Mic.com, the news and opinion website aimed at millennials, has a very millennial problem: Its director of news, Jared Keller, appears to have plagiarized at least 20 passages from at least eight different news sources over the past several months.

Keller was hired in April of last year as Mic’s director of programming. “Jared will lead our efforts to reach young people in the places we get news,” co-founder Jake Horowitz wrote in a memo announcing Keller’s new title. Horowitz highlighted Keller’s “wealth of experience” from previous gigs at The Atlantic, Bloomberg, and Al-Jazeera America. Besides writing, Keller is in charge of hiring other writers for Mic’s news division.

Keller’s title would appear to require understanding that plagiarism violates the standard norms of newsgathering. But in at least three articles published under his byline, Keller used the text of others, including The Atlantic, without any attribution. In several other cases, Keller lifted text from sources that he credits and links to in the post itself, but without setting that text in quotation marks or block quotes, and without noting anywhere on the page that the text was not his own.

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The following is a breakdown of the instances of plagiarism we’re aware of. Seven examples were highlighted by an anonymous tipster; the rest we found using Google.

No Attribution

In the three examples that follow, Keller used words written elsewhere without linking to or crediting their author. They bear the signs of classic plagiarism: Taking the work of others and concealing the original source.

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1.

The Atlantic (January 26, 2015):

Tuesday is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, marking the passage of 70 years since the January 27, 1945, liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet soldiers. Auschwitz was a network of concentration camps built and operated in occupied Poland by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Auschwitz I and nearby Auschwitz II-Birkenau were the extermination camps where an estimated 1.1 million people—mostly Jews from across Europe, but also political opponents, prisoners of war, homosexuals, and Roma—were killed in gas chambers or by systematic starvation, forced labor, disease, or medical experiments.

Keller (January 27, 2015):

Tuesday is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, marking the passage of 70 years since the Jan. 27, 1945, liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps built and operated in occupied Poland by Nazi Germany. As many as 1.1 million people, mostly Jews from across Europe, were killed there in gas chambers or by systematic starvation, forced labor and disease.

2.

The Independent (December 26, 2014, 3:00 a.m.):

Shahab Ali Shah, head of police administration in Khyber, claimed that Saddam helped plan the Peshawar school attack and was also involved in attacks on health workers giving out polio vaccinations in the Peshawar valley.

Keller (December 26, 2014, 7:52 a.m.):

Shah said Saddam helped plan the Peshawar school attack and was also involved in attacks on health workers giving polio vaccinations in the Peshawar valley.

3.

The Belfast Telegraph (July 9, 2014):

The Al-Quds Brigade, the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), released a video on July 9 which they say shows the launch of rockets from the Gaza Strip on southern Israel. The video shows a vehicle-mounted rocket launcher firing a number of rockets, though it is not possible to establish the date nor location of capture. The vehicle’s door is emblazoned with the Al-Quds Brigade's distinctive logo.

Keller (July 10, 2014):

The Al-Quds Brigade, the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), released a video Wednesday that purports to show the launch of rockets from the Gaza Strip on southern Israel. The video shows a vehicle-mounted rocket launcher firing a number of rockets, though it is not possible to establish the date nor location of capture. The vehicle’s door is emblazoned with the Al-Quds Brigade's distinctive logo.


Credit, But No Quotation Marks

Elsewhere, Keller committed a different sin: Either copying or very lightly rewriting passages (mostly from AP or Reuters wire stories) that are credited in the same post, usually with an inline link and in a few cases with a hat-tip at the very bottom. (It’s unclear whether Mic subscribes to those wire services. News organizations that incorporate wire reporting into their articles are expected to credit those services in their bylines or a note.)

Below are 16 examples of Keller directly lifting text, without immediate attribution, from sources he later cites or links to in the posts written under his byline.

4.

Vox (January 26):

The awful truth of the anti-vaccine movement is that it puts the most vulnerable populations at risk: infants under 12 months of age, who can’t get vaccinated...

Keller (January 28, 2014):

The sad truth of the anti-vaccine movement is that it puts the most vulnerable populations at risk, including children under the age of 12 [sic] who simply can't get vaccinated...

Update

TPM’s Brendan James points out that the above passage on Mic appears to have been edited since the publication of this article. It now reads: “The sad truth of the anti-vaccine movement is that it puts the most vulnerable populations at risk, including young children who simply can't get vaccinated.”

