The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School


The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School


The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School


Tatler Content Plagiarized on NewsBreak

Users on the popular news aggregation website uploaded AI-written articles based on Tatler’s published work

Tatler’s official website is no longer the only place Lakesiders can read the paper’s articles. On the evening of November 6, the news outlet NewsBreak reposted Rohan D. ’25’s article on the “Car Incident” less than 24 hours after Tatler staff uploaded the article to the web. The article also included a low-resolution copy of William C. ’24’s image of tire tracks on the Quad, which accompanied the original article on Tatler’s website.

Other than a note at the bottom of the piece that read, “This post includes content assisted by AI tools,” no credit was given to Tatler, Rohan, or William. In fact, a comment left on the article, questioning the absence of credit to Tatler, was removed the following morning. Days later, the entire article was removed.

NewsBreak, founded in 2015 by ex-Yahoo executive Jeff Zheng, posts thousands of national and city-specific articles per day. It is a “cross-border” company with offices on the West Coast, as well as in Shanghai and Beijing. Led by a team of Chinese executives and engineers, it has adopted key tactics commonly used in Chinese news outlets, such as news aggregation and algorithm-based news.

Other than a note at the bottom of the piece that read, “This post includes content assisted by AI tools,” no credit was given to Tatler, Rohan, or William… Days later, the entire article was removed.

One of NewsBreak’s contributors, Amy Wegner, writes on Medium: “The algorithm over there is much like TikTok.” NewsBreak has also seen comparisons to TikTok due to its high content output and the prevalence of reposted content. The news app achieved 7.1 million installations as the most downloaded news app in 2022, exceeding its runner-up by 2.3 million downloads.

NewsBreak’s paywall-free articles are produced by web scraping, also known as AI scraping: the process of using artificial intelligence to extract information from already-published work on the web. To supplement the scrap pieces, NewsBreak publishes articles from content creators aiming to generate income from the views their writing receives. 

A compilation of NewsBreak article headlines regarding Lakeside. Credit: Google

But this AI scraping isn’t just happening to Tatler. Ms. Forgette, admissions visit manager, had her blog post about the 2023-2024 admissions season reposted verbatim off of Lakeside’s website, along with Mr. de Grys’ AI contest post, which was paraphrased. Google, Microsoft, and OpenAI are currently facing lawsuits over this very practice of AI scraping human-authored writing, though they have used it in the training of their AI systems rather than for publication. In the case of NewsBreak, this tactic raises major issues surrounding copyright infringement, which occurs as soon as writing is “reproduced, distributed, or publicly displayed without the permission of the copyright owner,” according to the U.S. Copyright Office.

Still, NewsBreak adamantly upholds standards for transparent AI usage, stating in their Terms of Services, “We do not permit: AI-generated rewrites of press releases or the original reporting of other outlets” and “aggregation of the work of others without proper crediting.” Though these rules were blatantly broken, the absence of scraped Lakeside articles in the month of December is a positive indication that Newsbreak may more consistently enforce these standards in the future. 

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Nara C. ’25
Nara is a Tatler staff writer by day and dedicated volunteer by slightly past noon. Armed with stuffed animals and house plants, she works with kids with disabilities and teaches piano in low-income households. This summer, Nara worked at the Lakeside Grotto installing monitors and maintaining projectors, and she took a trip to Italy exploring the country's cultural treasures. Nara despises socks, sports an octopus tattoo (matching with her dad!), and aspires to one day own a goat.

Comments (0)

All Tatler Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *