I guess I now write for Jalopnik?

*Note this has been resolved. Jalopnik, Opposite lock and Garrett Davis have all handled this with the utmost professionalism and respect.*

I recently read an article on Jalopnik covering different myths about brakes and rotors; when only a paragraph in, I realized there seemed to be a striking similarity between the Jalopnik article written for their Opposite lock section by Garrett Davis and my own.

The article in question is one of my most viewed, which can be found Here.

And here’s a link to the Jalopnik article.

Mr. Davis did a good job of rewriting my article and adding his “Bro” flair to it, but the structure remains very similar and even some of my anecdotal accounts. Check out this little paragraph from the Jalopnik article:

“I should mention that one legitimate benefit of drilled and slotted rotors (besides attracting the hunnies, y’all), is in wet weather conditions. The gaps give the water a channel to run out, much like the tread on your tires for better wet weather braking.”

And now mine:

“So actually there is one benefit to cross-drilling and slotting but I didn’t want to mention it since it’s also insignificant – that benefit is in wet weather. It turns out that drilling and slotting either give a place for water to evacuate like the tread on a tire, or allows steam to gas through kind of like what drilling was intended for. I don’t know what really happens, maybe both. But either way, the initial bite tends to be better in the wet.”

I thought that Mr. Davis’s theft of my comparison of slotting to the tread of a tire was quite shameless. Even though the information in my post is free knowledge, it would have been nice to get a hat tip for organizing and putting it together. A lot of my information comes from personal experience or even accounts with professionals; and If I do use other peoples info, I always try to give the obligatory link back and/or hat tip.

If you read Jalopnik often, you will notice they do seem to have a lot of slow news days. I guess they fill them with other peoples work. Nice job stepping on the little guy Jalopnik. I have a feeling that I know what Mr. Davis will be writing about next.

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5 Comments to "I guess I now write for Jalopnik?"

  1. February 26, 2015 - 11:51 am | Permalink

    Hi John-

    I’m one of several moderators on Jalopnik’s Oppositelock community, which is where the post by Garrett Davis you’re referencing appeared.

    I’d like to first mention that Oppositelock is not Jalopnik proper. Oppositelock is a blog full of user-generated content that is an offshoot of Jalopnik. Oppositelock has thousands of active members, many who do not read or even visit Jalopnik itself.

    Nothing that originates on Oppositelock is created by Jalopnik staff. However, Oppositelock posts are frequently published or “shared” to Jalopnik.

    You can see that in practice here:

    And also in the link itself. Had this been a Jalopnik story, you would not see the oppositelock subdomain in the URL:

    This system is common across all sites on the Gawker network, though I can understand that it does not always make the original content’s location completely clear unless you know to look for it.

    As such, Garrett Davis is member of the Oppositelock community, and not a paid writer for Jalopnik. There’s far too much activity on Oppositelock on a given day for the (volunteer) moderators to check post validity or do any kind of forensics, but if we immediately recognize plagiarism we will address it and have in the past.

    How Garrett Davis researched and ultimately wrote his post is something you would need to speak to him about. I’d suggest you create an account with Jalopnik and post a reply to Garrett to discuss this further, should you choose to do so.

    You can also email the moderators directly via the address provided, if you would like to speak to us directly.

    I hope this helped clarify the issue a bit.

  2. john chung's Gravatar john chung
    February 26, 2015 - 1:24 pm | Permalink

    I think the oppositelock jalopnik moderator is dodging the issue. The link clearly says oppositelock.jalopnik.com. How is the layman supposed to know that the contents are not those from jalopnik when the link itself contains jalopnik. I bet most readers think the contents are from jalopnik. I think the moderator should take some responsibility and remove the article rather than merely dismissing someone and telling them to fix the problem themselves. I think it’s unprofessional and mean.

    • February 26, 2015 - 4:33 pm | Permalink

      I commented here specifically to avoid dodging the issue. I am sorry you don’t agree, but all I can do is continue to clarify.

      First, you are correct that most people do not realize this type of content is not actually “from Jalopnik.” This was an intended feature of the Gawker website platform, meant to facilitate seamless sharing of content from one Gawker property to another. And the difference in domain is largely a technicality even if you do see it, but the two communities function very differently. As I mentioned, you would not know this unless you were an Oppositelock regular, which is compounding the problem we are having right now.

      However, this is a Gawker issue, and not one that I have any control over. I do not have a say in how the website functions or how features are implemented. Again, In case I was not clear on this, the Oppositelock moderators are all unpaid volunteers managing a community of thousands. We probably have a tiny fraction of the powers that people assume we do.

      That said, I would still prefer that John Milmont contact Garrett Davis to discuss this and come to some kind of agreement or understanding. I suggested that this happen publicly, in the comments on the post on Oppositelock, in the interest of transparency. I also want to be careful not to overreact and take that post down based on the allegations of one person, and I assume you would want to have the same kind of protections were the roles reversed.

      I’ve read both posts and I see what I see, but there’s an opportunity for the two parties directly involved to settle this on their own, without me or another moderator working in the background to do X, Y and Z. One of Oppositelock’s main principles is that the community handles most of it’s own business, and I’d love for that to be carried over to an issue like this.

      Please do come in and comment. We would be happy to have you if there is more to add to this discussion.

  3. Garrett Davis's Gravatar Garrett Davis
    February 26, 2015 - 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Hey John, I’m the author of the post in question and just wanted to say that the post was in fact removed from Jalopnik.

    That being said, I’ve been in contact with John Milmont and hopefully have cleared up the fact that any similarities were not intentional, and that we both wrote very similar info and a very specific topic. Hell, the caliper to tire comparison was almost exactly the same.

    It’s unfortunate that things turned out this way, but when talking about such specific technical ideas, similarities are bound to come up, especially if arguing for the same point. One of the places I actually found most of my info I referenced several times in the article was written by Carroll Smith in one of his books, and was later published on StopTech’s website here: http://stoptech.com/technical-support/technical-white-papers/-warped-brake-disc-and-other-myths

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