Why Odyssey Is A Joke
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Politics and Activism

Why Odyssey Is A Joke

It's a sad excuse for a news platform.

Why Odyssey Is A Joke

Odyssey is a popular website for millennials, but the site does not have standards they claim to have. They will publish anything, like this article about a girl complaining that people compliment her “big booty.” Really?

Formally www.theodysseyonline.com, this website is a hub for content creation by anyone – yes, anyone. Odyssey is not a news website, it is not a source of journalism, and it is a misrepresentation of what content is about.

Odyssey is not producing real editorials. It teaches writers that they don’t need to add facts or research, or reasoning for that matter. Obviously, everyone has the right to their opinion and the right to express it. But what Odyssey does is the worst form of expression – unorganized and uneducated.

Odyssey saturates the market beyond belief. I searched “finals” on the Odyssey website and the responses that came up from within the past few days, only for the title, “Finals Week as Told By ______” are: Friends, Neil Patrick Harris, Spongebob, Shameless, Michael Scott, and many others. And this happens every few months. And this is only one topic. Multiply this by every topic you can think of and combine it with more open letters than you can count, and that is Odyssey.

Odyssey does not enforce any journalistic standards. They do not fact-check. They do not enforce any content standards outside of what will get shares and likes.

There is a place for this social content on websites such as Buzzfeed. But Buzzfeed doesn’t have the same article repeated dozens and probably up to hundreds of times. Also, the people at Buzzfeed are actual paid writers who are experienced in the field.

Furthermore, Odyssey does not care about the quality of their articles. Sure, they check for grammar and style, but content is a nonissue. Unless an editor is smart enough to reject articles that are not based in fact, the article gets published. I know – I am an editor. In the editor handbook, it says nothing about how content should be written and includes no guidelines for writing an editorial. There are only guidelines on how to write content that will be popular.

For example, an article that has been shared over 700,000 times is “Stop Calling Your Drug Addiction a Disease.” The writer rants about how drug addiction isn’t a disease – in her opinion. She uses no sources, inserts just two hyperlinks, and makes this wild assumption without basis in fact. In fact, doctors and professionals, including the National Institute of Drug Abuse, says different. From the NIDA: “In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will.”

People are entitled to their opinion, but a rant is not an editorial.

What makes this practice even worse is that the Odyssey social media team shares these baseless articles, just to get a rouse out of people. It doesn’t matter if it has baseless claims, but as long as there’s a controversial headline, like the drug addiction article, or the “big booty” article, they share it. Because they want clicks.

As someone who runs a news outlet, I have no respect for a platform that exploits their position online by using clickbait. Especially when that platform tries to hide that detail AND tries to call itself a reputable news source.

This is nothing against the people who write for Odyssey. They have opinions and they have a right to share them, but Odyssey does nothing to educate people on journalistic standards, especially editorial writing, and therefore has no business publishing these articles. And they do nothing to support industry ethical standards online, especially in their social media.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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