Tag Archives: mtl blog douche bags

MTL Blog harrassing local artists

So a recent petition has been posted on change.org for a band called Archery Guild. They have been getting harassed by the collection department of MTL Blog. This was over a show that MTL Blog went to cover and even though no contract was ever signed, they are sending this band a bill with interest.

Now we have discussed how MTL Blog is not a real news site since newspapers don’t charge for coverage of shows. Although their situation is a little more complicated since they re-post news-like stories in order to imply legitimacy.

We have seen that MTL Blog does charge for events as seen here and the following is a testimonial showcasing the frustration of a small local artist getting harassed and shaken down by a larger marketing / PR company aka (MTL Blog).

Please take the time to fill out the petition and spread the word. Twitter also happens to be a great way to get MTL Blog to do stuff since they only react when put on the spot as evidenced by past experiences with local bloggers.

mtl blog bill

An excerpt from the post states the following:

Although you’re posting as a blog, you’re not. You’re a PR service. In the criteria, you stated that payment must be made before the event. I didn’t pay before the event, and I didn’t sign anything saying that I would. This is why I’m wondering what gives you the leverage to add interest and tax. If there were a contract, it would be a different story. There was no contract, this was your responsibility.

 

MTL Blog Petition

 

MTL Blog called out for misleading headlines by STM

Just recently, MTL Blog posted an article about the STM with the headline of “STM Prepares To Sell Metro Maps To Montrealers“. You can see it on the screen grab from their Facebook page which acts as a time capsule and shows the original un-edited text.

original mtl blog stm headline

Shortly after, the STM sent out a tweet to MTL Blog saying that the title is misleading and that they are exploring the idea and not preparing to sell.
mtl blog stm tweet

MTL Blog actually changed it, which is something they rarely do.  Normally mistakes get ignored/forgotten and they keep moving ahead, but this one was public enough so makes sense that they clean up the mess. It also highlights how deceptive and misleading headlines coupled with little or no research of a story they are writing leads to a situation where people who follow them on Facebook or Twitter will think this is real and will contact the STM and clog up their resources with unfounded requests.

There was a similar case a recently when MTL Blog did a post saying that metro maps were being given away and when people contacted the STM, they were not for the public.

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 12.10.55 AM (2)

This also prompted the very rare MTL Blog edit/correction on their post, something you will rarely see no matter how many errors they make.

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We should note that if your “source” is a lone Reditt post you may want to dig a little bit deeper and actually call the STM before you make a statement to thousands of readers. The actual article by Andy Riga in the Gazette is clear when it uses words like “might”.  The article goes in depth with what might happen with the signs and does not blindly imply like the MTL Blog article which stripped away lots of the detail of the Gazette article and jammed together a few points.

This is also part of a greater issue where MTL Blog is treading the line between journalism media and an entertainment blog.  Real newspapers have editors and they check facts, MTL Blog does not. They are trying to take some info from legitimate articles, water them down but add no value to them. Covering a story is one thing if you have a reference or source but you should be adding value and opinion to it. MTL Blog just makes the story shorter and adds a nonsensical line of:  “If these prices seem fair and you really want some STM swag, let ‘em know. Hopefully we’ll all have hip and trendy STM signs in our respective apartments soon.”

I don’t know which is more frustrating, if MTL Blog becomes a news aggregator, a plagiarist or the fact that they jump on both sides of the lines and cause frustration with their misleading headlines.

 

MTL Blog and their non apology

So MTL Blog posted its apology letter or, as they call it, love letter to Montreal with the title of “You’re welcome, and we’re sorry.”

I’m on vacation with limited internet so I will keep this reply short. It’s barely an apology and the Twitter comments on this are golden.

Feel free to click on this link for the twitter blow up.

The first few paragraphs are basically them professing how great they are and how they are changing/challenging the media establishment – “we’ve proven anyone can disrupt the media monopoly and social dynamics built and enforced by the generation of our elders.”

If by disrupting the media establishment they mean stealing other peoples images and content, then I guess they are right.

Let’s be clear, MTL Blog is not Vice Magazine, not Eater, they are not revolutionaries like Che Guevara. They are a very douchy version of Buzz Feed.

I love the part where they say, “Our unmatched knowledge of events, parties, and general goings-on has given you a new level of understanding of the city.”

