HBomberguy vs. James Somerton Plagiarism Scandal depicting a screenshot from Hbomb's December 2023 video and a meme.

HBomberguy vs. James Somerton Plagiarism Scandal

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Updated Dec 04, 2023 at 03:17PM EST by Zach.

Added Dec 04, 2023 at 05:30AM EST by sakshi.

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Related Explainer: What's Up With Hbomberguy Setting Off A YouTube Plagiarism Scandal? The Internet Historian And James Somerton Controversies Explained

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Overview

HBomberguy vs. James Somerton Plagiarism Scandal refers to YouTuber Hbomberguy's takedown of fellow YouTuber James Somerton in a December 2023 video titled, "Plagiarism and You(Tube)." Somerton, a YouTube essayist who primarily discusses LGBTQ+ representation in popular media, was the primary focus of a nearly four-hour-long video that also criticized YouTubers like Internet Historian and Illuminaughtii for repackaging work created by other writers without providing adequate citations. Somerton shut down his social media handles and Patreon the day after the video was released, however, his YouTube channel is still active with the comments turned off as of December 4th, 2023.

Background

James Somerton is a Canadian YouTuber known for making YouTube video essays about LGBTQ+ themes in popular media. He began posting videos in 2013 but only started to gain significant engagement in 2018 following the popularity of his video "Monsters in the Closet – A History of LGBT Representation in Horror Cinema (Video essay)."[1]

On December 2nd, 2023, YouTuber[2] Hbomberguy posted a video titled, "Plagiarism and You(Tube)." The video used various YouTubers as a case study to discuss plagiarism on the platform, including a section on video essayist Illuminaughti repackaging Brian Deer's anti-vax journalism without giving adequate credit and YouTuber Internet Historian using entire paragraphs from a 2018 Mental Floss article by Lucas Reilly in his script for a video titled "Man In Cave."[11]

Hbomberguy's video was largely focused on James Somerton, citing the YouTuber's extensive history of allegedly misattributing or inadequately citing other queer theorists' work and passing them off as his own thoughts. Somerton was the subject of nearly two hours of the video's four-hour runtime (seen below).



Developments

On December 3rd, 2023, James Somerton made a post to his Patreon[3] responding to Hbomberguy's video, calling it a rehash of a disproven plagiarization allegation (seen below, top). The post has since been deleted, but not before several of his patrons replied with their comments (seen below, bottom).[4]


James Somerton Raised Concerns 20min. Firstly, I would like to thank all of you for supporting me in the first place. However, it seems as if this channel has come under target from a significantly larger creator than myself and Nick. I know the majority of you were around last year when these accusations were first brought up; I have spoken to many of you privately and in live streams to explain the situation in detail. I am shocked to see that I was worth seemingly two hours of a four-hour video — especially when all of these issues have been discussed before one year ago today. Especially since there was nothing new brought up in this video. If you have any concerns about these issues, please message me and I will answer all of your questions in detail. Again, I am so grateful for your support. I love you all, and thank you. James


Licey Alexis Ramses Lopez Castro Im lost tbh 9 Eli Wynn no exactly like what happened 5 2 3h Load replies Bunny P. Richard I am completely unaware of the situation, does anyone know what the accusations are exactly? 3h Tim Pittman What the hell...?? 3h James Somerton Hbomberguy released a four hour video, two hours of which seems to the be dissecting plagiarism accusations against our channel that we thoroughly clarified about a year ago. 3h 3h Rachel M Frankly ya'll should watch it, it's thorough and damning. The scope of this is shocking and very disappointing 26 3h Spooky & Darke 2h That's s-----. Stress you don't need right now so sorry Leland Culver IKNEW IT. I KNEW there was something about your videos that had changed, and that they were coming out waaay too quickly. Research, writing, shooting and editing on that scale just takes too long. I would know; I just spent half a year working on a thesis paper and I know too many peers (and have experienced myself) how much time and how many people making good media presentation out of anything takes. Stopped watching a while ago but kept supporting thinking you were doing something good and the content just wasn't for me. Now I know I was wrong to give you that grace. See ya! 21 2h Islay Bastin I feel pretty betrayed, honestly. I remember first watching your monsters in the closet video, being so happy to find someone who talked about something that seemed so taboo, and feeling so affected by your WWII documentary, and when you announced a patreon drive somewhat recently and I was in a better financial place, I thought "hey, I'm one-hundred percent up for supporting you now I can!". I'll probably pause the patreon sub, though I do want to look at the debunking you allegedly did last year and I'm trying to keep my mind open. I'm aware that if this is somehow overblown, or magnified, that a reputation takes years to build but seconds to destroy, and I'm trying to avoid being one of those people who would just accept what one side told them, but I also know that there are three sides to every story, and until I've looked over yours, I don't know if I can continue fiscal support. 12 1h For myself - I'll have to stop watching and I'll have to unfollow. Personally, I can't trust that you're doing the right thing in more recent videos when this is your response. 18 Terrance Odette This is a bit extreme... 1h Jackbird 37min Is it? As a patron, my name is now listed in the credits of multiple plagiarized videos. My name which is associated with my professional work as an author, listed in videos where James rips the work of other queer authors with inadequate or no attribution. I'm not going to tell anyone else what their response should be, but for this level of broken trust, I think unfollowing on Youtube and unsubscribing on Patreon is a perfectly proportional response.

