Last week, I wrote my first TTAC editorial since…well, you know, that one. By all measures, it was well-received—good user engagement, significant readership, and over 2,000 Facebook shares. But there was another article about the Focus RS and dealership issues that ran three hours later which did even better.
Over on OppositeLock, which is the user-content driven Kinja automotive site, user LJ909 wrote a post entitled “The Focus RS has been sitting on dealer lots and dealers can only blame themselves.” Hmm. I mean, it wasn’t exactly the same as my title, “The Focus RS is Dead, and Dealers Are to Blame,” but it was pretty close.
Hmmm. Something’s rotten in the state of Kinja.
Of course, I wouldn’t have noticed any of this without the always eagle-eyed Bozi Tatarevic’s assistance. After he pointed out these “coincidences” to me, I went and read the Focus RS story. It’s no longer available online (more on that in a moment) but trust me when I tell you that it was a blow-by-blow ripoff of my story—certain lines were nearly direct quotes.
But, if 600 people had read it, I probably wouldn’t have cared. No, it was the giant traffic number that bothered me. 70,000+ people who should have been reading my take from, well, me. I hate to admit how petty that makes me sound, but if the shoe fits, I suppose.
So what did I do? Well, I did what anybody would do in the year 2017…TO THE TWITTERS!
— Bark M. (@BarkMFoRS) July 17, 2017
To the credit of the folks at Opposite Lock (which no longer has a thing to do with Jalopnik—mostly because of things like this), they took immediate action and removed the post once they realized the similarity, and one of the administrators posted this message in the comments of LJ909’s Traverse, um, article:
In the words of the dearly departed Phife Dawg from the track “Show Business,” please (idiomatic word for a person of African-American descent), I work too hard for this. I don’t understand what joy somebody would take in completely ripping off another person’s work and attempting to pass it off as his own, but Mr, LJ909, I kinda feel bad for you.
It’s reminiscent of the time a guy showed up to an audition for my ska band in college carrying a tape recorder instead of an instrument, swearing up and down that the trombonist on the recording was him. Unfortunately, since I happened to be the saxophonist on the recording (it was a tape of a friend’s Junior Jazz Performance recital), I had to call bullshit. LJ, whoever you are, go make your own stories. For all I know, you’re fourteen years old and sitting in your mom’s basement, jerking off to pics of Stef Schrader (a description that applies to roughly 99.9 percent of Oppo writers). If so, I ain’t mad at ya. I just want you to take your passion and put it toward something original.
If you’re a grown man, well, I invite you to fuck off. Biting ain’t cool, bro.