I should point out that they charge for event coverage (rates aren’t public) but when other blogs do that, it’s called a sponsored post and it’s clearly stated. MTL Blog does not state anything regarding fees.
MTL BLOG RATE CARD

Here are some of our favourites Tweets

MTL BLOG too lazy to write its own stuff so steals from MTL Gazette

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.

air b n b gazette

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.

air b n b mtl blog

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.

mtl_blog

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.

 

 

 

 

Virgin Radio 96 -Should know better

Today Virgin Radio 96‘s Facebook Page shared an MTL Blog post re: Jessica Biel. Now normally we complain about how MTL Blog steals photos and has questionable content but today we will call out Virgin Radio 96 for sharing and encouraging this.

Virgin_Radio_96

 

 When a legitimate media outlet like Virgin Radio 96 shares MTL Blog’s postings, they lend legitimacy to posts like this:
top half
Yup all class all the way… Good job Virgin 96.
As well, on a related note, the post from the Virgin Radio FB post has an embedded photo from the moment it was posted. That photo is no longer there because it belongs to Journal de Montreal.
Jessica_Biel_et_Justin_Timberlake_à_Montréal_Jet_Set_Célébrités_Spectacles
Now MTL Blog no longer has that pic up or links to Journal de Montreal. But when you post a link from FB, the image gets stuck in the post, it does not change unless you delete and re-post it. So Virgin Radio shows that photo was on the MTL Blog page. Someone at Journal de Montreal likely complained. We can’t tell for sure since we didn’t see the initial post, but MTL Blog’s poor track record and the Virgin 96 post would make us guess they stole that pic too.
This should not take away the fact that Virgin 96 should not be sharing and distributing content from a site that posts questionable content. Simply put, they are on par with a tabloid magazine in this instance. In fact, Le Journal the Montreal broke this story on July 23, while MTL Blog “broke” the story or, in this case, re-did it on July 24. Virgin should of just used the Journal de Montreal as their source, someone legitimate.

MLT Blog steal from La Presse

So on our last posting we spoke on how MTL Blog stole a pic from Resto Montreal, a large Montreal site. Now it seems that MTL Blog upped their game and went for a bigger fish and stole from La Presse.

In their “Spécialité falafel”, writer Eve Dumas has a write up on Falafel Freiha and a photo clearly credited to Marco Campanozzi, of La Presse. The article is dated 03 octobre 2011 and the photo credit is quite visible as you can see in the photo below.

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Now comes MTL Blog’s “Best Montreal Falafels” – all 20 of them. On  a personal note, picking 20 falafels in Montreal and calling them Best is not really a “best of” list. Usually people choose top 5 or top 3, not 20 spots which likely covers a good portion of places that serve falafels. I would also like to add that having a spot situated in Laval  (Falafel Freiha is situated on 3858 Boulevard Perron, Laval) is kind of nonsensical when you are doing a “Best Montreal Falafels”. . The Montreal part should be rather important.

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That being said, MTL Blog felt it would be nice to use the pic from La Presse (take a look at the screen grab above). Maybe they felt they wanted to feel like a real news organization so taking the pic would make them legitimate.  It’s more likely that they were lazy and sloppy as seen by the multiple instances of taking photos and not crediting them. Although I doubt that La Presse would allow their image to be used on another site which is kind of a competitor for web traffic.

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.

 

MTL Blog steals from RestoMontreal

Sometimes MTL Blog impresses us by how lazy they can be and this time, they kicked it up a notch and stole not 1 but 2 pictures and not from small local bloggers but from RestoMontreal an actual business whose Legal notice starts with “WARNING: We take copyright infringement very seriously.” It’s a doozy and we included a screen shot in case you don’t feel like clicking on the link above and reading the whole thing.

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 11.33.24 PM (2)

So in a less than inspiring article on MTL Blog, they did a “10 Montreal Middle Eastern Restaurants You Must Try Before You Die”. They felt that the pictures from RestoMontreal would add some credibility and style to their article. So why steal 1 pic when you can steal 2! First up is the food picture for Rumi. You can see it here and then after see the stolen/ un-cited one from MTL Blog.

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Next up is the exterior shot of Rumi the 1st being from RestoMontreal and the second screen grab is the same pic but on MTL Blog.

.Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 11.32.33 PM (2)

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 11.31.29 PM (2)

Normally MTL Blog steals from small local bloggers. This time they decided to steal from someone much larger and organized. At least they don’t discriminate in who they steal content from.  Kudos to you, Mtl Blog, for not discriminating!

