The Problem with Linus Tech Tips: Accuracy, Ethics, & Responsibility

This video is not monetized. This video covers our serious concerns regarding the data accuracy of Linus Media Group, including Linus Tech Tips, ShortCircuit, and TechQuickie, particularly as it relates to rushing content out the door to favor -- by staff's own admission -- quantity over quality. As the company continues to expand into its LTT Labs direction, the importance of accurate data increases; however, even as 'only' entertainment, there are still certain responsibilities to the consumer and the manufacturers to report fairly (and to have defined corrections processes in place). We tried to approach this as objectively as possible and hope that viewers are able to listen to the evidence we present, particularly as it relates to significant and frequent data errors that now present in nearly every technical review video.

Keegen,
Keegen avatar

LTT has been an entertainment channel with a drop of info for a while now, their content is pretty much only suitable as background filler while eating food. Their thumbnails and titles are also unusable without extensions to decipher them (shoutout to DeArrow from Ajay Ramachandran). For the actual good tech info you to go Hardware Unboxed or the very creator of this video.

CybranM,

TIL about DeArrow, thanks!

BigVault,
BigVault avatar

HWUB, GN, Level1Techs and KitGuru are my serious outlets of choice.

If I want little more than entertainment, LTT, Dawid does Tech, Lowcastle Tech fill that gap.

Also a shout out to Chris Barnett Explaining Computers as I love his content.

tokyorock,

I’m pretty excited about LTT’s new power supply test lab. Not many content creators can afford such a setup

Keegen,
Keegen avatar

Watch the video and then decide if you are still excited about it. The one video when they announced the power supply test lab is one of the many ones called out for misinformation in this very video. With their standard of information being what is it, no data they provide should be used for any serious purchase decisions.

TimLovesTech,
@TimLovesTech@badatbeing.social avatar

Can I get a TL;DR so I don’t have to watch a video when explaining this type of thing in words is much more helpful IMHO.

Edit - Also would help to have at least a mention of who created the video and their credentials to be the authority on what LTT is doing wrong. The current thumbnail reminds me of a tabloid and is a 0% click though chance.

Voyajer,
Voyajer avatar

It's full of video quotes, you're not actually allergic to him.

transistor,
@transistor@lemdro.id avatar

First time hearing about DeArrow. Going to check that out.

Onii-Chan,
Onii-Chan avatar

DeArrow has been a fucking godsend. What a top shelf extension.

hal_5700X,
@hal_5700X@lemmy.world avatar

Links for DeArrow: Firefox & Chrome/Chromium.

Link to Hardware Unboxed. They a great tech channel.

Valdair,
Valdair avatar

I haven't enjoyed their main channel content for ever. Every once in a while if I'm interested in a product and have exhausted all other decently sized tech channels, I may watch their coverage but I've likely already made my mind up on the thing. I don't and wouldn't trust them for GPU, CPU or case reviews. I do generally like listening to the WAN Show, but Linus is sticking his foot in his mouth an awful lot these days. I like his vision for the lab, and I like what he ultimately wants to build with it, but I really worry they're going too fast and going to bake in a lot of problems that will haunt the platform for ever, assuming it even gets off the ground. I was already worried but this video made me even less optimistic. I only knew about some of these oversights, the extent is pretty startling.

spite,

Jesus Christ. I don’t watch tech YouTube anymore, I just come back when I need to buy a pc part or something. Back when I did, Linus seemed like a guy with integrity, I guess I was wrong.

It first started with buying stock or w/e in that laptop company and stating that he personally won’t review their or anyone else’s laptops. But it didn’t matter, even back then. You and your wife are sole owners of media outlet that would review those laptops. You gotta pull out of that part or not invest.

And now all of the things Steve said. Cross brand promotions, not giving a fuck about their tests accuracy, constant errors.
But to me the most egregious thing is always Linus reaction. Condescending, hostile, with superiority starting with “uh, eh guuuuuuuyyyys, I can’t….” When he thinks of any arguments followed by doubling down either by “I’m experienced” or “it costs ME money to be accurate”. Like, bitch I don’t give a fuck, it’s your job to give accurate, trustworthy information. And Luke just sits there like a Linuses bitch he is.

