There’s this guy that calls himself John Henry that absolutely hates Addicting Info. HATES IT! Apparently we have “authoritarian control over liberal and progressive discourse on Facebook.”
Well, who knew?! I had no idea the site I write for was the master of all things liberal!
According to John Henry, we are a “low-information, high-confirmation-bias” “liberal news” site. This guy has been ranting about us for over a year now, maybe longer. He’s constantly claimed that we post misinformation and flat out lies. What makes that particular accusation so adorable is that, as a news aggregate blog, we do not generate our own news. We can’t; we don’t have reporters. What we DO do, like pretty much every blog out there is watch cable news, read newspapers, scan the AP and the big news blogs like Think Progress and Raw Story. Then we either follow their story back to the source material (like a local city newspaper or local news website) or quote them directly and then give our take on it. So, in order for us to be constantly posting false information, that would have to mean so are all of the news sources we pick up our stories from.
Only a fucking idiot would think that. But John Henry certainly fills the role.
The real target of Henry’s obsession is my boss, Matthew Desmond. Matthew has built up a rather successful liberal website in the span of three years and he did it without having extensive contacts in the liberal media world. He’s managed to piss off a lot of people in the process and there’s A LOT of sour grapes from sites that have not kept pace with us. And so we get accused of plagiarism and theft.
I’ve challenged several Facebook admins over this ridiculous charge and the response has been eerie in its unity: I know you plagiarize because other admins said so but I don’t have any proof that I can show you.
This is the kind of rumormongering crap I expect from teabaggers. One idiot actually crowed that I proved his charge of deliberate plagiarism when I “admitted” that we’ve had a couple of writers plagiarize other sites, get caught by us, fired and we deleted the stolen material. In total, maybe 5-7 articles in three years out of 8,800 or so articles published. The New York Times has had this happen and they are a multi-million dollar organization with a highly trained staff. We’re a bunch of college educated (some of us) bloggers doing this part time. Somehow, though, we’re expected to never have this happen.
This same genius, by the way, declared the fact that I thought it was only five articles while Matthew says seven is PROOF that we intentionally plagiarize. You see, we can’t even get our story straight! AHA!
Yeah, this is the level of intellect I’m dealing with.
The other curious thing about all of these upstanding citizens that cannot BEAR to see AI destroy liberalism as we know it is that they are veeeerrrry reluctant to engage in public. They make loud public announcements about how slimy we are but seem rather authoritarian themselves when challenged on it. What happens is that every now and then a page comes to my attention that is insisting AI steals articles and pictures. I drop on by and ask simply for them to prove their case. Not for nothing, if we are the rampant thieves and scum they claim we are, it should be child’s play to expose us.
It usually takes less than an hour for me to be banned. And that’s without cursing or yelling. One page had the gall to tell me they were “investigating” the accusations they had already posted as fact. They became most upset when I asked them if they were planning of contacting every person that shared their post to personally apologize for misleading them when their “deep research” turned up empty. The nerve of me!
My favorite accusation is the one where we “steal” pictures and memes from other pages and claim them as our own. Apparently, if you post a picture on your page without crediting the creator, you have claimed ownership. Of course, Facebook being what it is, unless the picture has a watermark (and many do), there really is no way to know where it came from. Further, the pictures we make ourselves have our logo on it so it’s pretty fucking obvious which ones we “claim.” Anything else is just an interesting or funny picture we saw online and shared. Sure, it drives traffic between pages but unless the person who created it puts a logo on it, we have no way to credit the source so cry me a river.
Let me be perfectly clear: To all of you content creators that SWEAR we stole it from you, if you couldn’t be bothered to watermark it, then don’t blame other people for sharing it without credit. How the FUCK are we supposed to know YOU made it if you’re too goddamn lazy and/or stupid to put your name on it?
Let me also be perfectly clear on this: If you’re going to claim we took your logo off even though we have literally hundreds of pictures uploaded with the logo left intact (because it doesn’t concern us if you get credit so why would we bother?), you’d better have some goddamn proof, you little shit. I get banned a lot for asking that question, too.
Strangely enough, every single page that accuses us of “theft” in this manner engages in the exact same “evil” practice. They have numerous pictures posted with credit they did not create themselves. Doesn’t seem to count when they do it. No one can explain why that is. George Takei does this a lot as well. They also can’t explain why they don’t report and harass him. It’s almost like we’re held to a double standard. How very liberal of them…
Still, John Henry turned out to be the biggest coward of them all as he flat out refused to even talk to me for more than 10 minutes before banning me from his page. Why? Because I asked him to prove his allegations. Mind you, this is the ringleader of these clowns and I gave him the chance to publicly humiliate me by exposing AI for the fraudulent thieves we allegedly are. Wouldn’t you think he would relish the opportunity? Shouldn’t he have savagely destroyed me with his overwhelming evidence?
Nope, he banned me almost immediately. The only person to have worked continuously at AI longer than me is Desmond and he owns it. I would have to be explicitly involved in the wholesale theft and plagiarism Henry accuses us of for that to be the case. I’ve written over 800 of the 8000+ articles for the site and who knows how many more I’ve edited? I personally fired one person for plagiarism and I did it with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. I’m the perfect person to annihilate on his own page with his ironclad case against us.
Instead, he banned me. He later unbanned me (or FB did, it happens) but I don’t know when that was. I went back on today and he banned me immediately because, clearly, he’s not afraid at all to face the people he’s been trying to “expose.”
I generally don’t care for this playground bullshit but since Henry’s started posting my name in his little tinfoil hat conspiracies, I felt the need to tell him in writing that he is, by far, the biggest coward I have ever dealt with (and that’s saying something!). He is absolutely free to come to my page, Proud To Be A Filthy Liberal Scum, and present his case for all of my readers to see and I will happily debate him and any and all of his little followers whenever he wants. Bring your evidence, not just your accusations you spineless bag of impotent pus. I goddamn dare you!
Try being a man for once, Henry!