So here is a more in depth recap of MTL Blogs “A Love Letter To Montreal” or as others have been calling it, the sorry not sorry apology.
The first thing I noticed is this is long, like really long. MTL Blog never writes this much so it seems that people’s complaints are not falling on deaf ears.
So yesterday we briefly went over this gem of a letter and gave an initial gut feeling on this Love Letter To Montreal as well as a link to the Twitter responses you can read that post here.
So lets take a closer look at some of their claims and apply logic and reason, i.e. expose the lies.
Let’s start with “We are sorry to any we have led astray, or made weary with informational/grammatical errors. A small team of only several individuals, we lack the resources to ensure perfection in the plethora of content pumped out each day, yet we should regardless. Continue to keep us honest, because under your watchful eye we will be ever vigilant to maintain a level of excellence fitting of your viewership.”
OK so we all know they can’t spell and maybe the small army of 29 people working there in some fashion can’t spell either apparently. One would assume with such a “small team” this would not be an issue, even if you remove the photographers and only focus on content producers (I have issues calling them writers) then you should be able to get a competent editor or 2. I mean, they aren’t checking for facts or that photos aren’t stolen, so what exactly are they doing?
Now I can’t help laughing at the part they say “to maintain a level of excellence fitting of your viewership.” So when they say viewership, who do they mean? Well since their audience is mainly from Facebook, which constitutes around 70% of their traffic, we can safely make that assumption. One of the nice things about Facebook is that you can see stats on Facebook pages. So when we see that the age group is 18-24, this reinforces our theory that this site is targeted to Cegep kids and University kids.
They get to addressing the part where they have been stealing bloggers content as well as media stories and repackaging them. Well sort of … “We are sorry to any and all in the Montreal community, from artists to fellow media contributors, for whom we have slighted, in any form. The ethics of the internet are ever-evolving, and our lack of initial experience on the subject has led to unacceptable errors on our end, creating a rift between ourselves and certain others. We have taken note of your griefs and concerns, and know we will do all in our power to remake our relationships into an equal exchange, where all can benefit. Help us to improve, and so will you.”
Here is a tip on how to help them improve. Stop stealing stuff. Ask permission before taking pictures. If you find it on Google, look where it comes from, there’s a source for everything. Also there are services out there than scan images for the original copyright holder. You should try using them. In fact, look at all your food posts and assume they are stolen. You can narrow it down further and look at articles from Bledstein/Joseph, Fulginiti and D’Alimonte. Those are the 3 whom we get the most results for in terms of posts with stolen images or stolen / re-edited content. What’s odd is that Bledstein (or Joseph as he switches names) has journalism experience with the McGill Tribune so one would assume he would know better but his posts are loaded with stolen pics. Fulginiti is a blogger herself with a food site (http://agrowingappetite.me/) and of all the people MTL Blog pissed off, bloggers are up in arms over their content being stolen. It’s sad one of their own is part of the problem. As for D’Alimonte, all I can say is I hope you don’t plan a future in real journalism because many reporters already hate you, trust me, I get their emails.
For anyone working or considering working for MTL Blog consider this, you are in poor company and if you think it’s good to have on your CV, think twice as it will not open any industry doors if they look at the content on the site and MTL Blog’s poor track record.
Rounding out our last section is this doozy “Lastly, we are truly sorry to any we may have offended with our content. Displeasure among our viewership is never our intent, and at times we have seemed insensitive and altogether crass and uneducated. We will never hold back our thoughts or opinions, but we understand the emotion certain topics and themes can invoke, and so, moving forward, we will always think about how you will feel, and not solely use our own personal perspective when sharing across our network.”
All I have to say is why is this post still up? What does it have to do with Montreal? Why are you such douchebags? If you really care how people feel, take it down.
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.
As a bonus here’s some of the comments from the initial post. Normally we don’t suggest you ever go to MTL Blog which on the reasons we use screen grabs, but the comments on their post are pure old. Here are some exerts so you get an idea of peoples frustration.
“This is such a long-winded half apology. Being “youthful and inexperienced” isn’t an excuse for lacking basic research and editing skills. Let’s call it what it is: laziness. Righting your wrongs is something you should’ve done a long time ago. If a reader points out a mistake, whether it big or small, fix it and make sure it never happens again! So simple. And don’t be so bold as to rebuke anyone who challenges you. Point is, you could’ve avoided having to write a post like this. Regardless, I wish you luck and hope you achieve credibility.”
“Yes, the ethics of the internet are ever-evolving. Because in ancient times there was no law or ethics or common sense; ’twas a Sodom and Gomorrah of content theft, neighbour pillaging neighbour, Judean blogger, Galilean photographer and Samaritan tumblr alike; until the Webmaster Moses came unto them with a tablet device full of commandments and terms of service and said unto them THOU SHALT NOT SIMPLY COPY-PASTE, PLUS THERE’S THAT LOGIC AND GRAMMAR THING but lo, they did not heed in their prideful wickedness; and verily did the Lawyers smite them with the hammer of DMCA.”
“This is an incredibly pretentious and terribly written piece. It veers between overt self-congratulation, pointless floridity, and unconvincing humblebraggy apologies.I never had a huge problem with MTLBlog. Sure, it was full of errors (both grammatical and, more concerningly, factual) and most of the content was useless fluff seemingly designed for 19-year-old McGill kids straight out of rez who were looking for cool things to do in the city. But a select few of the articles were entertaining and I legitimately learned about a lot of interesting events through it. Montreal has so many things happening that we’re in desperate need of a good blog that collects some of the best ones for us.But to respond to the genuine criticism of the site with this is just inexplicable to me. You didn’t need to write an open letter taking single-handed credit for bringing about “a level of adoration and glory for Montreal unseen for many decades,” you just need to hire a goddamn copy editor–or at least have SOMEONE read over the articles once or twice before hitting “publish.” Also, vaguely fact-checking the things you write would be appreciated.I genuinely hope you guys can turn this blog into something awesome. Best of luck.
EDIT: Oh, wait, just realized you guys are getting hated on because you stole content and photographs from other websites, not just for posting shitty articles. Screw you guys.”