Connect with us

Industry

YouTuber Coffee Break Accuses Kurzgesagt of Being Untrustworthy, Founder Responds

A YouTube channel called Coffee Break released a video accusing prominent science channel Kurzgesagt of being untrustworthy and released one-sided emails of his conversations with its founder, Philipp Dettmer. Coffee Break says Dettmer deleted videos off the Kurzgesagt channel that had misinformation in them, but only after he knew Coffee break was working on a […]

Published

on

  • A YouTube channel called Coffee Break released a video accusing prominent science channel Kurzgesagt of being untrustworthy and released one-sided emails of his conversations with its founder, Philipp Dettmer.
  • Coffee Break says Dettmer deleted videos off the Kurzgesagt channel that had misinformation in them, but only after he knew Coffee break was working on a project that would criticize one video.
  • Dettmer responded to questions in an AMA on Reddit explaining his side of the story and allowed for the full emails to be released.

Coffee Break

Popular YouTube channel Kurzgesagt has been accused of being untrustworthy by smaller YouTuber who was preparing to release a video critical of Kurzgesagts “Addiction” video.

Kurzgesagt is a well-known science channel with over 8 million subscribers. The channel is most known for its“In a Nutshell” videos, which take complex topics and break them down into more digestible pieces.

On Tuesday, a YouTuber named Stephen, from the channel Coffee Break, posted a video where he breaks down an experience he had communicating with Philipp Dettmer, Kurzgesagt’s founder.

Stephen starts his video with the question, “Can you trust Kurzgesagt videos?” to which he responded, “No. And, ironically, the reason you can’t trust them is that this video exists at all.”

He goes on to say he is working on a series about the “pop-science” genre, and how the simplification of complicated topics can lead to misinformation.

He specifically sites a TED Talk by Johann Hari called “Everything you know about addiction is wrong,” and Kurzgesagt’s 2015 adaptation of the TED Talk called “Addiction.”

Stephen said he reached out to both Hari and Dettmer to talk about the video and ask questions about possible errors in it. He said Dettmer responded almost immediately and requested to not be quoted. As a result, Stephen only shares his half of the emails in his video and gives paraphrased versions of Dettmer’s emails.

After the Coffee Break video was uploaded, Dettmer posted an “Ask Me Anything” post on Kurzgesagt’s subreddit, so people could ask him questions regarding the video.


Philipp Dettmer’s AMA post

In the thread, Dettmer authorized the release of his half of the emails, which were uploaded into an imgur file almost immediately by Stephen.

The Emails

Stephen shows his first email to Dettmer, saying that he emailed him on Feb. 2 with “some tough questions about the video on Addiction that Kurzgesagt did.”

He continued that because the video was one of Kurzgesagt’s most popular, he was “worried that some of the major claims in that video are vastly simplified, if not outright incorrect.”

Stephen also asked: “Did Kurzgesagt conduct an independent fact-checking of Johann Hari’s book before agreeing to this?”

Source: CoffeeBreakYT- imagur

Stephen then paraphrases Dettmer’s first email in response: “Essentially he’s not thrilled about the interview or video idea, he was worried that the video might be a call out. He basically says ‘hey the addiction video wasn’t perfect, but I feel it was good enough.'”

However, in the actual email, Dettmer directly says he would “not make a video like that today for obvious reasons.” He acknowledged that “it’s not difficult to find criqitue of Hari’s work nowadays,” but said it was not common when the video was made.

Dettmer then says that he has received “countless messages” from people who told him the video helped them, and so he could not bring himself to take it down. He concludes his email by saying while addiction is a complicated topic, he believes the video can exist as a helpful opinion.

Source: CoffeeBreakYT- imagur

It’s also important to note the criticisms of Hari. Hari’s argument is that addiction is largely psychological, and not chemical, a theory that has received pushed back from many experts.

The main thing to note here is a question posed by Stephen in his original email, where he askes if Dettmer was aware of a public scandal Hari had that “threw his credibility in question.”

Source: CoffeeBreakYT- imagur

The scandal Dettmer is referring to was from back in 2011, when Hari was accused of plagiarizing other journalists work, and then anonymously editing Wikipedia pages to discredit people who criticized him.

Stephen then describes the next two email interactions with Dettmer, saying he shared his idea and some criticism. He said that Dettmer responded by saying he was busy traveling, and told him to wait until early March for an interview.

However, there are important parts of these emails that Stephen does not talk about in the video.

In Stephen’s email, he does explain his project, but he also challenges Dettmer’s claim that criticisms of Hari’s work were not available at the time, writing: “There are problems with Hari’s work, not just looking back from 2015, but holes in his research that were easily available at the time.”

Source: CoffeeBreakYT- imagur

Dettmer responded in his email that he did confront Hari about the critique, but that he was not comfortable discussing it with Stephen, because he felt Stephen’s project was a gotcha video.

Source: CoffeeBreakYT- imagur

Stephen’s Accusations

After showing the emails, Stephen launches into the main accusations he’s making:

“And March 3 was the day I found what Philipp had been really busy doing, too busy to answer my questions. He had been busy making my video, for me, for his channel. He even did me the favor and interviewed himself by answering all my questions.”

Stephen goes on to show clips from the video and how they correspond with the questions in his emails. He then goes on to show clips from the video where it talks about how oversimplification can be distorting and provides a brief clip where Kurzgesagt says they deleted the addiction video.

However, in Kurzgesagt’s full video, they actually go in depth as to how they conduct research and how that system has evolved over the years.

They say that some older videos do not live up to current standards and that they have been trying to figure out what to do with them for a while. The video then says they were not proud of the video about addiction and another about refugees, and so they removed them.

Stephen then accuses Dettmer of preempting his own research and stalling the interview so he could get ahead of the criticism. He adds that it is unfair for larger creators to steal content from smaller creators and goes on to say that there is no way this could be a coincidence.

However, Dettmer refutes this in the AMA.

When asked if he removed the addiction video because of the Coffee Break video, Dettmer says that he had been working on script regarding the addiction video and removing it for two years, but did not want to tell Stephon because he believed his video was going to be a “hostile takedown.”

Source: Philipp Dettmer AMA

Johann Hari

Finally, Stephen talks about Johann Hari.

He shows a clip from “Can You Trust Kurzgesagt Videos?” which said: “The addiction video was based on only one source that has amassed a lot of criticism over the years, that addiction is purely physiological and based on the life circumstances of the individual.”  

Stephen explains that Hari does not believe that addiction is purely psychological and that that idea was only a simplification that came from condensing his book into a 15 minute TED Talk.

He says if you look at Hari’s book and any interview’s he’s done, he does not actually hold such a simplified view and assets that Dettmer never read Hari’s book.

Stephen then plays a clip of a phone conversation he had with Hari, where he essentially says no one believes that addiction is purely environmental or purely chemical, and accuses Dettmer of scapegoating Hari and portraying him as crazy.

Dettmer refuted this as well on the AMA. When asked if he did read Hari’s book, Dettmer wrote: “Of course I did. After reading it, I very enthusiastically emailed him and asked him to collaborate on the video.”

Dettmer also noted that Hari wrote most of the script, Which is the reason why it has such a big overlap with his Ted Talk.”

Source: Philipp Dettmer AMA

The Two Email’s Not Discussed

There were also two emails included in the imgur file that Stephen did not talk about in his video.

In the last of Stephen’s emails that he released, he says that he spoke to Hari, and that his story changed considerably after their conversation.

That conversation might explain why Stephen starts defending Hari’s work later in the video. Stephen also does not discuss the controversies he claimed discredit Hari and prove that his work could be considered “false information.” A fact that is worth noting because the discussion of the factual basis of Hari’s work was a huge talking point in the emails between Stephen and Dettmer.

Source: CoffeeBreakYT – imgur

The final email was actually from Dettmer on Feb. 21. He asked Stephen to send him questions and tells him he can talk to him the next week.

Source: CoffeeBreakYT – imgur

Stephen never responded to Dettmer’s email asking him for questions and trying to schedule the interview.

This fact was pointed out in a Reddit thread and Stephen responded by saying the only day he could have done the interview was March 1. He says that day he was busy polishing a video and before that he was on vacation.

Source: Coffeebreak42 – Reddit

The timeline here is odd because one of Stephen’s biggest complaints is that he was never given an interview before Kurzgesagt’s video was released.

