IGN ‘Taking Down Pretty Much Everything’ From Former Editor [Update]

IGN ‘Taking Down Pretty Much Everything’ From Former Editor [Update]
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Following an internal investigation, IGN staffers have revealed that the company is in the process of removing “most” of the work produced by their former Nintendo editor Filip Miucin, who left the company over plagiarism allegations.

Update 0900 AEST: Reviews have started to come down, including Miucin’s reviews of Skyrim and DOOM on the Switch, with a note saying “this article has been removed due to concerns over similarities to work by other authors”.

The outlet has indicated it will re-review those games in the future. It’s also come to light that Miucin plagiarised work from a fellow IGN staffer:

And the allegations has grown to include incidents of reading excerpts about Shantae: Half-Genie Hero and Super Mario Odyssey that appeared word for word on Wikipedia. The rest of the original story appears below.

Filip Miucin and IGN parted ways at the end of last week, after the YouTuber behind Boomstick Gaming alleged that Miucin had plagiarised his review of Dead Cells. IGN responded by taking down the review and investigating the claims, which ultimately resulted in Miucin leaving the company.

” excerpt=”The gaming site IGN has removed a review for the game Dead Cells after allegations surfaced yesterday that the review’s writer had plagiarised from a small YouTube channel.”]

” excerpt=”Former IGN editor Filip Miucin, who was fired this week after an investigation into allegations that he had plagiarised a video game review, responded yesterday on his YouTube channel, telling viewers that there were “a lot of circumstances” surrounding the review and that he did not intend to plagiarise from another channel.”]

In his first video following the controversy, Miucin said there were “a lot of circumstances” surrounding his Dead Cells review. He also directly called out Kotaku and Jason Schreier for reporting on the story.

“Maybe he was implying that if you have similarly opinionated reviews, then you’re just plagiarising, or maybe he’s just trying to get as many clicks off my name right now as possible, or maybe he just likes kicking people when they’re down. I don’t know – check it out for yourselves and you be the judge,” Miucin said in the video, which was taken down from his channel.

In some tweets earlier today, senior IGN staffers Justin Davis and Dan Stapleton revealed that more of Miucin’s content was “directly lifted from or at best heavily derived” from other authors and content creators:

Justin Davis, IGN’s editorial manager, also posted on Resetera that the process of taking down Miucin’s work came with some technical challenges, and would take some time:

FYI it’s looking more and more likely that most of Fhis work published on IGN has editorial copy in it sufficiently derivative of previously-published work that it is a significant ethical breach and will need to be removed.

We are moving on it as fast as we can as a Senior Editorial staff.

There are complications. Including challenges around removing review scores and the way out site CMS works (which is why Dead Cells unfortunately displayed a “0.0 Disaster” score for a time).

A final decision hasn’t been made but I think the most likely outcome is all of his work will be removed, and we’ll decide from there what we need to do in terms of replacing the back-catalogue of critical content we owe game makers.

I’ve contacted Micuin for a response, and will update if a comment or statement is provided.


          • I’ve been thinking about this a bit over the last day or two; yes was he did was unacceptable and his firing and removal of his work is appropriate, but what does he do now? Where does he go from here?

            He’s not going to be able to get any writing jobs with some simple googling on the part of an employer. He still has a family to support and bills to pay. Barista? Waiter? Walmart? It’s going to be a hard job picking up again and making ends meet, while also feeling the personal shame and online vilification.

            I understand he’s brought it all upon himself, but I can’t help feel some sympathy about his future :/. I don’t condone what he did, but I hope he has a therapy and support system of some kind to help him forward.

          • I know, the same thought had crossed my mind. If I was in his situation I would be thinking about copy writing – the journalistic equivalent of line-work. Writing copy isn’t dependant on his reputation, so as long as an employer can look past all this garbage, he should have a shot at making a career out of it. I mean, he may have other skills he could lean on. He could try moving into a different journalistic field where noone uses the internet – such as writing for Kentucky Duck-Hunter Monthly. He could always teach. But yeah, it will take time for this mess to die down, right now is when the most damage has been done and the mob is at their apex. I hope he has a good support network too, because he still has his whole life ahead of him.

          • I am not disagreeing with your opinion as that’s your own and you are entitled to it and it’s correct. But may I ask why you feel sorry for him?

            This entire episode is self inflicted, no external force compelled him to steel… in mean plagiarize other peoples thoughts and idea. As already stated thoughts and ideas are uniquely individual if he had just expressed them then…

          • Because he’s ruined his professional life. That’s not nice to see whatever the circumstances may be.

