkyrye, jazymn, and Dyana (possibly her real name). She always denied the accusations, and has claimed that she was "forced to use international law" against her accusers, who had revealed "my home address, phone nbr. and email address online a couple of years ago" [5].

Her current website is Cridhe Castle. The fan fiction page still contains many plagiarized stories. Other sites include Roy Dupuis Online and Medieval Treasures. A partial list of the plagiarized stories and their original authors is posted on thePlagiarism page at the LFN Fan Fiction archive.