However, it seems like he was given an interview, and he was just busy.

It is also clear that he never even sent the questions to Dettmer, which could indicate the interview was not actually a top priority for him.

Finally, Stephen concludes the video by saying you can only trust Kurzgesagt to do what’s best for himself and his channel and to make him look good, even if it means taking other people’s research, saying: “Simply put, I don’t think you can trust him to do the right thing when no one’s watching.

Rogue Rocket reached out to Dettmer for comment and he responded with the following statement:

I didn’t stall him with malice in mind, but I also didn’t motivate him to work faster. Of course I wanted to have the first word on my own failings. I have been working on and off on the video since early 2017, which made it extra frustrating. So I decided to finish the video and release it. It felt like the right thing to do. I never would have thought that he’d go this far and purposefully misrepresented our email conversation. It is sad this whole thing happened. I really would have done the interview with him. I said anything else that is relevant in the AMA in our sub.

See what others are saying: (Johann Hari TED Talk) (Kurzgesagt “Addiction”) (Reddit AMA)

Industry

Trisha Paytas Departs From “Frenemies” Podcast With Ethan Klein

Published

on

The announcement came after Paytas and co-host Ethan Klein engaged in a heated argument on the most recent episode of their show.


Paytas and Klein Argue

YouTuber Trisha Paytas announced Tuesday that they are stepping down from the “Frenemies” podcast with Ethan Klein. 

Paytas, who uses they/them pronouns, posted a 22-minute long video explaining their decision. The departure comes after Paytas and Klein got in a heated argument on the most recent episode of “Frenemies,” which paying members had access to on Monday and the general public received access to on Tuesday. 

The dispute started when Paytas appeared unenthusiastic about a new advice segment that was added to the show. Klein then made a comment about how Paytas contributes nothing to “Frenemies” and just shows up to film, which ignited a fight about creative differences the two have when it comes to the production of the podcast.

Paytas seemed overall frustrated that they do not have more input on the show and that their ideas are allegedly often dismissed.

“I never pick the costumes, I never do the Vlogs, I give so many ideas,” they said. “I say dancing for the vlogs, I give all these ideas and you don’t…I don’t think it’s a good segment.” 

Paytas also mentioned that they get no say on new hires even though Klein uses 5% of the podcast’s revenue, as well as money earned from highlight episodes of the podcast, to pay the crew and cover production costs. Klein, however, argued that he does not need to run new hires by Paytas because those people are hired as employees for his production company, H3 Productions, which produces and airs “Frenemies.”

These are employees of our production company,” he said.

“It’s literally about we are producing the show and I am taking a cut, I feel like that is beyond reasonable,” he later added. 

Klein claimed that he already gives Paytas 50% of everything else, which he argues is an incredibly good deal considering H3 Productions does all the backend work. Paytas still felt differently and said that “Frenemies” should have its own employees. 

After the argument escalated, Paytas walked off the set holding back tears and the episode ended. Many found Paytas’ comments, specifically the ones referencing the crew and their pay, to be rude and disrespectful. 

Paytas Leaves “Frenemies”

On Tuesday morning, Paytas posted a video announcing and explaining their departure. They claimed that the crew was frustrated and did not want to film with Paytas the next day, partially because the segment Paytas had slammed came from a new hire. 

Paytas stressed that wanting more money was not their issue. Instead, they said they truly just wanted the show to be more of a 50/50 partnership creatively. Paytas said that while they understand Klein produces the show, they would have loved to pitch in on producing as well, but often just felt like an outsider. 

“I do feel like I contributed half to Frenemies, building the H3 channel,” Paytas explained. “Like I would have loved to have Frenemies on my channel and build up my channel. I could have produced it, I could have built sets, I’m capable of this stuff.” 

Paytas also clarified that they have no issue with the crew. While Paytas said they were not sorry for bringing these issues up, they were sorry for how the message was delivered. 

They added that in the end, they really felt like they brought an underappreciated value to the show. Paytas also said that in the beginning of this partnership, they were under the impression that they would be building something entirely new with Klein. 

“If I knew I was coming in as a third H3 show, like I swear hand to god I would not have done it,” they said.

Paytas added a lengthy comment below the video after it was posted, saying they were leaving “to ease the tension everywhere.”