          • I work in job services and community support. I could attribute a persons circumstances as being self inflicted across a wide range of cases, because ultimately we are all, in one way or another, responsible for the choices we make and the lives we create for ourselves. We could get into the philosophical implications of free will vs. the wide range of social, economic and interpersonal factors that compel people to make silly decisions every day. But I’ll keep this simple.
            Whether or not someone has brought a bad situation about by their own hand or by external forces, I feel sorry for them, because I have both been the victim of my own stupidity and of the world’s stupidity. I practice empathy as part of my job, and as part of my own personal philosophy, and I believe in treating other people the way I want to be treated. Mucin may have made done something stupid by his own hand, but it has visited a world of hurt on him and those closest to him, and it sucks – there are no winners here. But he may yet grow and learn from this, because people are dynamic and the world isn’t black-and-white.
            And that’s my general outlook of the situation. 🙂

          • Spot on, @thepoetpyronius , I couldn’t have said it better.

            You can dislike what someone has done and still feel sorry for them. He has made some really shitty decisions but showing empathy is what we need to do more of as a human race.

            His name now is dirt and his professional career is gone. He will never work in journalism again. I can’t help but feel sorry for the dude either.

          • Well put. Did we just have an internet discussion that didn’t end up in a flame war? Weird, must be the end of the world or something.

          • You can feel sorry for the people he has affected (family, friends, and the people he copied), however there is a difference here that seems to be forgotten. If you do something stupid that leaves you in a bad spot you admit it and move on, people will empathize with you no doubt. This guy repeatedly plagiarized, got caught, didnt own up to it, then tried to lie about it further. . His intent was malicious and it was certainly not accidental, hence the repeated actions.
            He does not deserve sympathy, his family does. You can feel sorry for his family because they have a shit family member that has caused ongoing issues for them.

        • I have three kids so I have to pick them up from school. Trust me, one look around at the other parents and you absolutely know that having children doesn’t stop people making bad decisions. Lots of full sleeve tattoos in the mid 30s crowd (yeah yeah they got them in their 20s, still a bad decision).

          • Ah… yeah. Okay then. There’s that, I suppose… (it’s fine, honestly, being snarky for the sake of snark no doubt until my coffee kicks in – I know the tattoos aren’t for everyone, and if the worse you are thinking is ‘bad decision’ I’ll take it with a grin and a shrug. At least you aren’t screaming at me and telling me I’m going straight to hell like a large chunk of my family. To be fair, they decided that when I started wearing jeans and left the order, so I’m pretty zen about it all.) But you are sadly right. Producing offspring does not, in any way prevent some seriously bad decision making and choices. I feel bad for the -CHILD- who will now be seriously effected because their father is an idiot who decided to essentially drop trow in front of the internet and dare people to do something about it. The bills need paid, the kid has to eat and all the other life essentials that now impact his son sucks. Add in the fact he will be dealing with the possible side effects of other parents talking about his dad and the cloud that can follow the name, yeah. My heart kinda breaks for the son. Which conversely makes me even MORE annoyed with the idiot who did all this. He knows he has responsibilities, he has got to understand his choices with affect his family and he still acted this way. To me, this mess seems like an car crash caused by a drunk. You feel horrible for the folks in the other car, you feel just as bad for the passengers that might not have known the driver was impaired – but you just get angrier and angrier knowing the driver chose to do something that boils down to ‘screw em all, I want to do what I want to do’.

          • It’s nice that you feel that way. Unfortunately we can’t save people from themselves. A lot of people don’t get the parents they deserve. It sucks but there’s nothing we can do.

            I agree whole heartedly though. I’ve made some big mistakes in my time but luckily my family are still tight. We love our kids, they love us and we have food on the table. And hopefully, we’re giving them good examples to follow.

          • I don’t understand how getting a sleeve tattoo is a bad decision? I personally don’t have one, but wouldn’t associate it as being a poor life choice if the person wants/likes it.

    • Because he’s blithely unaware. Which seems impossible – surely people close to him that he trusts and listens to would be telling him the truth?

  • Okay, so, I think the FIFA 18 review is probably a 50/50 case – he’s taken the basic structure and some details from that that review but I think there’s enough differences there to say it’s a 50/50.

    But…crap, these other ones? You gotta be kidding me:

    Metroid: Samus Returns
    Bayonetta 2
    Octopath Traveller
    The joycon one I linked to above

    I think it’s fair that IGN have decided to scrub through the entire site and remove all of Miucin’s content. He’s probably plagiarised to some degree the majority of his site contributions. It would really suck to be in IGN’s shoes in the situation though. Yes, you could say they should have cross checked his content but really, if you’re paying someone to do a job you expect them to do it properly, and they can’t possibly check every single word he says and every single source. They get a lot of flak, some of it deserved, but they don’t deserve this.

    Challenging the internet to find more of this stuff wasn’t exactly Miucin’s smartest move. Then again, he doesn’t come across as the sharpest knife in the drawer.

    • The Fifa review isn’t 50/50 at all.

      Its plagiarism. End of story.

