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As you may know, WatchMojo is one of the most popular channels on YouTube. Covering everything from TV and films to video games, their videos are usually your standard top ten lists about various subjects. Like the top ten worst selling consoles or the top ten most expensive sci-fi movies.
You know, the typical stuff you find on Buzzfeed like clickbait factories. Poorly researched, minimal effort attention grabbers that often retread the same ground as legions of others beforehand.
But in itself, that’s not a bad thing. After all, top ten lists aren’t a crime against humanity. And hey, everyone does need to just switch off and watch something a bit more mindless every now and again, right?
Well, I guess so. Except there’s just one problem.
Namely, the info in the videos is stolen from other YouTube creators.
Yep, I’m not kidding. All the facts are straight from other people’s work with no credit given.
How do we know this?
Because Guru Larry has seen his whole video ripped off and reused as a WatchMojo list. Yep, they took one of his Fact Hunt videos, noted down the entries there and remade the entire thing as a video on their channel.
Normally, that wouldn’t be too noticeable. Unfortunately for WatchMojo though, Guru Larry was prepared.
That’s because Guru Larry (like many map makers and dictionary writers of old) is known to sneak ‘copyright traps’ into his work. These traps are very minor ‘mistakes’ that can then be used to prove someone stole your data and reused it in their own work. They’re quite common on maps, with ‘trap streets’ often used to prove a mapmaker copied one of their rivals.
And since WatchMojo clearly didn’t do any other research on the topic, they copied the fake information without checking. Good job guys! How lovely of you to tell us where you get your information from now!
Here’s Larry’s tweet about the subject going into a bit more:
Great thing to wake up to, @WatchMojo has literally stolen all the research from my Worst Selling Consoles episode!
— Larry Bundy Jr (@LarryBundyJr) August 10, 2017
As well as Top Hat Gaming Man’s great video about the controversy:
So either way, the cat was out of the bag and Twitter was talking about it. So what did WatchMojo do?
Did they apologise for their actions like mature people would? Take down the video to stop people being fooled by fake information?
Well, not quite. They took down the video sure, but actually admitting they stole someone’s research never factored into it. Instead they sent Guru Larry the following, rather hilarious letter:
WatchMojo's email response to me about them stealing my research: pic.twitter.com/2gvnxhoyC4
— Larry Bundy Jr (@LarryBundyJr) August 10, 2017
As you can see, it’s filled with examples of questionable journalism ethics. For example, why don’t the organisation credit people for their findings?
Because they don’t know said people are the original finders. Yes really. They outright say they won’t credit anyone because they don’t know said people are the ones they should be crediting.
That’s just… wow. Can you imagine if someone did that in school or college?
Like, if they handed in an essay with no citations because they ‘didn’t know’ the researcher was the original discoverer? Or told the lecturer they didn’t credit anyone because they didn’t know whether their sources were the original ones?
They’d probably get thrown off the course. That’s an obvious example of plagiarism, no matter how you cut it.
Yet that’s not all the letter implies.Oh no, it also implies they’re rather terrible at research.
Well, isn’t the job of a journalist about verifying the information they’re posting about? Aren’t journalists supposed to hunt down the source of a piece of information before writing about it?
Yeah, I think they are. But thanks to the fact WatchMojo clearly isn’t finding the original source, it implies the channel’s ‘researchers’ don’t actually do much research at all. That they find whatever a few other YouTubers or writers have said about a topic, copy down the information and merely assume it’s accurate. Verifying stuff? Who has the time for that, right?
Additionally, they also seem to imply they don’t really check their videos for originality all that well either. That’s because their letter goes and says ‘their tool didn’t pick up the similarities to your video’, implying the only thing they do is put the information through an automated plagiarism checker and hope nothing comes up as a match.
That’s again pretty bad for a channel like this. It’s basically admitting that people can send in anything and they’ll post it so long as it doesn’t ‘look’ enough like the source it’s paraphrasing. It feels like one of those cases where someone assumes Copyscape or Turnitin is good enough on its own.
And when you add this to the clear mistakes the channel makes in their videos (Top Hat Gaming Man references the terrible ‘Jaguar sales data’ in his response), you’ve got a lazy, uninspired YouTube channel trying to cash in on other people’s work for their own gain. Which is a trend that’s all too common now. Giant clickbait channels spamming low effort videos based on other people’s work for quick views.
So don’t support these guys. They clearly don’t put a lot of work into their videos, they steal from other people and their journalistic integrity is virtually nil. Treat them like you would Brash Games or other thieves. Organisations you refuse to support for their complete lack of morals and sheer laziness.
Because WatchMojo doesn’t deserve your patronage. And nor do any other such channels who refuse to credit people for their work.
Coming to select retailers on September 15th 2017 to celebrate the release of Metroid: Samus Returns, is this special designed New Nintendo 3DS handheld. Currently its not known if this will come with the game installed on it and like all other New 3DS models, this won’t have a power cord included.
Back at E3, Nintendo announced that their upcoming Metroid 2 remake was compatible with various amiibo. Two of these were from the Smash line, namely the Samus and Zero Suit Samus ones. And two of these were brand new amiibo featuring Samus and a Metroid.
And that’s fairly typical for a Nintendo game really. Release a few special amiibo for it, let players use them to unlock some neat trinkets and hey, a bit of a extra cash for the company. Sounds good right?
Because as it turns out, the amiibo features in Metroid: Samus Returns go far beyond items and trinkets.
Oh no, they’ve got all new MODES locked behind these things now! For example, do you want to use the sound test in Metroid: Samus Returns?
If so, you’ll need to own a Zero Suit Samus amiibo and then complete the game. Really. You have to buy/own a certain amiibo to listen to the game’s music from the menu.
And it doesn’t end there either. Want all the concept art for the game?
Well, that sucks to be you I guess. Because you need TWO separate amiibo to get all the artwork here. Namely the Samus Aran amiibo from the Smash Bros line and the Metroid line, each of which unlock exclusive artwork for the gallery that cannot be attained elsewhere.
But the most depressing addition here isn’t either of those.
It’s what the Metroid amiibo unlocks. Why?
Because the game gates ‘Fusion mode’ behind the paywall. Yep, you need to buy and scan another amiibo just to unlock the game’s equivalent of hard mode.
And that’s kind of insulting really. Seriously, do you know how Metroid Prime 3 did this difficulty stuff?
It included three difficulty levels in game for free. Same goes for Metroid Prime 1 with Hard Mode, and Metroid Prime Pinball with Expert Mode.
So it’s not like Metroid games can’t offer difficulty levels. They’ve done so perfectly well in the past, and they’ve included them as a standard feature to boot.
Yet for whatever reason, Nintendo wants you to buy an amiibo to do the same thing here. It’s utterly ridiculous.
Just like all the other amiibo only unlocks really. All of them were previously free features removed and made pay only amiibo add-ons.
Congrats Nintendo. Congrats on becoming yet another company obsessed with milking toys and DLC to sell features that were previously free parts of the core game.
Let’s hope Metroid: Samus Returns is the last time you’ll do anything like this, okay?
You need four amiibo to unlock everything Metroid: Samus Returns has to offer (Eurogamer)