• Kurzgesagt's damage control on research
    60 replies, posted
I did NOT expect this to be what this video was about. Fucking plagiarism and this level of manipulative shit is very sad to see.
Holy shit. I was not expecting this from them.
I mean I always took Kurzgesagt with a pinch of salt, mostly because of how style over substance the videos were. You should always be cautious with pop science (particularly those specifically designed for entertainment rather than information) since it's all about getting views over facts. They're fun little videos sure but I'd never use them as a serious source of info or anything.
its almost as if they have always cared more about getting clicks and views and selling merch through regurgitating simplified popsci narratives, not educating the masses. i dont understand how people expected otherwise when, from the onset, they did not give any sources. this video makes me feel vindicated in calling them a less politically manipulative equivalent of prager university for a couple of years now.
Pretty damning video tbh. The fact they copied his idea and turned it into video about being transparent with its viewers is very manipulative, almost vile honestly.
I was always weary of Kurzgesagt after their nuclear videos, they (artificially) presented both sides as if they were equal, and blew a lot of things out of proportion. I think this video further cements that they don't do any real source digging, and just present their own surface-level opinion, after they've dug up some facts on it.
https://kurzgesagt.org/about/ They have 3 writers, what the heck do they do all day.
Odd he says this because Kurz made the truth video after there was other videos, not made by this guy, calling him out already. This guys mad that Kurz made a transparency video in response to someone else who already did this guys idea before he even though of it.
Is it just me or does this guys video feel fishy. First point being "How can you trust me?" "Well its all in the emails, which I won't show you out of respect unless ofc he puts out a twitter hashtag.". So what evidence does he has? Not much as far as I can tell. And making the guy tweet out a hashtag to just sounds like putting a huge target on your forehead. Granted even if everything the guy said is correct, thats still a stupid thing. Overall the whole video was also done very weird way. I probably wouldn't take this accusation as a thing that definitely happened.
is he just salty because he couldn't get the spotlight of some sweet youtube drama? It is hardly convincing that they were able to make that video in less than a month targeting him specifically. Even if so, is it such a bad thing, no more than a stealthy damage control?
Yeah, new media just like old media has absolutely no steadfast and concrete system of accountability. This is why people NEED to have a base level of scientific literacy in order to see past shakey claims and root their beliefs closer to the actual research and scientific consensus, Contrary to what lazy students who believe that has “no practical use in the real world.” People might be tempted to sweep this aside and say “it’s no biggie kurgz is right in the broad strokes,” but if malicious actors feel as if they can use motion graphics and an accent to peddle bullshit without serious critique they absolutely will. prageru can be seen as an early attempt at something like that.
They have a core 25 man team. 1 CEO. 4 Producers. 2 Illustration heads. 2 Art Directors. 2 Illustrators, 2 Trainee Illustraors. 1 Head of Design. 1 Head of Motion. 4 Motion Designers. 1 Trainee Motion Designer. 1 Head of Text & Research. 1 full Writer/Researcher. 1 Trainee Writer and Researcher. 2 Team Assistants. So that's 21 members of the team who are not trainees. 4 members are trainees. This is a team more than capable of pumping out a video in less than a month. https://files.facepunch.com/forum/upload/57985/7506e2d6-bfc6-4f03-a21c-c0de148242bd/KurzCoreTeam.PNG Oh, and they also have outside help. 1 voice actor/Journalist. 2 Sound designers. 1 Motion Designer. 1 "Bird Counselor". 1 Astrophyscist & Writer. and 1 more producer for good measure. So that brings their team total up to 32 people. That's more than enough to make a video like that in that time frame. https://files.facepunch.com/forum/upload/57985/948c39f0-59aa-4dd3-8ee3-6f58e782049a/KurzHelpers.PNG Yes, it is, it's dishonest. It's dishonest to dodge questions that someone poses to you. It's dishonest to posit yourself as some moral highground on Youtube when you aren't. It's dishonest to continue to misrepresent a debate. Their videos all have factual inaccuracies. But they don't care. They're like Dan Carlin or Extra History, bad sources of information.
