The story we will tell you about today recalls the parable of many young entrepreneurs who, starting from a garage (this really happened for the character in question), come to have enormous success in the field of digital communication. But he also remembers a little the myth of Icaruswho burned his wings from the desire to get too close to the Sun.
Let’s make it concrete: the character is Linus Sebastian and more precisely we will deal with his very popular YouTube channel Linus Tech Tips. Which, having ended up at the center of heated controversy, has decided to suspend programming for a week. But before let’s take a step backdiscovering Linus Sebastian and his Linus Media Group.
Who is Linus Sebastian?
Linus Sebastian was born in Canada in 1986 and – as we said – having as its first operational headquarters from a garage, in 2013 he founded the company Linus Media Group. It is a group of YouTube channels and technology podcasts, whose main product is Linus Tech Tips, which has been in the eye of the storm for some time. Sebastian stepped down as CEO of the company last May, but however, the face remains at Linus Tech Tips.
What is Linus Tech Tips?
Linus Tech Tips is a very popular technology and computing YouTube channel, full of in-depth reviews. To give an idea, the channel has over 15.5 million subscribers and the videos usually exceed one million views.
LTT, as the channel is often called, sailed with the wind at its back until last March. In fact, a hacker attack targeted him, along with some of the group’s secondary channels, such as Teckquickie and TechLinked. Hackers have made public old private videos and broadcast live videos related to the world of cryptocurrencies.
Alarm cleared? Yes, until June. When did that start happening something different.
Criticisms of Linus Tech Tips
It all starts with a review posted on the channel on June 24th. When – it is necessary to go a bit technical – a Monoblock liquid cooling system was evaluated on LTT, to which Linus gave a negative vote. But this is only after one sensational oversight for a channel with that sequel: The component was tested with a GeForce RTX 4090 GPU (graphics processing unit) and not a GeForce RTX 3090 Ti as indicated by the manufacturer.
From there, things only got worse. Both because Sebastian refused to repeat the test using an appropriate GPU, and because Linus Tech Tips sold the prototype at a charity auction, rather than returning it to its builder, as agreed.
The first controversies
A competitor channel, Gamers Nexus, thought of inciting the community, posting a video of the incident and expressing doubts about the “accuracy, ethics and sense of responsibility” of Linus Tech Tips. At that point the channel’s community, in revolt, pointed out that LTT, unlike Gamers Nexus, made money from videos. The company then promptly intervened, blocking the monetization tool for the various reviews.
Le accuse su X
But now the die was cast. AND on X, the former Twitter, the controversy has taken on even more dangerous dimensions.
L’ex social media manager, Madison Reeve, in a post on Wednesday, Aug. 16, wrote that he left the company because “my role and the work environment I was facing was ruining my mental health. The number of daily articles we would have to fill on social media was staggeringly high.”
The apology video
Here then is that, especially in response to the accusations of lack of professionalism in reviewsthe staff of Linus Tech Tips on Thursday 17 August published a video of about twenty minutes (which after a few hours had already reached almost 4 million views).
Some top figures of the company speak in the video and, last but not least, Linus Sebastian.
Who with a contrite expression, who without renouncing a certain irony, everyone agrees on the need to take a week off. To make internal quality control processes even more robust, and tech reviews more accurate.
The channel has therefore chosen to don’t post videos for seven days. We’ll see how the large community reacts. And, above all, whether certain mistakes will be repeated or not.