      Yes, he reworded a little bit more. He still took someone else’s review, copied most of the copy and kept ALL of the sentiment and he still did it in exactly the same order as the original review. Perhaps if he had the care to at least shuffle some of his copying it a little, you might have a point – but he didn’t.

      That isn’t 50/50, that’s just plagiarism. The only reason we’re calling it 50/50 is because there are even more egregious examples in his body of “work”. You can’t watch that video and say “well yeah, he copied 4 points in the exact same order but he changed some of the words!” and call that 50/50. It’s just plagiarism with a bit of rewording that I’m sure anyone with sense would at the least do (anyone with sense would reword the entire thing and shuffle it around – basically making it impossible to be called plagiarism but I digress).

      Judging from his response video – I would almost certainly peg him as a pathological liar. I have a few of these people in my life and they basically have the same vibe. Very very ballsy lies, no ability to admit they were lying and if you call them on it – it’s like they can’t really even perceive that they have been caught red handed or that what they said is even a lie. It’s really quite creepy because they’re not even that careful about their lies. That’s the difference between someone who is probably a little mentally sick and someone who is looking to gain advantage – those who look to gain advantage at least endeavour to avoid being detected. Pathological liars.. they just seem to lie with little regard for their future.

  • Miucin absolutely has tarnished his name and he’ll never work in the industry again but IGN also have a bit to answer for. They can’t be expected to take the time to check all their employees work all the time but given how often Miucin appears to have plagiarised the work of others or produced reviews ‘heavily derived’ from the work of others, IGN should have caught it before now and it certainly shouldn’t have taken the complaints of a victim to finally catch him out after all this time. IGN are making themselves out to be the victim, or at least Justin Davis is, based on his tweet, but they are only narrowly behind Miucin in the responsibility pecking order.

    • Given he was an Editor, there wouldn’t have been as much of an approval/review process for his work. By all means there should have been, outside of general language/spelling edits if needs be, but it’s likely that the position afforded him some leg room when it came to publishing his own work without it going through other hands.

      That’s purely based on what I’ve seen and done in the past online, so it may be different at a bigger company such as IGN, but it certainly seems that way. When they talk about feeling betrayed, that’s likely what they mean.

    • Dan Stapleton has said this in a twitter conversation but basically:

      “It’s impossible to catch ahead of publication. Even Googling passages from a script wouldn’t catch something lifted from a YouTube video.

      You just have to trust people, just like every other publication does.”

      When someone asked him if there are any plans to incorporate functions for checking this stuff after this event:

      “Like I said, no one has a system like that. The technology does not exist, and it is wildly impractical to have humans scour the entire internet, both video and text, for everything we publish.”

      You can see the full thing here: https://twitter.com/DanStapleton/status/1029488514134499328?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1029488514134499328&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fs9e.github.io%2Fiframe%2Ftwitter.min.html%231029488514134499328

      Basically, if there’s no reason to suspect him, there’s no reason to check everything he does, it’s just a waste of time and resources. Once the initial accusation was brought forward though, they started going back to check everything he’d done.

      • And yet he nonetheless managed to somehow find dozens of instances of questionable content from “our own searches” despite the supposed impossibility doing so…

        • Once again, checking this stuff before it’s published is impossible and impractical. IGN have many different contributors, there’s now ay to check absolutely everything. As Stapleton pointed out, even if they had googled some of the phrases Miucin used in the Dead Cells review, they would have found nothing, because he lifted it from a video and it didn’t exist in text form.

          Once that first accusation was made though, they had a reason to go back and check things, and they found some more cases. He never once said the word “dozens” or anything remotely close to it either. Just that they’ve seen “enough” to remove all of Miucin’s contributions. It may have only been a handful of cases but that was enough to them.

          I want to actually point out though that MANY users on the internet have also been scouring through Miucin’s previous work this past week (since he did issue the challenge, after all), and even with all of those resources, only around 5 confirmed cases have been found so far. IGN has seen enough to remove all of Miucin’s contributions to the site during his time there but that doesn’t mean they’ve checked everything.

          They can’t magically check every single word in an article or a video and see if it matches up to anything seen on another site or video from every contributor before it’s published. They are paying them to do a job so there’s that element of trust there that they will do the job properly. However, once suspicions were raised about a specific contributor, they can then go back and check his previous work.

          • IGN doesn’t have to “magically check every single word in an article or a video”. Spot checking an individual’s work is pretty standard human resources management.

            In fact, IGN have more or less acknowledged that spot checking is all they’ve done at this point; it’s hardly like they’ve had time to run a fine tooth comb over the guys entire body of output.

            As a result of their spot checks IGN have found additional instances of plagiarism; most likely several instances in order to justify taking pretty drastic action.