And the waterblock cooler example is so infuriating. He tested a prototype, on a card that the makers said they don’t know if it would work, and shat on it. Would he use i don’t care know, cooler made for am4 board on intel whatever their socket name is? (One that doesn’t have adapters or something)

He either was always like that but didn’t have enough clout to act like it or money really changes a man. Guy is no longer the “buddy fellow tech nerd guy” he still would like ppl to see him as. But his fanboys won’t see the truth and it will always stay like this

dingleberry,

He is the CEO of a $100M company and is acting like that. I’m just disappointed in Luke. Why even have these long-winded podcasts if you’re not gonna counter bossman once. They are clearly vanity sessions for Linus.

nocturne213,

I tend to avoid all YouTube personalities, almost all that I have watched are just one form of the nostalgia critic or another and seem to use rage to drive views.

jimmydoreisalefty,

Great video, thanks!

Hope LTT and Linus learn from this and start to make changes!

Cris_Color, (edited )

The response Linus posted on his forum is… Not encouraging. I think I’m just gonna leave the LTT channels behind and revisit the subject in a few years to see if anything has changed

Edit: wording

jimmydoreisalefty,

Yeah, not looking well for LTT group.

Thanks for letting me know!

Cris_Color,

It seems in addition to the other stuff, Madison who previously worked there was treated very poorly, so that’s kinda becoming a part of the conversation too :( twitter.com/suuuoppp?t=DfjH-C3JIcxmlHQCsVKpVA&amp…

I hope the company is able to improve things, cause at that point its not even just consumers affected, who have the ability to walk away, but also employees.

regardless, you’re very welcome :) it’s always nice just how friendly most folks on the fediverse are. Hope you have a good one, take care!

jimmydoreisalefty,

Thank you for the link!

You have an awesome day as well!

hal_5700X,
@hal_5700X@lemmy.world avatar
BasicTraveler,

...and that we didn't show the Billet in the best light. Our intention wasn't to hurt anyone. We wanted no one to buy it (because it's an egregious waste of money no matter what temps it runs at) and we wanted Billet to make something marketable (so they can, y'know, eat).

If he felt like that, would probably be better to say something like "We can't recommend it, but we're looking forward to reviewing the next product they make." So as to not just shit on the company entirely.

spite,

And then he went, stole their shit and resold it.

Famborghini,

But but but, it was for cHaRiTy

Photographer,

I thought Steve and Linus were on good terms? Wasn’t Steve one of the people to inform Linus that they’d been hacked recently?

QHC,
QHC avatar

People can be professional and even friendly with each other and still have disagreements. This is not the first time these two channels specifically have clashed and likely won't be the last.

Valdair, (edited )
Valdair avatar

They were until maybe a few months ago when Linus's "Trust me bro" scandal (using that term very loosely) happened. IIRC it boiled down to questions over LTT Store not having an explicit warranty policy on certain then-hot/new items. LTT seemed to be resolving issues as they came up but people in the community were expressing concern over the lack of a concrete policy that they could point to. Linus then went on WAN Show to say basically (paraphrasing) "Regardless of if we have a written warranty, we could just break that agreement, companies do it all the time. So if you have a problem, you either trust us to make you whole or you don't." Steve came out with a response video that boiled down to (again, paraphrasing) "No you do actually need to have a written warranty, it is very important both legally and for community trust".

EDIT: Video and timestamp in question. It was with regards to the LTT backpack launch, also it was almost exactly a year ago.

That cascaded in to future responses, and the clips shown here from WAN Show show Linus implicitly (but obviously) referring to Gamers Nexus - and Steve in particular - when he talks about handling the situation unprofessionally and without journalistic integrity. I was sort of on board with Linus during the original bout, LTT Store by all accounts has been pretty solid for its customers and it's obviously a very large and successful part of the business. But the harder Linus leans in to memeing on 'Trust me bro' which was a bit of a PR shitstorm, the harder it was to sympathize. He has continued to bring it up, and now actively calling out the integrity of GN was a huge mis-step. I'm fully with GN on this one, and I didn't even know about most of the technical errors (although I was aware of some, between listening to WAN shows and seeing some on previous GN videos), which furthers Steve's point about the method of correcting these errors being severely lacking.

The story about the giant monoblock cooler being auctioned off at LTX when they literally did not have permission to do so and indeed already agreed to return it since it was the company's best working prototype... that's so fucked I can scarcely believe it's true. I hope it's not or there is some kind of misunderstanding there, because if it's true that's a colossal fuckup on LMG's part that the community really should not forgive them for, and I could see totally drying up any interest from other small companies wanting to show off their cool niche engineering projects by sending them to tech media. LMG is one of the biggest players in the space, they can't afford this "go fast, break stuff and move on" attitude.

