MTLBlog.com – Clickbait, Copyright Infringement, Egotism and Lies

mtl.blog.logo

(Site logo has been censored because the owner will probably throw a tantrum and threaten to sue me if I show it here as he has done with other sites)

About:

“There are 18 paragraphs of text, no images. It’s boring.” -Chuck Lapointe (Owner of MTLBlog, August 7, 2014) referring to the MTL Gazette.

That’s right, reading is boring. Why read boring factual news or legitimate journalism when you can be spoon-fed vacuous content written by someone with the writing skills of a 3rd grader?

The generically titled “MTL Blog” is little more than a cesspool of lists, articles and galleries that have been harvested by a team of unpaid interns with an insatiable hunger for fecal matter. The content is hand picked by MTL Blog‘s staff with the surgical precision of a Tsar bomb. The content is fed into their WordPress editor, where it is published immediately, without a moment’s delay – or editorial review. Their daily routine entails browsing their Facebook feeds, and copy/pasting every single photo or body of text they see. The process is known to take entire minutes.

They have two full time “writers” (the term used very loosely) and a bunch of unpaid interns. These “employees” seem to spend roughly half  their time reading french newspapers and summarizing them into something resembling English, and the other half writing click-bait style headlines that often contain half-truths, or outright lies [2].

History:

Founded  by a group of egomaniacs [1] about two years ago, their WordPress blog was thrown together using a slightly modified WordPress template, not unlike the one you’re looking at right now on this blog (I spent 4 entire minutes configuring it).

Content:

Tepid reading whilst sitting on the toilet; soon to be forgotten the moment it is flushed.

Money:

Market products to the masses while keeping a home grown and community based appearance.

(my suggestion for MTL Blog‘s Mission Statement)

MTL Blog makes money by slipping paid articles advertisements in with the rest of the unlicensed material they show on their site. This is done to fool viewers into thinking they’re viewing something home-grown or genuine. What they’re really getting is an advertisement, not the legitimate review they thought they were reading. Want to pitch your product/restaurant/bar/event to a bunch of 18-24 year olds? No problem, that’ll run you somewhere between $80 and $160 [5].

“You’ll never see us write a negative review of a restaurant, ever ever ever,” – Chuck Lapointe (August 7, 2014)

Why would you? You’re being paid for the review! … Unless… they don’t pay? Maybe that will be Chuck’s next money making scheme: pay up or we’ll write negative reviews of your business!

Rating:

The Good: None, this generic MTL blog creates absolutely nothing of value. It’s management seems to think they can get away with stealing content and silencing critics by threatening lawsuits over illegitimate trademark claims.

The Bad: Top 10 reasons MTL Blog is trash:

  1. Copy/Pasted content from 3rd parties without their consent [3]
  2. Very little original content
  3. When content is original, it contains many grammatical errors [4]
  4. False statements and half truths galore [2]
  5. Egomaniacal staff/writers with delusions of grandeur [1]
  6. Paid advertisements displayed as though they it were home-grown articles [5]
  7. Litigious ownership claiming ownership of the generic terms “Blog” and “MTL” (you can’t make this shit up), then threatening legal action against those who use them [6]
  8. Hypocritical staff, they steal other people’s material, then get upset when they get called out for doing so [6]
  9. Clickbait headlines
  10. Non-stop shitty top 10 style lists

In summary, MTL Blog is awful, it brings nothing of value or substance, thus it gets my worst rating yet:

1/10

Why not 0/10 you ask? Because I’m not an asshole, that’s why. Maybe one day the people at MTL Blog will wake up and realize their extreme anti-social behavior is not acceptable. Maybe one day  they will realize their behavior will not be tolerated by the Montreal community.

Note: For Clarification Chuck, you do not own the words “Montreal” nor do you own the words “Blog“, regardless of the Trademark you filed for your site’s logo a few weeks ago [7].