“I don’t want to be the toxicity in their machine,” Paytas continued. “And I can feel that I am. And it’s not good for anyone involved.”

Klein and Paytas Lash Out on Twitter

Klein responded to the video on Tuesday. In two posts he joked about it being National Best Friend’s Day and asked what he should do with the 4,000 “Frenemies” hoodies he has. In a more serious tweet, he said he was “gutted” about the situation. 

Trisha’s video this morning was a total surprise to me,” he added. “I don’t really know what more I can say or do. I’m very sorry to all the fans of frenemies, I know how much it meant to everyone, I did everything I humanly could to save it.”

Things escalated later in the day when Paytas posted a second video further explaining their decision to leave the podcast. They said the last thing they ever wanted to do was disrespect the crew, and again emphasized that money was never their issue.

Paytas also acknowledged that they should have never brought up money on the podcast or in front of the crew in the first place. Things, however, continued to spiral on Twitter as Paytas and Klein engaged in a stormy back-and-forth. 

Among other things, Klein said he was angry that Paytas’ fans were sending hate to the crew members online. He said he reached out to Paytas because he was upset with the way they handled things but said he will ultimately always cherish his experience making “Frenemies.”

Paytas responded to him and insisted they were never rude to the crew themself. Paytas also shared text messages, accusing Klein of being misleading and flip-flopping on how the money for production costs was spent. Paytas is receiving a considerable amount of backlash for one of the texts they shared, as one screenshot shows them making an antisemitic remark to Klein. 

Crew members also engaged in online discourse about the news, including Dan from H3 Productions, who accused Paytas of lying in their videos. According to Dan, the crew was actually fully prepared to film with Paytas the next day and Klein was the one to cancel the shoot. 

Dan also said that the new hire was not the person who came up with the segment Paytas took issue with and instead was just the person who presented and prepared it.

Klein and Paytas later deleted most of their tweets attacking each other. Both said they should not have aired those feelings and messages on Twitter.

Paytas Apologizes To Fans and Klein

On Wednesday morning, Paytas apologized to Klein and others who worked on “Frenemies,” saying they were “embarrassed” by the situation. In a separate tweet, Paytas apologized to fans for ending things so turbulently.

“I feel horrible,” they wrote. “This is the worst feeling to see people think I’m this heartless monster who doesn’t do anything wrong. I have been in the wrong so many times on frenemies, they’ve been really wonderful to me.”

Paytas then uploaded a third video titled “I’m Sorry.” In it, they said the whole situation had been blown out of proportion and that the first two videos were meant to clarify issues but only made things worse. They again apologized for leaving the podcast and for disappointing fans. 

“I don’t know how to make the situation right…I don’t know what to do,” Paytas said.

See what others are saying: (Mashable) (Insider) (Paper)

Continue Reading

Industry

Showtime Will Process Refunds After Crashing During Paul Vs. Mayweather Fight

Published

on

Many said they were unable to watch the highly anticipated pay-per-view event because of technical difficulties.


Showtime To Issue Refunds

Showtime is processing refunds for customers who could not watch Sunday’s highly anticipated fight between YouTuber Logan Paul and boxing champion Floyd Mayweather because of technical difficulties on the streaming platform. 

The night of the event, Twitter was full of users complaining that Showtime had crashed during the fight. The company released a statement saying it was “aware that some customers have been having trouble accessing tonight’s Pay Per View event” and was “working diligently to resolve the issue and will redress customers appropriately.”

Showtime Support’s Twitter account later told people to return to the event in ten minutes, though that still did not resolve the issue for many viewers.

In a tweet on Monday, the service said anyone who purchased the fight via Showtime’s website or app but was unable to watch it could request a refund. 

What Happened During the Fight?

The fight ultimately lasted eight rounds, ending without a knockout or winner. After the match, Mayweather said Paul was “better” than he anticipated. 

“He’s a tough, rough competitor,” he continued. “It was good action, to have fun and I was surprised by him tonight. Good little work, good guy.” 

“I don’t want anyone to tell me anything is impossible ever again,” Paul told reporters. “The fact that I’m in here with one of the greatest boxers of all time proves that the odds can be beat.”