FfaerieOxide,
FfaerieOxide avatar

"Trust me bro" ... you either trust us to make you whole or you don't.

Folks're mad he pulled a Big Tom Callahan?

QHC,
QHC avatar

But the harder Linus leans in to memeing on 'Trust me bro' which was a bit of a PR shitstorm, the harder it was to sympathize.

Just adding a bit more context here: LMG had a "Trust Me Bro Warranty" shirt in their store in response. I don't know if they actually made it or sold any, but to take it as far as making a listing on the website is far enough for me.

It was incredibly disrespectful, classless, unprofessional and immature. This is the original store listing, and here is a thread on their own forums discussing the incident.

Valdair,
Valdair avatar

There's also an entire WAN show where Linus leaned in to it hard and was promoting the shirt, and he has referenced it a handful of times since. I do believe it was briefly actually available.

parrot-party,
parrot-party avatar

As has been stated, pulling a Callahan was unnecessary sloppiness, but has there been an real issues with LTT warrantees yet. The only thing I know of is the zipper clips which are being preemptively recalled.

QHC,
QHC avatar

As GN pointed out at the time, that is not the point. Their products could be perfect and their customer service excellent, but they should still have a written warranty that the company can confidently stand behind.

BasicTraveler,

The story about the giant monoblock cooler being auctioned off at LTX when they literally did not have permission to do so and indeed already agreed to return it since it was the company's best working prototype...

To steel man them a little, even though I don't think it's deserved.... It's possible that Person A agreed to return it and Person B didn't know and set it up for auction and Person A had nothing to do with LTX and didn't know......... but still at that point LTT should be offering to return the money to the bidder, with something extra, donate the same amount of money to the charity, and return the prototype.

Like this could literally sink a company. Bad review, and the best prototype are gone?

spite,

Regardless of if we have a written warranty, we could just break that agreement, companies do it all the time. So if you have a problem, you either trust us to make you whole or you don't

I just checked and LTT store sells stuff to EU. So I don't know how it is in canada or us. But we don't do that "trust me bro" shit here. It's either "fix my shit up bro" or "imma rat you out to consumer protection office which will fuck you up bro"
I'm seeing more and more that this guy is a prime example of what folks started pointing out recently cause of elon musk. Rich people think they know everything because they managed to get rich/are rich

Valdair,
Valdair avatar

I think the point Linus was originally trying to make, which even Steve called out in his original video covering the topic, is that you are already covered by certain legal protections in North America and Europe regardless of what the stated warranty is. Most warranties really just boil down to saying the company will follow applicable laws in the event the item doesn't arrive as described. Putting in writing "we will go above and beyond to make it right" and calling it a warranty is nebulous and difficult to enforce, even if it is their philosophy. All of that I agreed with and kind of saw his point of view. But they were pushed to think a little harder and put an explicit warranty in writing and I think that was the right call. What wasn't the right call was looking at a PR kerfuffle and leaning hard in to it, then acting like everyone else's handling of the situation was unprofessional. Every time he brought it up I lost a little more sympathy.

FreeBooteR69,
FreeBooteR69 avatar

They aren't going to let that stop them from calling out bullshit. LTT knows the game, if you fuck up you get called out. I'm interested in Linus's response.

WHYAREWEALLCAPS,

"We'll fix it, trust me bro." will likely be his response.

spizzat2, (edited )

Being on good terms doesn't mean you can't call someone out for their mistakes. Assuming Linus has the integrity he claims to have (and I hope he does), he will absolutely welcome this critique. He frequently mentions that he wants competition in this space to make everyone better. This should be a wake up call.

Unfortunately, since he is no longer head of the company, I could see him shifting this responsibility to the new CEO. Then again, he has frequently taken responsibility for mistakes when he could have passed the buck. For example, when the channel was hacked, he listed all of the things he could have done preemptively that could have prevented the issue, rather than throwing the specific employee under the bus. I'm hoping that he responds similarly this time, and improves procedures going forward. The "Chief Visionary Officer" needs to recognize that, as the company continues to grow larger, mistakes carry a lot more weight. The apparently cavalier attitude towards inaccurate information can absolutely crush smaller companies like Billet Labs, and his response of "it's not worth $500 to do it right because I don't believe it will change the outcome" is concerning (I think I'm mixing incident responses, but the concept applies generally).

If doing it "right" means fewer videos, I'm all for it. Trying to keep a schedule to satisfy YouTube's algorithm should not come at the expense of your or others' reputations. They run their own streaming platform, so they are in a better position than most to ignore YouTube's fickle whims.

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