The post’s original language, however, is preserved in Google’s results for the phrase “children under the age of 12 who simply,” in which the second link points to an CDN server used by Mic. That server’s copy of Keller’s post has since been updated, but the preview text under the link indicates that it used to contain “children under the age of 12 who simply.”

After TPM’s post, Mic added a correction to Keller’s article that reads: “An earlier version of this article stated that children under the age of 12 cannot be vaccinated. This article has been updated to note that only children under the age of 12 months cannot be vaccinated.”

5.

Reuters (February 6):

Thousands of Jordanians packed the streets of the capital Amman on Friday, urging their monarch to step up air strikes on Islamic State to avenge its killing of pilot Mouath al-Kasaesbeh.

Keller (February 6):

Thousands of Jordanians packed the streets of the capital Amman on Friday, urging their monarch to step up air strikes on IS to avenge its killing of pilot Mouath al-Kasaesbeh.

6.

The Washington Post (January 16):

The 218-page report, commissioned as a result of a May law, explores every aspect, option and pathway to legalization...

Each of the 12 paths offers different benefits and risks to public health, government control of the industry, the ability to generate revenue and the level of conflict with federal law.

Keller (January 19):

The 218-page report, commissioned as a result of a May 2014 law directing Vermont's Secretary of Administration to analyze consequences of legalizing marijuana, explores every aspect, option and pathway to legalization in the Green Mountain State...

Each of the 12 paths offers different benefits and risks to public health, government control of the industry, the ability to generate revenue and the level of conflict with federal law.

7.

Associated Press (January 16):

In Ireland, police arrested a suspected French-Algerian militant at Dublin Airport as he tried to enter the country using a false passport.

Keller (January 17):

In Ireland, police arrested a suspected French-Algerian militant on a European watch list at Dublin Airport as he tried to enter the country using a false passport.

8.

AP (January 16):

In more than a dozen raids Friday, Belgian forces found four military-style weapons including Kalashnikov assault rifles and several police uniforms, Van der Sypt said.

Keller (January 17; same article as No. 5):

And in more than a dozen raids Friday, Belgian forces found four military-style weapons, including Kalashnikov assault rifles, as well as several police uniforms, in the possession of suspected extremists.

9.

Reuters (January 17):

Churches were burned, Christian homes looted and the French cultural centre attacked during the violence in Zinder on Friday, residents said.

Keller (January 17):

On Friday, churches were burned, Christian homes looted and the French cultural center attacked during the violence in Zinder, Reuters reports.

10.

AP (January 25):

At the same time the insurgents continued scorched-earth attacks on villages some 125 miles to the south in Adamawa state, slitting throats of residents, looting and burning homes and abducting dozens of trapped women and children, according to Vandu Kainu and other escaping survivors.

Keller (January 26):

The insurgents also continued their “scorched-earth attacks” on villages some 125 miles to the south, “slitting throats of residents, looting and burning homes and abducting dozens of trapped women and children,” survivors told the AP.

11.

AP (January 26):

Jubilant Kurdish fighters ousted Islamic State militants from the key Syrian border town of Kobani on Monday after a four-month battle — a significant victory for both the Kurds and the U.S.-led coalition.

Keller (January 27):

After a brutal four-month battle against the Islamic State, jubilant Kurdish fighters ousted the militants from the key Syrian border town of Kobani on Monday — a significant victory for both the Kurds and the U.S.-led coalition.

12.

Reuters (January 14):

Tomas Zeron, director of criminal investigations at the federal Attorney General's office, said that prosecutors had obtained an arrest warrant for former mayor Jose Luis Abarca and 44 others on charges of kidnapping the 43 students.

Keller (January 14):

Tomas Zeron, director of criminal investigations at the federal Attorney General's office, told Reuters that prosecutors had obtained an arrest warrant for former Mayor José Luis Abarca and 44 others on charges of kidnapping the students.

13.

Reuters (January 17):

A day after five people were killed in Niger in protests over the cartoons, protesters in Niamey attacked a police station and burned at least two police cars near the main mosque after authorities banned a meeting called by local Muslim leaders.

Keller (January 17):

A day after five people were killed in Niger, protesters attacked a police station in the capital city of Niamey. They burned at least two police cars near the main mosque after authorities banned a meeting called by local Muslim leaders, Reuters reports.

14.

