|This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2012)|
|Headquarters||New York City, New York, USA|
Peggy Wang, Senior Editor
Ze Frank, Executive Vice President
Jason Kottke, Advisor
|Slogan(s)||"The Media Company for the Social Age"|
|Alexa rank||128 (April 2014[update])|
|Type of site||News & Entertainment|
BuzzFeed is a social news and entertainment website. Founded in 2006 in New York City as a viral lab by Jonah Peretti, the company has grown into a global media and technology company covering topics like politics, DIY, animals and business. In 2012, Ben Smith of Politico was hired as Editor-in-Chief, and is responsible for trying to expand the site into serious journalism, long-form and reportage while maintaining its popular fun and entertainment-oriented content. The site was rocked by scandal in July 2014 after it was discovered one of its most prolific writers, Benny Johnson, had plagiarized from other sources more than 40 times.
In the early days, “BuzzFeed Labs” was created by BuzzFeed editors as an ongoing initiative to test, track and create viral content on the web. With no set release schedule, past projects were conducted sporadically. They included: attempting to break a beer bottle in half for use as a shiv in a bar fight, citizen journalism investigating a fire on the Manhattan Bridge, and the creation of a giant energy malt liquor drink using a forty ounce beer and a can of Red Bull.
BuzzFeed produces an average of 378 posts a day featuring the work of staff reporters, contributors, syndicated cartoon artists, and community. Popular formats on site include lists and quizzes.
BuzzFeed Video produces original content with a production studio and team based in Los Angeles. Since hiring Ze Frank in 2012, BuzzFeed Video has produced shows like "The Creepiest Series" and "Fun Facts".
Every registered user of BuzzFeed owns their own profile and feed that contains links to their most recent contributions to the site. The user also owns a scoreboard of how many times these users' posts have been featured on the homepage or awarded "Gold Stars" by the staff.
BuzzFeed continues to test and track their custom content with an in-house team of data scientists and external-facing “social dashboard.” BuzzFeed is constantly shared on many social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook. Currently BuzzFeed is in third place in the aspect of how many people share stories from BuzzFeed; they only trail Cracked by a very slim margin. The leader in this department is Upworthy.
BuzzFeed has been accused of copying original content from competitors throughout the online and offline press. On June 28, 2012, Gawker's Adrien Chen posted a story titled "BuzzFeed and the Plagiarism Problem". On March 8, 2013, The Atlantic Wire addressed a similar issue. On September 17, 2013, The Kernel ran an article titled "BuzzFeed Stole My Wired Article" written by correspondent Nimrod Kämer. On October 21, 2013, writer and satirist Maddox published an article in which he thoroughly examines BuzzFeed's quality, content, its policy towards sources, its fair use practices, and its tagging services.
BuzzFeed has also been the subject of lawsuits for both stealing content and encouraging its proliferation without attributing its sources: one, for stealing a photographer's photo, and another, for stealing nine celebrity photos from the same photography company.
In July 2014, BuzzFeed writer Benny Johnson was accused of multiple instances of plagiarism. Gawker media reporter J.K. Trotter chronicled Johnson attributing work that was not his own. Johnson "periodically lifted text from a variety of sources" — including Yahoo Answers, Wikipedia, U.S. News & World Report — "all without credit." BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith initially defended Johnson, calling him a "deeply original writer". Days later, Smith acknowledged that Johnson had plagiarized others' work 40 times, announced that Johnson had been fired, and apologized to BuzzFeed readers. "Plagiarism, much less copying unchecked facts from Wikipedia or other sources, is an act of disrespect to the reader," Smith said. "We are deeply embarrassed and sorry to have misled you." In total, 41 instances of plagiarism were found and corrected.
- "Buzzfeed.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
- Stelter, Brian (2011-12-12). "BuzzFeed Adds Politico Writer". Mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-01-21.
- "Remix Everything: BuzzFeed and the Plagiarism Problem"
- "BuzzFeed's 'Happiest Facts of All Time' Were Mostly Plagiarized from Reddit"
- Maddox (George Ouzounian), I hate Buzzfeed, The Best Page in the Universe, published October 21st 2013.
- Photographer sues BuzzFeed for $3.6M over viral sharing model — Tech News and Analysis
- BuzzFeed Sued for $1.3M After Publishing 9 Celebrity Photos Without Permission
- "BuzzFeed's Benny Johnson accused of plagiarism". Politico. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-25.
- "BuzzFeed Editor Caught Lifting Text From Yahoo! Answers". Gawker. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-25.
- Farhi, Paul (July 26, 2014). "Buzzfeed fires Benny Johnson for plagiarism". Washington Post. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
- Stelter, Brian (July 26, 2014). "BuzzFeed fires viral politics editor for plagiarizing". CNN Money. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
- Jenna Wortham. "Staying Informed Without Drowning in Data", New York Times, December 17, 2008
- Jenna Wortham. "Has Google Found a Stairway to Heaven in Brooklyn?", Bits Blog, New York Times, August 4, 2009