A report from The New York Times said that both Paul and Mayweather “assuredly took home millions” from the event, but exactly how much they made is still a mystery.

See what others are saying: (The Hollywood Reporter) (The New York Times) (The Wrap)

Continue Reading

Industry

Amouranth Says Twitch Suspended Ads on Her Channel Without Warning

Published

on

Amouranth claims Twitch never specified what made her channel unsuitable for ads, but many have pointed to her controversial hot tub streams, which are technically allowed under the platform’s guidelines.


Amouranth Reveals Twitch Ad Suspension

Twitch streamer Kaitlyn Siragusa, known online as Amouranth, said Tuesday that the platform indefinitely suspended ads on her channel without any warning or communication. 

Siragusa has become known for her hot tub streams, a trend that has recently stirred controversy on Twitch. The platform’s terms of service technically allow streamers to wear bathing suits so long as they provide appropriate coverage and the person is streaming from a location where swimwear is standard attire. Hut tub streams fit this bill, but some believe they cross a line and are in bad taste. Others, however, think the largely female streamers participating in the trend should be allowed to continue these streams and are doing no harm.

Twitch has largely stayed out of this issue, though the company previously said it had its eyes on the situation. Now, according to Siragusa, the company might be taking a stand. 

“Yesterday I was informed that Twitch has Indefinitely Suspended Advertising on my channel,” she wrote on Twitter, claiming the company did not reach out to tell her. 

“I had to initiate the conversation after noticing, without any prior warning, all the ads revenue had disappeared from my Channel Analytics.”

“This is an ALARMING precedent,” she continued. She claimed that even if content falls within the site’s terms of service, Twitch has the ability to “target individual channels” and decide what is and is not “advertiser friendly” even though there are no clear guidelines for this. 

“There is no known policy for what results in a streamer being put on this blacklist,” Siragusa added. “With characteristic opacity, The only thing twitch made clear is that it is unclear whether or when my account can be reinstated.”

While it looks like Twitch never specified what about her channel was not advertiser-friendly, people have unsurprisingly pointed to her hot tub streams. Twitch has not issued a comment on the matter, but its alleged decision to demonetize Siragusa would be a major one. According to Kotaku, the platform has never used its power to demonetize a creator before. 

Creators Respond to Amouranth’s Claim

Online, some have cheered Twitch’s alleged decision while others have slammed the platform for its lack of communication. Several creators have echoed Siragusa’s concerns that it sets a dangerous precedent when it comes to what kind of content the site can crack down on. 

“Why is it that they just didn’t come over and say, ‘stop doing this, or we are going to demonetize you.’ You know what I mean?” streamer Asmongold asked during a stream on Tuesday. 

“Look, I understand people are getting a hard-on because they’re happy this thing happened because they don’t like hot tub streamers, I get that,” he continued. “But you understand what she’s saying, she’s not wrong! She’s not wrong in saying this, this is true. And them not talking to her at all about it?” 

Streamer and adult film star Mia Malkova shared his concerns and confusion about Twitch not reaching out to Siragusa first. 

No statement/warning is ridiculous and no way to treat the people that use their platform,” Malkova said in a tweet to Siragusa. 

On Twitter, streamer Devin Nash called out those who celebrated the demonetization, claiming that while some users might agree with Twitch in this instance, the move could impact a creator they support in the future.

If you think this stops at sexual content, think again,” he wrote.

One of Twitch’s most popular streamers, xQc, who was previously very critical of hut tub streams, seemed to imply that he felt Siragusa’s demonetization signaled a potential issue for everyone on Twitch. He encouraged people to “chill out” until there is more communication from Twitch on the matter, but added that this means “things are a little bit adaptive” on the site. 

There’s a lot of people that do the same content that she does,” he said on a Tuesday stream. “And if everybody does the same content, and something was [against the terms of service], if one got banned, you guys would all say, ‘Look at the other guys that aren’t being banned.’ But now that this is against her and she loses her ads, nobody is saying, ‘But what about the other guys? Why aren’t they losing their ads?’” 

He later added that this move “might have saved everybody from losing their ads” and that Siragusa “might be a scapegoat” for other streamers, but did not elaborate on that point. 

See what others are saying: (Kotaku) (The Verge) (BBC News)

Continue Reading