History Youtube’s James Somerton problem

As I’m writing this, it’s 10 December 2023, just seven days after Hbomberguy, a Youtuber with 1.47 million subscribers, uploaded a nearly four hour video exposing a number of well known Youtubers as serial plagiarists, spending nearly half of the video’s time on James Somerton, a particularly egregious offender. The fallout has been extensive, and people have been rushing to comment, congratulate, or just cover themselves. As a history Youtuber myself, I want to use this video to bring attention to history Youtube’s problem with plagiarism and bad sourcing. You might also be interested in my r/badhistory Youtuber tier list.

Recommended channels

Andrewism: https://www.youtube.com/@Andrewism.

Archaeology Tube: https://www.youtube.com/@ArchaeologyTube. (image credit)

Cass Eris: https://www.youtube.com/@CassEris. (image credit)

Civil War Week By Week: https://www.youtube.com/@CivilWarWeekByWeek.

EmperorTigerstar: https://www.youtube.com/@EmperorTigerstar.

Fredda: https://www.youtube.com/@FreddaYT.

Hbomberguy: https://www.youtube.com/@hbomberguy. (image credit)

Mr Beat: https://www.youtube.com/@iammrbeat.

Ravignon: https://www.youtube.com/@RavignonCh.

Rowan Ellis: https://www.youtube.com/@HeyRowanEllis.

Sean Munger: https://www.youtube.com/@SeanMunger.


andrewism🌻 [@_saintdrew]. “@static_shakur @commiefagg I Was about to Say the Same Thing. It’s Good That He Calls It out, but a Lot of His Videos Adopt the Very Same Framework.” Tweet. Twitter, 7 November 2021. https://twitter.com/_saintdrew/status/1457475694955581455.

Archaeology Tube. “Don’t Be Like James Somerton: Advice on Citations and Plagiarism #plagiarism #citation #youtube – YouTube.” YouTube, 5 December 2023. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtfvADB6xPE.

Bailey, Jonathan. “Responding to Hbomberguy’s Plagiarism Video.” Plagiarism Today, 5 December 2023. https://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2023/12/05/responding-to-hbomberguys-plagiarism-video/.

Cass Erris. “Citation Needed for You(Tube)? – How to Not Be a Plagiarist.” YouTube, 8 December 2023. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4jAyJDc8T4.

Eaton, Dr Sarah Elaine. “21st Century Definition of Plagiarism.” Learning, Teaching and Leadership, 23 January 2018. https://drsaraheaton.wordpress.com/2018/01/23/8580/.

hbomberguy. “Plagiarism and You(Tube).” YouTube, 3 December 2023. https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=yDp3cB5fHXQ.

Jonathan Bailey. “Plagiarism Expert Responds to Hbomberguy’s Plagiarism Video.” YouTube, 8 December 2023. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-148vb8rzJ0.

Marzzik. “Top History YouTube Channels: Subscribers (2018 – 2021).” YouTube, 9 June 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBsKQhMTCOw.

Rowan Ellis. “Is LGBT History ‘Fake’? #ad.” YouTube, 18 February 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sCyvsxjQ-g.

u/humanityisdyingfast. “History YouTuber Called out in Comment for Plagiarism.” Reddit Post. R/Quityourbullshit, 18 August 2023. www.reddit.com/r/quityourbullshit/comments/15uxp5k/history_youtuber_called_out_in_comment_for/.

u/Notograptus. “Extra History (2.5m Subs) Potentially Plagiarizes Bolívar: American Liberator by Marie Arana.” Reddit Post. R/Badhistory, 2 November 2021. www.reddit.com/r/badhistory/comments/qlhqkg/extra_history_25m_subs_potentially_plagiarizes/.

u/Ostfront2wegondie2. “Mark Felton Productions Plagiarizes Some of His Videos, Historical Inaccuracies and All.” Reddit Post. R/Badhistory, 23 March 2020. www.reddit.com/r/badhistory/comments/fnut9z/mark_felton_productions_plagiarizes_some_of_his/.

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