Although not a legal opinion, MTL Blog should consider asking for permission of copyrighted material especially when it is implicitly stated on that company’s web site. I mean MTL Blog may wonder why people get angry at them for stealing, maybe they need to realize that you need to ask for permission before using someone else’s content. The same way that stores get angry when you walk out without paying for stuff. Putting  a link to the source is a start but it does not imply consent of the use of the content. RestoMontreal likely paid someone to take those photos, they are clearly professional photos and those don’t come cheap.

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.

 

MTL Blog Steals pic from Roasted

So today’s stolen content victim is local food blogger Roasted Montreal. who has an incredible site for food, parenting and is also a content writer for multiple other sites.

She has a good write up of Montreal’s popular Kazu along with plenty of photos, one of which is the Ramen Noodles with Pork pic seen below. This picture goes back to March 2011.

roasted montreal kazu orginal pic

 

Next on the block is the original photo but used on MTL Blog’s Ramen write up from May 2014, with no citation / source at all. In fact, most of this post is lacking any sources for the pictures and trust me, they can be found on other sites as original content.

 

mtl blog kazu rame stolen pic

Just another example of MTL Blog ripping off content from other bloggers 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.

 

MLT Blog copies from The Main

Dumplings, we all love them as does MTL Blog. The only thing they seem to love more is stealing photos. This time it’s a lovely dumpling pic from The Main’s Battle Dumpling article.

the main original article

As you can see the main has a nice picture and thorough article on Dumplings in Montreal, published back in 2013.

But wait, what’s this, the same picture on MTL Blog with no citation mention done in a 2014 article.

mtl blog stolen dumplings from the main
Here’s what will likely happen. If the man has an issue they will contact MTL Blog. MTL Blog will blame some intern, then put a link after the fact. This is not the 1st time nor will it be the last. Feel free to read our last post regarding other bloggers who had their photos stolen MULTIPLE times.

Playing the blame the intern card or oops we got it from Google and didn’t know game is like a cheating partner saying they won’t do it again and then they go out and do it again, multiple times over.

Here’s a rule of thumb to help avoid this: ASK FOR PERMISSION BEFORE POSTING. Assume your picture does not belong to you and ask the content creator if you can use it. It’s just an email or tweet away, often they will say yes.

 

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.

Friends don’t let friends like MTL Blog.

 

MTL Blog – Stealing content month after month

Some bloggers have contacted MTL Blog in the past regarding  their photos being used without consent.  In some cases, all they want is recognition and a link pointing to the source. You know like when you write a paper and have to cite your work.

Well here’s a not so funny story of what happened to Montreal Food Pictures.

In regards to 2 photos being used without permission, Montreal Food Pictures got through to MTL Blog and asked to credit the photos and link back to the source.

In an email from Montreal Food Photos, they said, “The first time, the editor excused himself saying that the intern was clueless and didn’t know that she has to put credit. The second time, the editor did not apologize…”

mtl blog stolen pic bbq 1

MTL BLOG STOLEN PIC
MTL BLOG STOLEN PIC

The first incident was in April, the 2nd incident in May and the most recent one in June (see below).

 

MTL Blog post with stolen picture dated 2014/06
MTL Blog post with stolen picture dated 2014/06

 

Montreal Food Pics Original Post dated 2013/08
Montreal Food Pics Original Post dated 2013/08

As you can see there is no source mention on the above picture.  If you look at the incidents you will notice that we have 1 every month and the excuse offered by MTL Blog staff of the intern was clueless and didn’t know that she has to put credit is a lie to make it seem like they didn’t do anything bad. Pleading ignorance or that it was a simple mistake only works once, not multiple times, like in this case where the norm seems to be taking the photo without asking for it and the consolation prize is adding a citation and a link.

It’s important to note that MTL Blog makes money of off pictures because their text based content is so short. In fact, the pickle post is only 57 words, compared to the 372 words in the original post by Montreal Food Picture.  I mean, only 57 words, I’ve seen txt messages longer than that.

I think a comment made by Montreal Food Pictures best summarizes the frustration by those who have their photos stolen.

 “You can’t imagine how much effort I put in to take pictures and put some finishing touches. I have been learning food photography for over 5 years, trying to improve myself every day in taking better pictures. It sucks for a person who takes my pic without crediting, without being considerate how much effort that has been put into this work.”

 

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.

Friends don’t let friends like MTL Blog.