Ashton Kutcher‘s website, A+ (aplus.com), has been accused of plagiarizing entire pieces of content from other websites, including BuzzFeed and The Huffington Post.
Internet news site The Daily Dot has been investigating A+ and found that it has lifted entire stories, listicles and videos with very minor changes in the content and without properly crediting the source. It has recorded and screen-grabbed a large amount of content from the site.
A+ has since removed the questionable content after The Daily Dot asked for comment,” according to The Guardian. It also reported that A+ has removed all content posted before July from the site, all tweets before Aug. 6 and all Facebook posts before Aug. 8.
A spokesperson for A+ told the newspaper:
“We take these allegations seriously and are looking into them. The content that was removed was taken down as a precautionary measure.
“Respecting the intellectual property of others is extremely important to us.”
A+, which launched in 2011, vowed to use viral storytelling to change the world. After relaunching in 2013, it reports to have reached more than 30 million unique visitors over 100 days.
Through his venture fund, A-Grade Investments, with Ron Burkle and Guy Oseary, Kutcher has invested in multiple tech companies including Spotify, Airbnb, Foursquare, Fab, Uber, Dwolla and Path. Kutcher is instrumental in getting the word out on the companies he invests in. He regularly points to them on social media. He has 16.3 million followers on Twitter alone.
There have been several stories of plagiarism, which have plagued the news gathering business in recent months. Buzzfeed fired a reporter in July after finding at least 41 instances of plagiarism. And in May, CNN fired an editor after discovering she had plagiarized at least 50 of her stories.