The Rant #1: Fuck Content

source: The Rant

Ravin Loon, frustrated by shitty local sites with no respect for credibility, returns this month to lay the smack down on the copy and paste culture.

RIP journalism. Fuck it, RIP content in general.

The internet straight up murdered content, which is ironic considering every social media-savvy asshole post-Buzzfeed fancies themselves a ‘content creator’. What their idea of content really is now, is a self-duplicating meme (in the pre-internet Dawkins sense); a YouTube video, an article by an actual writer, an image created by a 4chan user, .gif images from Tumblr, and any existing content posted by a second hand source being churned over and over again by similarly content-less websites. ‘Content creators’ don’t fucking create content – they steal them, slap a verbose, over-the-top headline on the stolen content, and then hope that what was already viral to begin with to make their site viral.

Welcome to the clickbait dystopia. Enjoy our economy of shares, likes, and page views.

This wouldn’t be so bad if there were a schism between clickbait sites and those who actually produce content. But in the race to become the most viewed and shared, the line has been blurred; publications have adapted the clickbait MO. A good percentage of new online mags simply copy and paste their content from other sites shamelessly. Some claim that they ‘source’ their content, but sourcing isn’t lifting whole paragraphs from multiple sources, churning out some kind of a Frankenstein’s monster of an article, and only citing one of them (improperly to boot). Sourcing isn’t taking a story from Variety and thinking it’s okay just because you added “by Variety” there. And no, don’t claim you partnered with them after being exposed, you need licensing for that shit and I doubt a new site’s got the sufficient funding for that. And yes, the news aggregator defence doesn’t work either, you’re not a fucking app or the Associated Press.

No one gives a shit about any of this though. Self-proclaimed ‘editors’ and ‘writers’ get away with plagiarism because their readers don’t call out on their bullshit. You allow the copy pasta culture. PR folks don’t mind that an ‘editor’ would just CTRL C + CTRL V their press releases wholesale. You allow the copy pasta culture. Victims of content theft let them get away with it because they don’t want to cause any ‘trouble’. You allow the copy pasta culture.

Worst of all, these ‘editors’ and ‘writers’ genuinely don’t understand that what they are doing is unethical – they can’t even begin to process why changing a few phrases and words here and there would still constitute plagiarism! Perhaps they are so used to copying and pasting from press releases that they’ve adopted the same approach when ‘sourcing’ from other sites too. Or maybe due to a certain site whose ‘content’ is made out of ‘sourced’ materials (admittedly they quote each one of them properly), these ‘editors’ and ‘writers’ think they could do the same. Hey, we are just sharing, right guys?!

Fuck you,
Ravin Loon