Chris Spies, You May Have Catfished Us, But Here’s What You Don't Get
Entertainment

Chris Spies, You May Have Catfished Us, But Here’s What You Don't Get

So, Chris Spies, who is the real Fraud here?

106
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Man_typing_on_laptop_(Unsplash).jpg

Chris Spies, the infamous 28-year-old who "catfished Odyssey" and tried to "expose" us all, I want to thank you.

You poked holes in a pretty lax system other communities and teams have been complaining about for a while, and I do hope this leads to managing editors and content strategists in New York at HQ to take a more hands-on role with the communities they manage.

Maybe, just maybe, communities will receive a little less clickbaity headline changes from content strategists and a few less passive-aggressive demands out of the blue in a group chat after ghosting their team(s) for a week or more.

Maybe HQ will focus a little more on the quality it's pushing out on its social media accounts versus stirring the pot online for page views.

However, after reading both Buzzfeed's take on the situation and your own account of the story, I am left in frustration.

I was first frustrated by the fact that the prom dress article Odyssey shared (that isn't worthy of being hyperlinked in this article or getting any further attention) was what sparked your adventure into Odyssey.

Communities, EICs, and creators across the country were equally as upset about the article as you were, if not more so. There was an uproar from the “little guys" in Odyssey communities across America demanding change from HQ.

Dozens of response articles surfaced on the site calling both the writer out and HQ out for piggybacking on the publicity of the piece for their own financial advantage. Odyssey HQ knew most of the feedback being generated from the article was negative, and they ran with it, creating shirts and everything anyway.

Us “little guys" who do the grunt work, who write the content, who ARE Odyssey, were pissed.

That article is NOT a sole reflection of who Odyssey is nor are other “trash" articles that make its way onto the site.

If you don't know already, (which you probably do not, considering you only were a part of our company for a little over a week), there are only a couple dozen members who manage content up in New York at our HQ office. There are over 12,000 communities — each with its own staff of writers and editor(s). There are also creators who sign up as writers independently of any teams or editors and their articles. It is impossible for HQ to look over thousands upon thousands of articles every single week, word for word, one at a time. There simply isn't the manpower for it.

We are definitely not the only platform that works this way.

HQ staff does not always handpick the articles featured on their social media either, and it's an important part of why an article like yours would slip through the cracks and make the main page. They are often picked by an algorithm designed to select articles which are already attracting high viewership.

This means that, every once in awhile, a horrible article receiving a ton of criticism makes its way onto Odyssey's main FB page, throwing gasoline on an existing flame.

The difference between us at Odyssey, and you, Mr. Spies, is that we took our complaints to the company and the public itself. We wrote professional articles stating our opinions and truths while you tried to make a joke out of us, cowering behind a mask — a mask you made with the intent of brand defamation.

You took an experience of one community, and a small handful of people involved with the company, and ran with it. You tried to make a joke out of thousands of other writers who do write professional pieces or who use Odyssey to publish beautiful, artistic poetry or creative short-fiction — without doing any outside research.

Yes, Odyssey has its fair share of flops, but so does any other platform, especially Buzzfeed and other sites like it. I can't tell you the amount of times I've found grammatical or simple spelling errors in an article on Buzzfeed (or a horribly written piece in general). This makes Buzzfeed's, and your, attempt to discredit us all the more comical (and to me is a clear sign of pre-conceived bias).

I mean, really, Buzzfeed wants to call us out on clickbait?

Buzzfeed basically created clickbait headlines single-handedly. Buzzfeed has a known rep for trying to call us out any time it can, too, because face it, we are part of their competition. They have an entire “tag" on their website dedicated to trash talking us. It is not a surprise to Odyssey that they'd take your story and want to highlight it. And we are unprofessional?

As much as clickbaity headlines peeve me, a platform whose main readership comes from social media is almost doomed to rely on this method. Especially as a new, up-and-coming company such as Odyssey.

Most importantly, as EIC of an Odyssey community, I can promise you that onboarding a Content Creator without any sort of interview is against company protocol and not the norm of successful Odyssey communities in the slightest.

In fact, Odyssey's onboarding process is as follows:

1. Respond to the applicant's request to join your team in 24-48 hours. Ask a few screening questions and set up a time for an interview via phone or video-chat.

2. Have said interview/screening call; describe Odyssey and our Mission, as well as ask a series of screening questions to see if they are a good fit for the team.

3. After the call, decide if they are a good fit. If they are, accept them.

There is no reason you should have made it onto a team, and for that, I apologize.

There are a few other things you mentioned about Odyssey that were inaccurate as well.

We are “Odyssey."

Not “The Odyssey." Not “Odyssey Online," and not “The Odyssey Online." Our domain name is not the same as our company name. We are a fairly new company and “Odyssey.com" is already taken. We are “Odyssey."

As someone who was selected to be a part of Odyssey, you should at least have knowledge of the company's proper name, as should Buzzfeed. This just further shows how little you actually know about this company.

The way your Editor, “Rebecca" as you called her, handled herself in the GroupMe team discussion chat(s) is a reflection of herself and herself alone. HQ has a pretty hands-off approach when it comes to how EICs and/or presidents manage their team, as long as they are following basic protocols.

Her calling out creators for missing submissions in front of everyone and being passive aggressive is unprofessional, and I'm sorry that became your Odyssey experience.

I do not run my team that way, and in my experience, most other EICs do not either.

