Last week I got an email saying someone had mentioned me in a tweet on Twitter. I hardly ever use my Twitter, which is only for publicizing blog posts anyways, but I followed the link and found the following tweet:
Intrigued, I followed up with this mysterious tweet and emailed them back. Almost immediately I received a response, saying that they would love to hire me as a writer – I would make $10/article. They even let me know that their highest-paid writer had made over $700 by writing articles for them. I was impressed – not that $10/article is a lot, but it’s more than the current $0 I make for all of my writing. I also checked out the website (because I’d never heard of it before), universityprimetime.com. The website seemed pretty legitimate, with interesting articles, fun headlines, and nice pictures. There were some parts of the website I didn’t love, like the attention to partying and greek life, but I figured I could overlook small things like that. I looked around to see if my writing style would fit with the site, when I came across the following article:
Hold on. I wrote that article. I scanned through it, and indeed it was my article. I had published it earlier that day on Unwritten. They used my exact words and the exact same picture.
What didn’t they use, though? My name.
Unless I had been renamed “Primetime Legend” without my knowledge, then that definitely wasn’t cool.
I emailed the man I had contacted earlier and posed the following questions:
I tried to be professional, but also WTF. He emailed me back later that day, saying:
Well, I mean if my bosses at Unwritten were “cool with it,” then clearly I had nothing to worry about. Just in case though, I Facebook messaged my editors and asked them if they knew about this site and if they had, in fact, given them permission to use their content without referencing the original author. They had, kind of. I wouldn’t exactly say “they were cool with it,” but they had given UniversityPrimetime permission to republish articles as long as they gave credit to Unwritten and the author. That clearly hadn’t happened.
I considered writing for them for a week, and came to the conclusion that this website wasn’t worth giving up my integrity. I’m about to leave the Facebook group, so I’m saying goodbye about my dreams of writing for money… at least for now. And you know what? I’m not even upset about it.
p.s. My favorite part of this classy website is the University Primetime “Dimes” section, where they highlight pretty girls who show their boobs on Instagram.