Later on December 3rd, Somerton deleted the aforementioned post and uploaded a new one, this time apologizing for breaking his viewers' trust and assuring them that he will have more to say soon.


Sunday, December 3, 2023 Just now Hi everyone. I wanted to say that I'm very sorry. I'm in a terrible headspace right now so I don't want to post anything too long because I don't know where my brain will lead me. But I will say something more extensive once I've prepared myself emotionally. I know people want an immediate, detailed response but I've never found immediate responses to anything to be as fair and honest as they could be. Always more driven more by emotion than anything else. I will say more soon, though. But for now, I want to apologize. I'm heartbroken that I've lost your trust and just hope that someday, with a lot of work, I can get it back. : Start the conversation...

Online Reactions

The initial response to Hbomberguy's December 2nd, 2023, video focused on the 20-minute segment on Internet Historian's plagiarism, with some Reddit users[4] pointing to other instances in which the creator appears to have paraphrased or plagiarized another writer's work. The subreddits /r/LGBT[5] and /r/HBomberguy[6] hosted threads in the days following the initial video as Redditors discussed James Somerton's alleged plagiarism, gathering over 400 upvotes each in two days.

X[7] user @DrWallkick posted a meme on December 3rd joking about how Hbomberguy's focus on James Somerton may have been a relief to other featured creators. The post gathered over 9,000 likes in a day (seen below, left). Some internet users also defended Internet Historian against Hbomberguy's accusations, as seen in a December 3rd post by X[8] user @DubiousShell that gathered over 2,000 likes in a day (seen below, right).


RE Godspeed You! Woke Moralists @DrWallkick Illuminaughty when the video moved over to a two hour dissection of James Somerton: HEY, I GOT OFF PRETTY EASY! 8:03 AM - Dec 3, 2023 210.4K Views : EvenNicherShell @DubiousShell I find it very interesting that this man makes a 4 hour video about plagiarism but never mentions anyone on his own "side", only targets he can paint as "alt-right", or morally justify. Almost like it's propaganda or something. Hbomberguy @Hbomberguy Dec 2 youtu.be/yDp3cB5fHXQ 1:11 PM Dec 3, 2023 223.3K Views

On December 2nd, 2023, Tumblr[9] user stomachshredder posted a meme about Hbomberguy's takedown of James Somerton, gathering over 9,000 notes in two days (seen below, left). On December 3rd, X[10] user @pseudonymjones posted a meme about how Hbomberguy repeatedly hinted at his own bisexuality to preempt any accusations of homophobia. The post gathered over 39,000 likes in a day (seen below, right).


Oh boy, new Hbomberguy video I now despise Youtuber James Somerton I CRITICIZE A GAY VIDEO ESSAYIST FOR PLAGARISM WHO HAS REPEATEDLY CRIED HOMOPHOBIA WHENEVER HE'S BEEN CALLED OUT FOR PLAGIARISM IN THE PAST BEFORE ANIT SHOULD BE NOTED AS A POINT OF RECORD THAT FALSO LIKE C---

Internet Historian Plagiarism Accusations

Internet Historian Plagiarism Accusations refers to a December 2023 video uploaded by Hbomberguy that accuses YouTuber Internet Historian of plagiarizing videos, which particularly highlights "Man In Cave" as its main example. The accusations of plagiarism regarding the content creator spread on social media in early December 2023 as people began to speak out against Internet Historian for his content, while others defended him amid the controversy.



Search Interest

Unavailable.

External References

[1] YouTube – James Somerton

[2] YouTube – Hbomberguy

[3] Patreon – James Somerton

[4]  Reddit – /r/YouTubeDrama

[5] Reddit – /r/lgbt

[6] Reddit – /r/Hbomberguy

[7] X – DrWallkick

[8] X – DubiousShell

[9] Tumblr – stomachshredder

[10] X – pseudonymjones

[11] YouTube – Man in Cave

Recent Videos 1 total

Recent Images 13 total


Top Comments

Fibrosion
Fibrosion

Glad this one's here. This is the actual story. Internet Historian's segment of the video amounts to a footnote that reads, "This is the only instance of plagiarism I could find so it's fucking weird he decided to do it."

Meanwhile, Somerton's beatdown lasted 2 full hours and completely ended his career.

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