Did you ever ask “Mary" or “Rebecca" if they received pay from Odyssey for the work they do before claiming the whole thing is a scam? Because if your team is successful, you do get paid. As an EIC or president, you get paid for the number of articles you edit and how many creators are on your team.

If you're a creator, there is a system for that as well. Creators are considered interns, but there are opportunities for payment on articles that do well. In fact, since you had gone viral Mr. Spies, had your article been accurate and truthful, you too would have received a rev-share from Odyssey for your work.

Instead of giving Odyssey a fair chance, you came in with pre-conceived notions of the company and under false pretenses. You had a hidden agenda and used your unfortunate experience to back up your false claims. You admitted to making yourself unlikable on purpose and then complained that you weren't treated nicely. You “worked" for a company for a week and decided you knew all about us and what Odyssey stood for.

But tell me Chris Spies, who is the real fraud here?

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Taylar Banks

May 25, 2020: the day that will forever be remembered as the day George Floyd lost his life at the hands of cops.

The day that systematic racism again reared its head at full force in 2020.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

These 17 Black-Owned Businesses Ship Baked Goods, Rosé, And Even Fried Chicken Nationwide

Eat your way through this country's greatest food — from your couch.

Call it the easily bored Gemini in me, but I'm constantly looking for new food to try. Usually, travel quenches my taste for new and exciting cuisines, but given the fact that international travel is not always a possibility, I've begun exploring alternatives.

In the interest of wanting to support the Black community and Black-owned businesses, and also wanting to try some of the country's greatest food without having to get off my couch, I started off (pessimistically) doing research, only to find that the options were vast.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

24 Beauty And Style Brands Donating To The Fight To End Police Brutality Against Black People

From small, boutique brands to legacy fashion brands.

The worlds of beauty and fashion often collide, whether for good or bad. In both, underrepresentation has always been, and remains to be, a major unresolved issue. After the recent killing of George Floyd, many people are rightfully enraged, compounded by the fact his death in police custody wasn't an isolated incident.

Police brutality against Black people is not new, and isn't going away till we start dedicating resources to fighting it. Many of us, as individuals, have only begun in the last week scratching the surface of what it means to educate ourselves on race, historical race relations, and how to be an ally to the Black community.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because You Can Still Connect While Disconnecting From Social Media

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

I don't know if you've heard, but there's a lot going on right now, particularly in relation to George Floyd's death, Black Lives Matter, and public protest of racial injustice in the United States. While we can all agree that this deserves conversations, change, and actionable good, social media arguments with Great Aunt Linda are not where social change begins and ends. Spending too much time scrolling through your phone has never been healthy, but now it's even more addicting — what does that one person from my hometown say about this? How can I further education within discussions? Am I posting enough?

Keep Reading... Show less

I don't know about you, but reading is at the top of my to-do list this summer... especially with all the social distancing I'll still be doing. If, like me, you're hoping to pick up a romantic page-turner (or a couple dozen), here are 23 romance novels by Black authors you'll absolutely LOVE reading.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

22 Black-Owned Etsy Shops With The Perfect Gifts For Everyone In Your Life — Including You

Treat yourself and your loved ones while supporting Black creatives and artisans.

R-KI-TEKT, Pontie Wax, Lovely Earthlings, and blade + bloom on Etsy

The world is taking action against the injustices and under-representation plaguing Black lives, and one small but impactful thing you can do to actively make a difference is support Black-owned businesses.

Etsy is likely one of your go-to sites for gift-buying, but have you ever paid attention to which independent artists and sellers you're buying from?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

True Self-Care Is HARD, That Face Mask Isn't Actually Going To Solve Your Problems

There's a line between self-care and self-destruction.

Anyone who hasn't been living under a rock for the past few years has seen something somewhere about self-care whether it was on Facebook, Twitter, or their Instagram feed. Oftentimes it's pictures of celebrities or influencers sipping green smoothies or slathering on mud masks with #selfcare. It's posts like these that made me realize that "self-care" has become the ultimate buzz word, soaring in popularity but in the process, it's lost most of its original meaning. It's time to set the record straight and reclaim the term.

Although self-care has been around for quite some time, within the past few years it's been misconstrued and commodified as our capitalist society tends to do with things it thinks can be profited off. Self-care is now being peddled as something that can be bought and sold on the shelf at Target rather than something that takes real work to achieve. This fake self-care movement is not only enabling people to over-indulge themselves, but it has created a crutch for people to avoid the responsibility of taking true care of themselves. Instead of doing the work that needs to be done, many people fall into the trap of rewarding themselves for doing nothing at all — this can quickly become an unhealthy coping mechanism, especially with corporations cheering us on (to buy their next product). Long, hard day at work? Just grab your third iced coffee of the day! Fight with your SO? Buy that 50-dollar face mask, it'll make you feel better! This is how self-care becomes self-sabotage and self-destructive.

Keep Reading... Show less

Minorities are consistently under-represented in our day-to-day lives, notably in the world of fashion. It's likely you're looking for a way to support black artists. Whether that's the case or you're just a fashion-lover in general, these brands aren't just some of the best black-owned fashion brands — they're some of the most innovative brands of our time, period.

From luxury staples to fun accessories and loungewear, these brands aren't just stunning names you should definitely be following on Instagram, each honors the founder's roots in unique ways with the power of storytelling through artistic expression that manifests in pieces we can't wait to wear.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments