It hasn’t been a very pleasant week for the Linus Media Group, the business which owns Linus Tech Tips. The YouTube empire is currently in shambles following a series of nasty allegations made towards it. These allegations include sexual harassment, theft and remarks which have questioned the brand’s ethics.
As a result of all this, Linus Media Group has paused all production while the company evaluates the ongoing controversy and tries to improve its review process. CEO Terren Tong, who only recently stepped in, has confirmed that an outside investigator will also be hired to examine the harassment allegations made by former staff.
The controversy kicked off earlier this week when another YouTube channel, Gamers Nexus, called Linus Media Group out for errors in videos and unethical practices in its business. These concerns included reviewing gaming mice without removing the plastic tape from their feet and criticising how stiff it was when used on a mousepad.
There’s also a whole story regarding a prototype GPU cooler which was slandered for being bad but in the content, it wasn’t used correctly and on the wrong GPU. The media group then reportedly auctioned off the prototype unit which was needed for further manufacturing.
Then there’s the question of ethics. Gamers Nexus says that the media group is well-connected, and produces its own product range but still reviews competitor products and is constantly negative in these reviews.
“We’ve been seeing an alarming amount of conflicts from Linus Tech Tips as it relates to their corporate connections, their flow of money, and the potential bias as a result of those things.”
The Linus Media Group issued a statement regarding most of the allegations and concerns. However, there wasn’t much accountability taken. Instead, the group had an excuse for each of the issues raised and some concerns, such as the question of ethics and the incorrect data shown in reviews, weren’t even touched on.
After the backlash from the internet and another short follow-up by Gamers Nexus, the Linus Media Group released a video. However, this video was also locked behind its Floatplane paywall. Once released onto YouTube, it then monetized the video with ads in order to take advantage of the ongoing controversy.
It wasn’t until yesterday afternoon when Linus Sabastian himself confirmed that the team would be halting production for a week to evaluate the issues. Just when this was announced, Madison Reeves, a former employee at Linus Media Group, opened up on Twitter regarding a toxic workplace and even sexual harassment targeted at her by Linus Media Group employees.
“I chose to quit my role at LTT because it, and the working environment I was facing, were ruining my mental health. My work was called ‘dogshit’ I was called ‘incompetent’. When I would reach out to managers and try to get help with these situations, I would be told to ‘put on my big girl pants’ and be ‘more assertive’.”
Reeves claimed that she was barred from videos after she reported sexual harassment incidents to management. One time, she claims that someone grabbed her multiple times in the office. She also says she’s been told to “calm my tits” and “stop being such a bitch”.
Since these allegations went public, Linus Sabastian has issued yet another statement describing his shock.
I was in a state of shock reading through these allegations, plain and simple. They aren’t consistent with my recollections. They aren’t consistent with our internal processes. They aren’t consistent with our company values. We pride ourselves on maintaining a safe and inclusive environment. In addition to our existing report systems (both anonymous and otherwise) we’ve proactively reached out internally today to encourage members of our team to report any workplace bullying or harassment they might be experiencing so we can take quick and decisive action. Our HR team will be conducting a more thorough assessment of the allegations, and when we are ready, we will release a more complete statement. For now I would ask that we allow our team the time they need be as thorough as possible.
Linus Media Group CEO Terren Tong has also responded to the allegations saying he was in shock.
“As part of this process, beyond an internal review we will also be hiring an outside investigator to look into the allegations and will commit to publish the findings and implementing any corrective actions that may arise because of this.”
What started out as criticism over misinformation and unethical business practise how now turned into an entire sexual harassment debacle.