Call A Lawman, Steven Seagal’s Clickbait Site Stole My #Content

Senior Editor
02.04.16 20 Comments
Where does he get such wonderful content?

Getty Images/WarriorZen

Where does he get such wonderful content?

Not too long ago, you may remember that I brought you the story of Steven Seagal’s clickbait website, WarriorZen. To recap briefly, it seems that a certain class of websites, the kind that create Discount Internet Slurry, have begun offering their services to celebrities, as a way to boost their online presence. The idea being, you share enough garbage news links that people can’t help but click and/or share on Facebook, you get more likes on your fan page. And of course, from there it’s just a short jump to “????” followed by “profit.” They’re disrupting the entire creator/fan relationship.

I discovered WarriorZen simply through Steven Seagal’s hilarious shares in my timeline (I was already a fan, Seagal being an obsession of mine). Here are a few samples, just from the top of his page. I think it helps to imagine the teaser text in Seagal’s Codeine Sensei voice.

SEAGAL VOICE: “This young man is learning a valuable lesson.”
“NEWS” HEADLINE: Police Officer Stops Two Kids… What He Finds In Their Pockets… Wow! Puts Them In Handcuffs

SEAGAL VOICE: Impressive.
“NEWS” HEADLINE: The New Age of Silencers Is Here. They’re Quiet Enough To Be Used Without Earplugs, And Even

SEAGAL VOICE: Take the test and let me know how you did.
“NEWS” HEADLINE: This Test Tells If You Have Fighter’s Vision

I swear to you, they are all at least that funny. At some point, I even followed the link from the WarriorZen website and applied to be part of their “editorial team,” which I’m sure is a very legitimate occupation. I never heard back, sadly. So imagine my surprise when Steve Bramucci sent me a link to a WarriorZen ripoff of a post I’d written myself!

Original FilmDrunk Link: In Memoriam: All Of The Bad Guys Killed In ‘Commando,’ With One Liners

WarriorZen Link: In Memoriam: All Of The Bad Guys Arnold Killed In ‘Commando’ With One Liners

I like that they took out my comma. Possibly to suggest that one-liners were the murder weapon? That’s a nice little flourish.

In the article though, they paraphrased. So that…

Kill 89, Bennett. Matrix goads him into a knife fight in the furnace room, and, after tussling around with him for a few minutes, electrocutes him, which seems to just make him angry, then throws him against a wall and impales him through the chest with a giant pipe that Matrix hurled like a javelin. Just as he was cocking his Uzi and preparing to shoot John “between the balls.” […]

One-liner (s): “Bulll sh*t!”, “Let off some steam, Bennett.”

…becomes

In the final battle, John goads his enemy and daughter’s kidnapper, Bennett (played by Vernon Wells) into a knife fight in the furnace room before impaling him with a giant pipe that he hurls like a javelin. His final line? ‘Let off some steam, Bennett.’

Maybe so a search engine wouldn’t flag it as a duplicate? Maybe I’m giving them too much credit (theirs also reads cleaner, which bugs me a little, I admit).

In any case, whereas I had included all 89 kills (or thereabouts) in my exhaustively researched piece (and by research I mean watching Commando on my laptop), the WarriorZen team just went with six, split into three separate pages (get them views, son). Sort of contradicts their “all of the bad guys” headline, but whatever. People got the idea, that’s what’s important. They even used the exact same screencaps, which I took myself. What are the odds? Great minds think alike, I guess.

According to the WarriorZen website:

WarriorZen.com is all about providing our viewers with the latest and greatest in engaging, entertaining, and original content. We spend countless hours exploring the far reaches of the web searching for content, but finding new and original content is not always easy.

You’re tellin’ me, brother! But hang in there, I’m sure you’ll eventually find some and lazily rewrite it.

The irony of all this? I wrote about WarriorZen back in December. I wrote the Commando piece (and accompanying retrospective, which was much better) in October. The WarriorZen link was from November. Which means that when I emailed WarriorZen about becoming a contributor, I had no idea that I already was one. TIME IS A FLAT CIRCLE. OUROBOROS IS ME. Are you there, Buzzfudge? It’s me, #Content.

Steven Seagal famously can’t keep track of space or time too well. Now I’m beginning to wonder if it’s contagious.

Vince Mancini is a writer, comedian, and podcaster. A graduate of Columbia’s non-fiction MFA program, his work has appeared on FilmDrunk, the UPROXX network, the Portland Mercury, the East Bay Express, and all over his mom’s refrigerator. Fan FilmDrunk on Facebook, find the latest movie reviews here.

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