We’ve seen many journalists criticized for taking others’ photos or Photoshopped images on Twitter and repurposing them without attribution, perhaps most notably ESPN’s Darren Rovell. Now, NBC Olympics mobile producer Tyrell Walden-Martin not only has done this, taking a photoshopped “Crying Jordan” image of South African swimmer Chad le Clos from Fox Sports’ Dan Carson Tuesday night and reposting it on his own feed with no comment or credit, but then repeatedly defended the practice despite criticism, saying “once it’s on the internet, it’s on the internet.” He eventually blocked critics and deleted all his tweets on the subject, but some of them have been preserved by others.  (Update: Walden-Martin has now deleted his account.) Here’s Carson’s original image:

Walden-Martin then posted the exact same image one minute later, and Carson called him out on it.

Walden-Martin responded with “Didn’t know I said it was mine? Its Twitter bro.” and Carson took further exception given Walden-Martin’s status.

Walden-Martin then asked “when did I claim it as my own?” and claimed he retweeted Carson, then posted it again himself without the credit (which still would be problematic, but at least would be partial attribution), and Fox’s Kayla Knapp responded with a screencap showing he only retweeted Carson later:

Walden-Martin then went on a rant showing he understands the concept of plagiarism “in a publication,” but not on Twitter:

Tyrell Walden-Martin

And added “once it’s on the internet, it’s on the internet”:

Walden Martin 2

He also tried to argue Carson’s photoshop came from “NBC content,” when, as Knapp noted, it was from a Getty photo:

You would really think that someone employed as a “NBC Mobile Content Producer” would have a better understanding of Twitter ethics, but you would be wrong. As Carson noted, you’d expect this from bots or kids, but not from someone employed to produce content for a major network. (Walden-Martin doesn’t seem to be all that high up, but still.) It’s not that the photoshop itself is all that remarkable or all that original, as Carson also noted, but the out-and-out theft of it and then defense of that theft is pretty remarkable from someone who should know much better.

It’s interesting that Walden-Martin recognizes that putting that image in a publication is “obviously wrong,” but doesn’t get why it’s wrong to take it on Twitter and present it as his own. If he’d merely wanted to share the image, he could have retweeted or retweeted with comment, making it clear where the image was from. Taking the photo and presenting it by itself in a tweet as if it was his own work is a bad move, and one journalists should be better than. At least Carson’s original received thousands more retweets and likes, though, so this was not only stealing, but a crappy job of stealing.

[Tyrell Walden-Martin on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously worked at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.

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