            Finding instances of plagiarism is no where near as difficult as you claim. Having followed up on many instances of possible plagiarism in student papers myself, I can say that that in my experience it doesn’t take much of an eye at all to identify clumsily worded sentence structures, odd turns of phrase and the like and then google those.

            Further, my observation is that plagiarists are typically unaware that they’re doing anything wrong (as in this case) and therefore don’t go to a huge amount of effort to cover their tracks – often the plagiarised content comes up in the first couple of pages of google results.

          • Again, spotting cases of plagiarism that have been lifted from a video is an entirely different case of being lifted from text. You *cannot* Google that. The technology to detect that kind of thing doesn’t exist. Checking text in student papers is one thing. What if you actually needed to watch through countless hours of videos on youtube to detect it instead? Doesn’t sound quite so practical now, does it?

          • What if detecting instances of plagiarism from written reviews wasn’t a bad place to start? That doesn’t sound quite so impractical now, does it?

          • don’t be ridiculous, you would never personally watch through hours of videos.

            There’s already software that detects pirated music on youtube, add some function to use the youtube API that downloads closed captions and analyse it and you could have a product that you could sell to Universities and IGN to search for breaches of plagiarism.

            The data mining and machine learning already used by anti-plagiarism software is pretty advanced, and it’s the big companies that are doing it are definitely looking at analyzing videos.

          • The music on youtube relies on artists actually submitting the music and making copyright claims. Ditto for TV and movie studios.While there are automated close captioned systems, and the youtube one is pretty good, they are still not 100% reliable and have trouble understanding various accents, even my pretty typical Australian accent at times, and of course have more trouble if there’s background noise going on (like sound effects from gameplay footage). It also completely fails to add punctuation. The captions need to be manually edited by a human to correct all of the errors. Maybe not a big deal for a video only a few minutes long but for longer videos it’s a nightmare. It’s not foolproof at all and not nearly as easy as you seem to think it is.

          • @whitepointer you don’t need 100% reliable, you need ‘good enough’ for due diligence. I’m not saying it’s readily available off the shelf, but the technology isn’t as impossible as you imply.

            There just needs to be the demand to data mine youtube videos first, then the existing software that checks for plagiarism would be sufficient enough.

            I’m not at all saying IGN needs to do this, they need to be able to trust their editors, but you bet they’ll be looking at ways to make sure this doesn’t happen again and vendors like iThenticate will be able to help them out.

          • @pipja you’re mistaken, I’m talking about the anti-plagiarism companies who provide a service to universities and newspapers like iThenticate/Turnitin

          • Actually, if something is to be published, it has to be reviewed by editors. I worked in the journalism industry for a while, and let me assure you, if a publication has any integrity, every article is reviewed and fact-checked. This speaks to IGN’s (and modern journalism’s) culture of luring people with clickbait rather than actually doing their job, which is reporting the news. Simply put, it’s much easier to quote a comment you agree with, but due to the fact it is far less profitable, no one does. They all act like they were the author, whereas in real life, they are nothing more than sad parrots with no talent stealing money and integrity from an industry on life support. Plagiarism sucks.

  • their former Nintendo editor Filip Miucin, who left the company over plagiarism allegations.
    Did Miucin leave or was he outright fired? I feel there’s a pretty big difference here.

  • Told y’all. Been his modus operandi for years.

    I am so smart.

    **continues watching teen mom over wife’s shoulder like all geniuses**

  • maybe review sites like IGN should use plagiarism checkers like universities do with doctoral theses. We just run them through a software and it’ll highlight any strings of words that are similar to something online.

    Then an editor can just have a quick browse through the highlighted segments and see if its just a coincidence or if its direct plagiarism (with minor word changes)

    • They tend to work because their body of source material is ‘other research papers’. Trawling text from forum posts and articles posted across the entire internet is a different beast that really only Google and Microsoft and the like would have the resources to be able to offer as a service, and trawling videos (where it seems Miucin stole most of his stuff) is nigh-on impossible.

    • maybe review sites like IGN should use plagiarism checkers like universities do with doctoral theses.

      Doesn’t always work. When I was an undergrad (even before I went to do my Honors and then PhD), one of my units did try using such software.

      Turn-It-In I think it was called. Can’t remember the name but I remember the s**t storm. But it’s not what one would think.

      I went to hand an assignment in a couple of days early (yes, it was to avoid the rush), and found the submission tool was down. It was back up the following day.

      Turns out they took it down to remove Turn-It-In as somehow (either a bug in the code or a configuration error), it was generating a lot of false positives.

      Turns out if a student submitted an assignment more than once (some of my class mates would turn in their “progress” multiple times before the due date) the earlier versions were also being used to detected plagiarism.

      No joke, it would find a match to the earlier submissions and mark the student as plagiarising even though it was an earlier version of said student’s own work.

      I laugh about it now, but I still pit the staff who had to deal with the fire storm that tool created.

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