I don’t quite know how to begin this post. I’m not even really sure what to call this post. I’m just so blown away at the moment that I don’t even think I can properly articulate this.

It started with a post about Natives. It was a link to an Upworthy page that had posted the unaired Superbowl video of how the R**skins should change their name. This video, to be exact – 

Anyway, it was an Upworthy post with the same Upworthy ambiguous title as all other Upworthy posts have. The video itself is about the portrayal of Natives, the racism and exploitation of the Native image. Well, I mean, that’s what I got out of the video anyway. So I mentioned “hey, instead of sharing from Upworthy, how about you share it from a source like a Native website or whatnot?” The irony of sharing a video about exploitation of Natives from a site that only exploits other people’s work for their own clickbait revenue was quite apparent here..or so I thought.

The poster herself replied with a “The point of my post isn’t to support one website over another, just to get the video out. Possibly even spark up discussion about the content, as opposed to which website I came across in my newsfeed and shared from.” That was the last she spoke about it while another friend chimed in. Myself and the other friend, both part Native argued over how content is more important than the website that it is shared from. I agree, getting content out is great and getting people to watch is great. The point I was trying to make that with political/ethical issues, if you’re going to “go with it” and post about it, maybe make it a legitimate post? By posting from a website that exploits and basically contributes part of the issue that the video is representing makes you look a wee bit hypocritical.

Upworthy is basically the America’s Funniest Home videos for Liberal slacktivists. Basically I was attacked by taking away their “feel good” moment because they shared a video from Upworthy and therefore was bringing attention to the cause. How DARE I point out the flaws in Upworthy’s business principle on a post from Upworthy? As tweedle dee and tweedle dum pointed out with the same “the point….you missed it” image from imgur, I seem to have missed the point in my anti-capitalist postings. I pointed out that if you care about a cause, you should help the little guy who actually you know, posted the info in the first place out instead of buying it third party from the Walmart of emotional videos. They claimed Upworthy was legitimate and had no problem with their business practices because it’s a liberal site! They post a lot of excellent info and spread awareness!

Upworthy borrows everyone else’s work and copies and pastes what they find from a smaller blog to share on theirs in a post and try to make it go viral. They link back to the site at the very end of the article so just incase you want to re-read what you just read from the original source then cool. It’s there. Plus then they can’t fully get charged with plagiarism. Upworthy tries to make it look like it’s “playing Robin Hood” while doing the complete opposite to *SPOILER ALERT* the originators of the content. Yes, that’s right. They take someone else’s work and benefit off of it. Do the original content makers get a cut from the ad revenue that their post generated on Upworthy? No, they don’t. What’s left is an author of a little blog in this half/half state of happy to see their post being shared but sadly seeing someone else get all the glory.

Now, bringing this back to the original video in question, a video that talks about Natives reclaiming themselves and their identity, can you spot where there was a bit of an “oopsie daisy” from sharing the video from Upworthy?

This person feels so strongly against stolen content in other aspects, but Upworthy gets a pass because she loves her Upworthy. The fans of Upworthy all seem like they need the website to show them what they should be passionate about. They say they want to support the cause, but when I posted about http://www.changethemascot.org/ early last summer, she didn’t want to contribute anything then. It was only after Upworthy brought attention to it that she decided to post the video for discussion. (By the way, the only discussion on her post to date is the one I had with her friend). Maybe I’m enraged because I don’t think anyone should be sitting on a website everyday and rely on that to tell them what to be passionate about, what to care about. It all has a very Orwellian feel to me and it creeps me out but oh well.

If there was one thing Upworthy COULD do, which I’ve seen a lot of other bigger blogs do, is post the video and say, the first paragraph or two from the article that it wants to promote but then create a link to the original poster for the rest of the article. This would not only keep creating the clickrate for Upworthy themselves, but they would also be adding the clickrate over to the person who actually put the effort into creating the post originally therefore legitimizing themselves more when it comes to political issues.

Upworthy is the updated version of this, basically.

Upworthy is the updated version of this, basically.

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