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Recently, Kotaku came under controversy again when an article appeared on the site which was translated almost directly from the work of French, Youtuber, Corentin Lamy.

The article which was written by Nathan Grayson back in July and discussed characters from Elder Scrolls, was originally written by Lamy, in French, and later translated, almost word for word, by a reddit user, and turned into an imgur. Despite being bilingual, Lamy was not aware of this translation, and had not been credited in the imgur.

Grayson wrote his article heavily copying and borrowing from the imgur, and credited the imgur user in the article. However, as the imgur had no mention of Lamy, the original writer, he was not credited.

Readers became aware of the situation when yesterday Lamy tweeted  “Ce moment gênant où tu t’aperçois qu’un mec a traduit mot pour mot un de tes articles et qu’il est repris sur @Kotaku” which roughly translates to “That awkward moment when your article is translated word for word and posted to @Kotaku” followed by a link to the article.

Once Stephen Totilo, Kotaku’s Editor in Chief, was made aware of the situation he updated the article.

“The English-language Imgur post cited in this article is primarily based on a 2013 article by French writer Corentin Lamy. The Imgur post included numerous thanks to other people but no credit to the original French article, which we were unaware of until today. We recommend you check out the original French article (you might need to use Google translate!) and regret not being aware of it sooner. The Imgur post does include a small number of extra entries not in the original French piece. Sorry about that, Corentin! – Stephen Totilo, EiC”

Lamy reached out to the creator of the imgur who has since apologised and credited Lamy with his work. Lamy has regretted creating an outcry against Kotaku for this mistake, as he felt there was no way Grayson would have known of the plagiarism simply by reading the imgur.

While most people are pleased with this update, critics are still disappointed at the state of gaming journalism. While Grayson was not aware of the plagiarism, he did write a whole article based on a single imgur, without much research as to the source. This discovery comes at a time when readers are looking for better written, researched and simply higher quality journalism from gaming media.


Georgina Young

Contributor

British girl, currently in Japan. Surviving on a diet of retro games. Worshiping the god that is the Sega Megadrive. I like Nintendo.



  • Sarron

    Nathan is a shitty journalist and Totilo not firing him shows how shitty Kotaku is.

  • Mermadesings

    Nathan Grayson, proving that he fails at one of the basic functions of a journalist. Research, it’s not just something you do for school.

  • isofarro

    Good work, Georgina. I doubt Kotaku (and so rapidly) would have added the disclaimer/mea-culpa without your coverage. Thank you.

    As Totilo noted in his interview with TotalBiscuit, no writer wants their article corrected (disclaimers added) after it’s been published. It’s a public reprimand.

  • Red Lagoon

    “Journalist”

  • Marcio

    Damn working for kotaku is hard work. You cant copy paste a imgur.

  • Jim

    This feels like a non-starter for me, I see a lot of action from gamergate moving in positive directions, but Stephen has more than enough reasonable deniability that his actions were not motivated by plagiarism but simply being unaware of the history on the imgur, I would encourage gamergate to pursue other developments, this story is a dead end.

  • RaiStarGamez ★

    I also found a few minutes ago an article from Kotaku that was about how funny CK2 forum thread titles are out of context. At least they credited the guy who posted the picture originally. But it still shows that Kotaku doesn’t have the smallest bit of originality.

  • Jess

    Pleading ignorance is shitty regardless. If making a few comments on copypasta is journalism now, then I’m a fucking GameJournoPro.

  • seepwell

    If Kotaku was the NY Times someone would be fired

  • rpsgc

    Surely you mean blogger. Calling these people journalists is a slap across the face of all actual journalists. And considering the state of journalism these days, that’s saying a lot.

  • Marcio

    It never was a big deal to begin with. It’s just indicative of Grayson’s shitty reporting. Just a month ago he wrote an article on the Shadow of Mordor’s PR debacle that was a transcript of a Jim Sterling vídeo based on TB’s information. The dude is a hack.

  • Marcio

    Yeah, I stopped visiting the site way before GG ever started.

  • DrPizza

    > Good work, Georgina. I doubt Kotaku (and so rapidly) would have added the disclaimer/mea-culpa without your coverage. Thank you.

    Uh, all the disclaimers were added long before this article even existed.

  • Dee Doubs

    To be fair, Nathan credited the guy who he thought was the source. He just didn’t realize that it was a translation, presumably because he didn’t seek permission to turn the image into an article… which is bad.

  • Doc Hammer

    They were caught with their hand in the cookie jar, so they straightened up and tried to play stupid. Grayson still wrote an article, that he was paid for no less, based on an unsourced imgur image. Even ignoring that the imgur itself was the translated work of someone else, the sheer laziness it takes to just rewrite what someone else already wrote and then credit the imgur? That’s totally absurd and it would not fly in any other professional sphere.

  • Doc Hammer

    Well, yeah. This story was one small example of Nathan Grayson’s consistent behavior. Like I’ve posted separately, even if he credited the author, his article was still mind boggling lazy. It was Grayson’s commentary on someone else’s commentary on an original work. He was paid say “this is a cool imgur post.” The laziness of that itself is appalling.

  • Zolwiol

    If they don’t want to fire Nathan that’s fine. But a lot of people are watching for the guy to fall on his face again. And even by admitting their fault in roundabout way means Kotaku staff needs to watch this guy not to fuck up again. That’s actually how you correct shit even if the guy is still there.

  • Stephen J. Weir

    it wasn’t this article, it was a previous article

  • I have to agree. Kotaku has done some pretty dodgy things, but this can hardly be said to be one of them. He credited the imgur in good faith, and can have had no idea of its history. It may be lazy journalism, but laziness isn’t corruption.

    As I often say, you do a case no good by overstating it. There’s enough to Gamergate without citing incidents that can only attract ridicule from our opponents.

  • Ren

    See Project Naptha 😉

  • Meittimies

    Well gosh, its almost like as if journalists would have the task of actually doing their research on everything they’re going to cover.

  • Erthwjim

    He copied an article? I get he at least attributed it to the imgur he found it from, but he copied the imgur and didn’t really write his own article in the first place? And he’s considered a good writer?

  • ThePete

    At the very least this shows the minimum amount of work that goes into posts such as these. Grayson and Kotaku are not the only ones though.

    It’s like these sites no longer care to create meaningful content. They just want your clicks.

  • Mr. LHD6

    Nathan is terrible, yet Patricia Hernandez is certainly the worst of them all.

  • Mr. LHD6

    All Patricia Fernandez does is post youtube videos she finds as articles…

  • Viredae

    I think even calling them bloggers is an insult to any person who writes on a regular basis on the internet, these people are a disgrace to the human race.

  • Blerrgh

    I actually think I know Lamy. They’re currently doing an article on Heart of Darkness and I gave them some images. Shame Kotaku likes to take things from elsewhere on the internet and passes them off as original. It was only a matter of time before that ended up being plagiarism.

  • I don’t mean to show up late to the party but does this man still have a job here? If so well no offense but who does he know/blow? I just cant fathom committing a cardinal sin via journalism and never mind still having the same job but not being blacklisted.

  • A school newspaper maybe even