AP (January 7):

French brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi, in their early 30s, should be considered armed and dangerous, according to a police bulletin released early Thursday

Keller (January 8):

French brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi, in their early 30s, should be considered armed and dangerous, according to a police bulletin released early Thursday.

15.

AP photo caption (November 16):

The Islamic State group released a graphic video on Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014, in which a black-clad militant claimed to have beheaded U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig.

AP article (November 16):

The Islamic State group released a graphic video Sunday in which a black-clad militant claims to have beheaded Kassig, who was captured last year.

Keller (November 16):

The Islamic State released a graphic video Sunday morning in which a black-clad militant claims to have beheaded Peter Kassig, a U.S. aid worker who was captured in Syria in 2013.

16.

AP (January 7):

France raised its terror alert system to the maximum — Attack Alert — and bolstered security with more than 800 extra soldiers to guard media offices, places of worship, transport and other sensitive areas. Fears had been running high in France and elsewhere in Europe that jihadis trained in warfare abroad would stage attacks at home.

Keller (January 8):

The Associated Press reports that France raised its terror alert system to the maximum — Attack Alert — and bolstered security with more than 800 extra soldiers to guard media offices, places of worship, transport and other sensitive areas. Fears had been running high in France and elsewhere in Europe that jihadis trained in warfare abroad would stage attacks at home.

17.

AP (January 7):

Powerful currents and murky water continue to hinder the operation, but searchers managed to get a photograph of the debris - nearly 6 miles from where Flight 8501 lost contact Dec. 28 - after it was detected by an Indonesian survey ship, National Search and Rescue chief Henry Bambang Soelistyo told reporters.

Keller (January 7):

Soelistyo told reporters that while unfavorable weather conditions and murky water continue to hinder the operation. Divers managed to get a photograph of the debris after it was detected by an Indonesian survey ship.

18.

Storyful, via Yahoo (July 6, linked in Keller’s post):

Israel’s Iron Dome defense system intercepted dozens of rockets fired by Hamas militants on July 7. The bombardment was reportedly triggered by IDF air strikes in the Gaza Strip, which killed nine militants in the early hours of Monday morning. Seven rockets were intercepted over Ashod and five over Netivot on Monday evening, according to local media reports. This footage captures air raid sirens sounding over Rehovot, where interceptions and explosions could be seen overhead.

Keller (July 10, 2014):

Israel’s Iron Dome defense system intercepted dozens of rockets fired by Hamas militants from on Wednesday and into the early hours Thursday. The bombardment followed Israel Defense Forces (IDF) airstrikes in the Gaza Strip throughout Wednesday. The uploader has described this footage as have been captured in southern Israel, showing rockets bound for Israel being intercepted by the Iron Dome.

19.

AP (December 31, 2014):

Park, a North Korean defector, said he's partnering with the U.S.-based nonprofit Human Rights Foundation, which is financing the making of the DVDs and USB memory sticks of the movie with Korean subtitles.

Keller (December 31, 2014):

Park said he's partnering with the U.S.-based nonprofit Human Rights Foundation, which is financing the making of the DVDs and USB memory sticks of the movie with Korean subtitles.

20.

AP (December 25, 2014):

The pope also thanked those courageously helping people infected with Ebola in Africa.

Keller (December 25, 2014):

The pope also thanked those courageously helping people infected with Ebola in West Africa.


This does not appear to be the first case of plagiarism committed by a Mic employee. In July of last year, the site placed editor’s notes on several dozen articles written by Chris Miles, then the site’s managing editor of news. One such note reads:

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to remove language that was used without attribution to CBS News and Forbes. We apologize to our readers for this violation of our basic editorial standards. Mic has put in place new mechanisms, including plagiarism detection software, to ensure that this does not happen in the future.

It is not clear when Miles left Mic, but he did not publish any articles for them after July 30, 2014. His author profile is programmed to redirect to Mic’s homepage. Five days ago, he joined the financial news website Marketwatch as a Viral News Editor.

Asked for comment on Keller’s case, Mic spokesperson James Allen emailed the following statement to Gawker:

Plagiarism is unacceptable. We have strict editorial standards and conduct ethics trainings for new employees. Using detection software, our copy editing team also checks articles for plagiarism prior to publication. Mic takes any allegations of plagiarism seriously and will conduct an internal review to determine the appropriate next steps.

Additional reporting by Jordan Sargent, Taylor Berman, Leah Finnegan, and Adam Weinstein.