Original content, that is the key in web traffic. Google always says that content is king and engagement a close second. For those who don’t work in the industry, original content is not easy. It takes time, research and money. Engagement is easier to pull off because all you need is something entertaining and people will spend time on it.
So after having exhausted almost all of its permutations of Buzzfeed style lists like top 17 Ramen restaurants in Montreal, MTL Blog moved to stealing content. I do want to take this moment to say that anything beyond a top 5 (i.e top 17 is not a top anything list but rather just a list). Now back to this week’s theft by MTL Blog.
Take a look at the July 28 article from the Montreal Gazette
where writer Colin Harris (an actual real journalist) clearly spent some time researching it and preparing and where an actual qualified editor reviewed it.
Then take a look at the MTL Blog post later on the same day. They took the idea and ran with it adding little original content. Normally we would expect them to not cite their source but this time they did. Which makes my job easier (so thank you). The only extra info they added was from another Gazette article on the fines which you can find here.
So why is this wrong you may ask. While this is not 100% plagiarism, this is recycling someone’s work (in the twitter-sphere we call that a RT). They glanced over the article, found some extra content, slapped it together and voila, original content on their site. This is a part of the SEO game for traffic and engagement. It fills pages and gets them greater ad revenue.
Now journalists have a code of ethics they must abide by and it can be found here. Here’s where it gets tricky. MTL Blog is not a newspaper nor do they have real reporters. They just provide content like a PR company. Although they give the impression that they report news with articles like this and subtle tips like having newspaper on their Facebook page.
Journalist who have their hard work stolen/lifted aren’t rewarded for it. Do you think that Colin Harris wants to be associated to MTL Blog? Did they ask him or the Gazette to use their work? I mean imagine how you would feel if you spent time working on something and then someone stole it, changed it up a little and made money off of it?
Oh well, let’s file this under just another example of MTL Blog ripping off content from other journalists, bloggers, writers and content creators.
Remember only you can help stop MTL Blog by getting people to Un-follow them on Facebook. You can use our handy “Help! My friends are douchebags guide” as well as our “Help! My friends accidentaly liked MTL Blog” guides to Un-Following MTL Blog.