Citations:

  1. http://www.mtlblog.com/2014/07/a-love-letter-to-montreal/While thanks is truly unnecessary, we must recognize how the city, and all its inhabitants, have changed and evolved, for the better, by our presence. Humble beginnings beget the most fantastic of beasts, and with vigour and determination, we’ve proven anyone can disrupt the media monopoly and social dynamics built and enforced by the generation of our elders. A city must change with the flow of the time, and we’ve lead Montreal into a new era, one that is still undefined, but glows with a prelude to a shining future.” -Michael D’Alimonte (July 29, 2014)
  2. A few examples of their half-truths and outright lies:
    1. http://www.mtlblog.com/2014/06/tornado-warning-issued-for-montreal/ “Tornado Warning Issued For Montreal” -Joshua McRae (June 23, 2014), a flat out lie that a tornado was headed for Montreal, despite no such warning having been issued by Environment Canada.
    2. http://www.mtlblog.com/2014/06/old-2-bills-are-now-worth-20-000/ “Old $2 Bills Are Now Worth $20, 000″-Michael D’Alimonte (June 9, 2014) a flat out lie.
    3. https://twitter.com/stm_nouvelles/status/497391315198681089 “@mtlblog Your title is misleading. We are exploring the idea, but not “preparing to sell” anything.” -STM (7 Aug 2014) in response to their claim that the STM was ‘preparing to sell’ maps.
  3. Virtually every single high quality photo displayed on the site is taken without consent from unsuspecting photographers, most never know that their photos have been used, the few that do, get ignored. Here is a small sample:
    1. https://twitter.com/evemartel/status/496795701276577793/photo/1 “So my Superbeauty pic is STILL up on @mtlblog’s page without credit. No response to the request I sent via Facebook. pic.twitter.com/pa3zIfVuso” -Eve Martel (August 5, 2014)
    2. https://twitter.com/sparksriley/statuses/494253988305330177 “.@mtlblog apologizes for being so terrible http://www.mtlblog.com/2014/07/a-love-letter-to-montreal/ …, celebrates by stealing/aggregating more content http://www.mtlblog.com/2014/07/montreal-bike-paths-officially-banning-electric-scooters/” – Riley Sparks (July 29, 2014)
    3. http://www.mtlblog.com/2014/06/best-montreal-dumplings/11/ photo taken without permission or credit from http://www.themainmtl.com/2013/06/03/showdown-battle-dumpling/ (June 25, 2014)
  4. A few examples:
    1. http://www.mtlblog.com/2014/07/a-love-letter-to-montreal/ “Hate us, and we rebuttal.” -Michael D’Alimonte (July 29, 2014)
    2. http://www.mtlblog.com/2014/07/a-love-letter-to-montreal/ “We’ve taken your picture a thousand times, and every frame is a reminder of why we do what we do; a reflection of ourselves in another physical form.” -Michael D’Alimonte (July 29, 2014)
    3. http://www.mtlblog.com/2014/07/a-love-letter-to-montreal/  “Pretentious, unconnected, and formal we are not, a reinvigorating breeze unto the collective community of the city.” -Michael D’Alimonte (July 29, 2014)
    4. … hell, just read that one article, it’s so full of errors, delusions and egotism. Tt would be hilarious if it weren’t for the fact that the author was being serious when he wrote it.
  5. http://fucknomontreal.tumblr.com/post/82936237642/apparently-if-you-send-a-press-release-to-mtl “Apparently, if you send a press release to MTL Blog about your local event, under the impression that they are a blog about Montreal and therefore interested in covering local content, you will be sent a link to their price list/Photo Coverage Offer” (April 16, 2014)
  6. http://mmttllblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/bmtl-banned-from-facebook/ “Looks like somebody‘s mad at us on Facebook for making a parody of a website without using any of their content! We don’t exactly know what we’ve taken that wasn’t legit, seeing that the words “Blog” and “MTL” don’t really belong to anyone.”-BlogMTL (August 4, 2014) in response to having their facebook page shutdown for daring to use the words “Blog” and “MTL”.
  7. “Please refrain from registering domain names that have MTL Blog in it or you will get it removed.” -Chuck Lapointe (August 6, 2014) in an email to me.

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