There's a reddit AMA from Kurzgesagt https://www.reddit.com/r/kurzgesagt/comments/b0bgvj/ama_2_can_you_trust_kurzgesagt/ and coffee break was permitted to release the emails for those looking for more than just speculation. https://imgur.com/a/UfrXBWq
This so much. Their team was fully aware that they were damage controling and tricking their viewers into thinking they're "good guys who make mistakes". Like fuck off kurzgesatg u narcissist pricks. One may think this is just a minor slip-up by their team, but the fact that their whole team decided to just abuse coffee break's efforts and present this video as purely their work is embarrassing to say the least. I seriously hope this video blows up. Unless they apologize and admit their asshole fuckery, i will not look at their video as something else than dishnoest eye-candy shallow revenue machine. eat my ass
When people reach out to you for help on ideas then it is a matter of trust that they don't abuse this. To breach this is a big big faux pas and the circumstantial evidence points to Kurzgesagt doing exactly that.
The emails just confirm my believe. "Very worried and right upfront he said "I don't want to be quoted". https://i.imgur.com/Zo5IKSs.jpg He was worried the guy is making a gotcha piece and the "I don't want to be quoted" part was at the fucking end of the email. The paraphrasing of the content of the first email is also pretty much completely wrong. It "wasnt good enough" it was still up for the reasons listed in the 3rd paragraph. https://i.imgur.com/kci02fz.jpg 2nd reply, he never asked him to wait to early march. At best the last reply has "in a week", which based on the date of the 21st would be just before march. He shrugs of "traveling" as if its an excuse but the email cleary lists two conventions and recovery from chemo. Just makes him sound even more like a dick. I'm probably just going extremely of my feeling here and no hard facts but none of those emails prove or even strengthen any "evidence" he said he had. Phillip Dettmer was wary about a random person who asks him for his time, especially in what appears to be a busy month for him.
At the end of the day he's just mad that Kurzgesagt decided to run with this topic as a video and cut him out of it. But do you REALLY believe that this guy was the first or only person to email them about the issues with their addiction video? They had most likely planned removing it for a while now. Also, I don't really see how this is damning to Kurzgesagt since there was no contract of obligation to have the answers to his questions be exclusive content to the Coffee Break channel.
okay so after reading that first email phillip wrote back to coffeebreak, it looks like he COMPLETELY simplified what phillip said about keeping up the "addictions" video phillip just says he hadnt monetized it, and that the vid would remain up because he felt it was helping people suffering from addiction to get better whether or not thats true from comments history on it we cant really tell now since they deleted it(?) but i feel like thats one point where i feel like ive been misled by coffeebreak on this, since before he had permission to show off that email, he described phillips reasoning for keeping that vid up as "it was good enough"
Except for the part in the email where the guy says that he couldn't imagine taking it down. If the video - or even idea - were in the works, why would he say this?
also what @Mitsuma just posted too, like holy shit this phillip guy was in between expos and recovering from chemo and coffeebreak passed this off in his video like as though the guy was just brushing him off for no real reason thats really scummy
To be fair, I don't see anything here that indicates that the Addiction video was considered 'Good enough'. He said he wanted to keep the video up because people had reached out and said the video genuinely helped them. I'm still on the fence, because as much as I was ready to criticise Kurzgesagt, CoffeeBreak held these 'emails' to be amazing pieces of evidence, except at best they just make me suspicious as to why Philipp is so determined to not be quoted, though I believe there can be genuine reasons for taking that stance.
maybe he had a genuine change of heart? i hope we get some more answers about it
There's also an irony that I saw pointed out on Reddit. People say 'don't quote me' as a way of preventing their words being twisted or taken out of context, and other people on the AMA have said CB hasn't exactly shied away from 'gotcha-ya' pieces in the past, so there'd be reason to be wary of being quoted by this guy. Except, CB then goes on and seemingly twists Philipp's words into 'the addiction video is good enough'. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. I'm not yet going to say CB is in the wrong here, but any evidence against Kurzgesagt has sort of crumbled because some depended on emails. CB himself made the point of 'these pieces of evidence on their own prove little' --> a few of those pieces of evidence relied on emails that have turned out to be hardly noteworthy.
