I am not sure if this is a sign of success or obscurity but one of Hooniverse’s reviews has been plagiarized. We were alerted by the awesome Juan Barnett of DCautogeek that Jeff’s review of the Cadillac CTS-v Sport Wagon has been blatantly copied and pasted into Limited Slip Blog’s review of the same car. The author, Brendon Davis, added a few of his own words towards the end, but that’s about it. 95% of his review is Jeff’s writing, whole paragraphs, everything. But wait, there is more.
A quick game of eDetective shows that Mr. Davis is an ex-Probation/Parole Officer (as per his FaceBook page) from Somerville, Massachusetts. He is a BMW M3-owning-track-junkie (as per his Car & Driver poster bio), but in other places states that he owns a Grand Cherokee. He currently works as a mechanic at AutoZone (as per GooglePlus) and in the past has attended Boston University’s College of Engineering.
Mr. Davis not only copied Jeff’s review but also Edmund’s review of the Infiniti JX35. Here is Limited Slip Blog’s review of the JX35 and here is Edmund’s review. Same text, different pictures. Mr. Davis also claims to have spent a week with the Mazda CX-5, although his review reads a lot like the one on The Truth About Cars. There is more blatant plagiarism in Brendon Davis’ writing on the Limited Slip Blog, but I stopped looking further. But wait, there is more.
The license plates on Mr. Davis’ test cars are from dealers; the Cadillac is from Maroone Cadillac in West Palm Beach and the Infiniti is from Miller Infiniti in Van Nuys, California. Sure, it is completely possible for a man who lives in Massachusetts to stop by some dealerships in Florida and California, perhaps while on vacation, but is it realistic? No. The images also look a lot like the images that each dealer posts of the vehicles in their inventory. So, plagiarized text and stolen images. Did he even drive any of those cars?
Unlike many other websites, such as TTAC or Edmund’s, blooging™® is something that everyone at Hooniverse does for fun, on the side, in addition to our day jobs. We like to share our stories, our finds, our reviews. We pride ourselves on original content and always state our sources when mentioning others’ work. Each blog post you read here, especially a 600-800 word car review, takes much longer to complete that an average reader might imagine. We check, re-check, write and re-write, crop and re-size pictures, research and state facts, add wit and opinion. We love cars and this is our passion.
I don’t know what Mr. Davis’ agenda is; profit through clicks? A lust for a press car or a press trip? Recognition? I don’t know and I don’t care. What I do know is that copying other people’s work, stealing images, and then passing those as your own on your blog and various social media outlets, is not only shitty and unethical, but it is simply theft, which is something that an ex-cop should know a thing or two about.