Experts that hunt out plagiarism professionally say there is basically no chance that Melania Trump’s speech Monday night did not steal lines from a 2008 Michelle Obama speech.
Turnitin, a California-based company, uses a computer algorithm to automatically vet submitted writing for any matches that could amount to plagiarism. Following the controversy Monday, the company used that tool to analyze Trump’s Republican National Convention speech.
Chris Harrick, Turnitin vice president of marketing, told The Hill on Tuesday that 6 percent of Trump’s speech was determined to have language that matched with other existing text. All 6 percent came from Obama’s 2008 speech at the Democratic National Convention.
Harrick noted that the company does not play “judge and jury” on whether something was plagiarized, but the odds that Trump’s speech did not include plagiarized content are effectively a mathematical impossibility.
According to Turnitin, there is a 1 in 1 trillion chance that two writers would write the same 16-word sequence by coincidence. The longest matching sequence of words between the Trump and Obama speeches was 23 words.