If Phillip was intending to take it down, why did he tell coffeebreak otherwise? If Phillip changed his mind during that time (either due to the emails or not), why did he not inform coffeebreak? Likely scenario, the script was in the works for some time but the emails prompted work on it to accelerate. The deletion of the addition video and that segment in "can you trust us" video was also probably decided after the emails. You can tell it's hastily written when it includes statements like "some scientists still think this" despite being untrue. The real dodgy part is how coffeebreak is just left hanging and then having the rug pulled from under him.
Except he was promised an interview, never had it, and then they went and released their video. Not suspicious at all, no-siree.
i dont think theres anything wrong with them doing damage control hastily out of fear of what they thought coffeebreak was intending to do from "that video has helped people" to "we made a lot of mistakes with it" as for leaving him hanging, the ceo did admit he was in the middle of recovering from chemo, i guess he could have passed on coffeebreaks emails to someone else to handle if he were busy, but im gonna guess he was too afraid of someone in his company accidentally saying the wrong thing that would end up smearing them
https://files.facepunch.com/forum/upload/306086/44895808-3e34-4de8-937a-4802432678a1/image.png This'll probably be my last post unless someone replies (cos I've flooded the last few responses), but I'm starting to raise an eyebrow. Philipp says he was worried about a hostile 'take down' video being made, and it was CB's video on the School of Life that catalysed this worry. CB twists the words in Philipp's emails in order to make 'Good enough' a basis of his argument, but when the emails are fully released, no such thing was said. CGP Grey says Philipp has been considering this for a while, whilst CB has recently come out with the very annoying 'Uhhhh, some people are criticising me because they just love Kurzgesagt'. At the end of the day, Philipp was worried about a hostile 'take down' video, and CB proves that worry by making said video in an attempt to utilise mob mentality. There are still holes of suspicion, such as timing of Kurzgesagt's decision, but I'm nowhere near as ready as I once was to call out Kurzgesagt. I'm starting to grow more suspicious towards CB because if you really believe you have an open-shut case/argument, why would you feel the need to purposefully misinterpret someone's words in order to use them as the foundation of an overarching argument. I see the timing issue more of a 'CB was the final round in the chamber, and that pushed me to release the video' rather than 'I was terrified of criticism and so tried to pull the rug under you'. I'm definitely not filing into the Kurzgesagt team camp just yet, but I'm also less likely to trust someone who has scrambled another's words on purpose and has made gotcha videos in the past.
so the alternative is to just go ahead with it, with points that are suspiciously similar to what he has said? it just seems fishy to me, because regardless of cb misleading about the content of the emails, the fact the emails exist at all and the timing of the video being uploaded afterwards, make it look pretty suspicious.
CB: This is a critical look at people like us, this isn't a "gotcha piece" at all. Kurz: "Uh yes it is, no quoting". Here's why: Kurz was responding to the points in the email more or less in order. No shit it's at the end, that was at the end of CB's inital e-mail as well. Huh? He's saying it's "good enough" because it has apparently helped people with addiction problems, even though he would never make a video like that these days. "I can continue to let it exist as a take". Kurz consistently took his sweet as time replying to CB. With a staff of 25, is it unreasonable to expect a quicker response, even if it's not from the CEO? Someone else involved in the production or research process? You know, like the 4 writers or the 4 producers? Almost two weeks between "yeah we can get this rolling" until he gets a response. You'd have to be delusional if those 25 people did not have any time to respond to his emails in that time frame. Also, where does that "sometimes next week" conviently fall? when their video about trusting them gets released. That is not a coincidence.
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