Saturday, 11 August 2018

#80 - Social Media Lynch Mobs 08/11/18

I don't expect most people to know who Filip Miucin is. If you're one of those "most people" I'm talking about, I'll catch you up.

Filip is a YouTuber who recently got hired by IGN (one of the biggest video game websites on the internet). A dream job for many aspiring gaming journalists. Last week, he got to publish his first video game review on the site. Unfortunately for him, things fell apart pretty quickly after his review went public.

The person behind the YouTube channel "Boomstick Gaming" watched Filip's review video, and quickly noticed that Filip's review sounded a lot like the review Boomstick himself had published a few days earlier for the same game. He made a new video pointing out the similarities, and accused Filip and IGN of plagiarizing his review. The accusation video quickly blew up, and after an investgation by IGN, they determined there was substantial evidence supporting the plagiarism claims. They swiftly terminated Filip's employment, and issued an apology notice.

Filip has since put out another YouTube video, addressing the claims. But he doesn't actually apologize to Boomstick Gaming in his vlog. In fact, it seems to have made the situation worse. People are (rightly) questioning why someone would risk a potential dream job by doing something as stupid and lazy as stealing another journalists review and trying to pass it off as their own. I don't know the answer to that question, but that's not why I wanted to post this blog.

I've read a bunch of the tweets and comments directed at Filip over the last week or so. While I have zero doubt in my mind that he did indeed steal Boomstick's work and try to pass it off as his own, I can't get behind the venom being spewed at him over his mistake. Filip is the latest in a long line of people that are being crucified by "social media lynch mobs" over mistakes they've made. And I think it's getting out of hand.

I love Twitter. I tolerate most social media. In today's world, it's almost a necessary evil if you want to stay connected. Giving everyone a voice, and the ability to say whatever they want to whoever they want to say it to has changed the world. I'm not certain it's a change for the better, though. People are taking it too far. There's an old saying, "let he who is without sin, cast the first stone." Nobody is without sin. But people are coming down on this kid like they're perfect, and he harmed all of them personally.

Filip made a mistake. And he has paid a heavy, albeit fair, price for it. He was let go of a dream job in his industry, and will probably never be hired by anyone else in gaming journalism again. A quick google search of his name (which is something I assume most employers do these days), will produce a magnitude of articles discussing his alleged plagiarism, and that's probably about as far as his interview processes will get for the foreseeable future. I don't have any issue whatsoever with that.

My issue is with people still piling on this kid, days after he was fired and humiliated. Calling him vicious names and taking joy in his misery. Filip has claimed that other members of his family have received the same treatment he has, and that's never OK. The guy ripped off a video game review. He didn't poison a water supply or steal money from an orphanage. All these "internet tough guys" need to take a step back and look in the mirror. Just because mistakes you've made in the past aren't on the internet for the world to see, doesn't mean you're perfect. And this whole "mob mentality" that we as a society have adopted to deal with people that screw up online needs to stop before it pushes someone over an edge that they can't return from.

Social media has given everyone a voice, and I think it's great. I just don't know if it's doing more good than it is harm...

Thanks for reading.



  1. I just wtote this same blog 3 days ago...sunnava...