Linus Tech Tips Apologizes, Pauses Video Uploads to Make Changes

Linus Tech Tips has faced controversy over the accuracy of some of their videos. They have since apologized and vowed changes.

For more than a decade, Linus Tech Tips has been creating YouTube videos that both entertain and educate in the world of technology. While it started with just him and a camera talking about various gadgets, he has since grown his channel into a $100 million company with a lot of staff. Arguably, Linus Tech Tips has been a major success story out of Vancouver, Canada and has rightly achieved the success that they have today.

In fact, when Google needed people to talk about how they became a success in light of the Bill C-11 debates, one YouTuber that came forward was Linus Tech Tips. The point being that Canadians have been finding success on YouTube and Bill C-11 threatens to undermine that success. While Linus Tech Tips did briefly talk about this on their own channel, their knowledge about the issue was less than perfect on the subject. It’s hard to really fault them on that, though, because it’s one thing to talk about technology in the light of building computers and bench marking performance, but it’s a whole different beast to talk about how technology runs into the lawmaking process and the law. Those are two totally different worlds.

Heck, I’m still figuring these things out. It was only the last year or two that I was learning about the senate process of passing a bill and what all is involved in the royal assent process and when a bill comes into force in Canada. That over top of how a CRTC consultation works and how to participate. Not exactly the worlds easiest things to figure out on your own, but it has been quite the process and, as a result, I feel like I know way more about all of this than I did three years ago. Linus Tech Tips didn’t really say anything wrong, but it was clear that they were way out of their element on this. My point is that their reaction to that issue is very understandable.

So, while their history has been quite immaculate, Linus Tech Media, the company behind Linus Tech Tips, has now run into a rather large problem. With their release schedule being quite high, it appears that they have actually started cutting corners to push product out the door. Along the way, there were process failures and communication breakdowns that led to what seems to be pretty big mistakes.

Ultimately, these issues came to a head when fellow tech review channel, Gamers Nexus, published a video detailing a number of errors and questionable decisions being made two days ago:

As someone who enjoys Linus Tech Tips from time to time, that long video was hard to watch. To be fair, Gamers Nexus also said that this video was also hard to make, but in the interest of transparency to the viewers and accountability, they felt that it was necessary to highlight these issues. The issues they highlighted were meticulous, thorough, and very fact based. One can only imagine how scary it was to hit the publish button, knowing that they were targeting a $100 million company that otherwise has a lot of credibility behind it. This despite appearing to have a rather strong case.

Apparently, Linus Sebastian, the public figure behind the company until recently when he brought in a CEO to help shoulder the workload, didn’t take this very well. Long story short, Gamers Nexus posted a follow-up video talking about the response and how bad it ultimately was:

Suffice to say, the situation was escalating quickly. While Sebastian was pushing back against these criticisms up to that point, it seems that something has internally changed. Today, a video was posted by Linus Tech Tips with multiple members of their staff announcing that they will be pausing their video uploads and auditing past uploads for accuracy and making changes internally moving forward:

On the surface, while the initial responses to the controversy weren’t the greatest, this seems to be a definite marked improvement.

Hopefully, moving forward, everyone comes out better for this. One thing I will note is that this is what makes the internet so great about accountability over traditional media. In traditional media, if a corporation makes mistakes, it is more than possible to just ignore the issue and hope it goes away as the media moves on to other stories. On the internet, that doesn’t really happen online because, by its very nature, the internet is a much more two way street. Even better, a large company has said, in response, that they are going to make changes moving forward.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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