Against Ogling “Hot” YA Authors

Recently, BuzzFeed published a fairly absurd (even for BuzzFeed) article about YA author Pierce Brown. Or to be precise, about — and only about — the attractiveness of YA author Pierce Brown. It prompted a funny response from a BookRiot writer. It has some cute animals in it. But it might be bad for books — or at least bad for young readers. … Read More

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Plagiarism, Explained in ‘Forrest Gump’ GIFs

If Media Twitter seemed more jubilant than usual yesterday, it may well have been due to the news that BuzzFeed’s conservative-leaning “viral politics editor,” Benny Johnson (you may know him from such posts as “The Story Of Egypt’s Revolution In ‘Jurassic Park’ GIFs” and “What It’s Like Being Conservative On A Liberal Campus”), has been accused of plagiarizing from various sources to construct his highly considered political analyses. You’d think someone in Johnson’s position would know better, but look, surely it’s not all his fault — after all, the people making this kerfuffle are nasty liberal-media troublemakers, and anyway, how was he supposed to know not to plagiarize, eh? They never teach you that at the likes of Bob Jones University. Now he’s in trouble, and it’s not fair! So for the benefit of anyone else struggling with the concept of not lifting other people’s work, here’s plagiarism, explained in GIFs from a film that anyone sharing Benny’s political leanings will love: Forrest Gump! … Read More

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10 Ways We Totally Relate To BuzzFeed’s Jonah Peretti

Fusion’s Felix Salmon did a totally epic, 23,000-word “longread” with BuzzFeed founder and nascent media mogul Jonah Peretti, where we, the public, got to learn that even though Peretti is the king of viral content, he’s just like us! (Seriously, if you’re interested in the future of media and the internet, do read it. Peretti’s an emerging power and voice and what he’s doing with BuzzFeed will ripple out into the world.) But in the meantime, here are 10 things we learned about Peretti from the interview — with accompanying GIFs. Of course. … Read More

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Satire or Not, Clickhole Is Still Clickbait

I love The Onion. I really do. I think it’s a national treasure, a peerless source of political satire, and it makes me genuinely laugh out loud at least once every time I visit. I wish it every success. Its freshly launched spinoff site Clickhole, though — well, I’m not sure, put it that way. The idea of a site parodying BuzzFeed, Upworthy, and all the other viral content farms that fill everyone’s Facebook feeds with cat GIFs and inspirational videos seems laudable enough — but there’s something lacking in the execution, and also a feeling that this is a somewhat cynical exercise in luring readers into… well, a clickhole. … Read More

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Catfishing in the Content Farm: Angela Cheng’s War on Lady Gaga Drags Stan Culture Into the Spotlight

Late last year, as Lady Gaga was seemingly everywhere except at the top of the Hot 100 chart, a claim surfaced that she had lost her label, Interscope Records, $25 million on ARTPOP and that they would be forced to make layoffs. Sure, the album underperformed in comparison to Gaga’s previous work, but it still enjoyed sales figures that most artists would be delighted with — it debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart and has to date sold some 679,000 copies stateside, on top of millions more around the world. So how could it have lost so much money? The unsubstantiated report came from music industry “insider” Angela Cheng, and appeared on, a content farm that has done what all content farms hope to do: trick corners of the Internet into believing it’s a credible website. … Read More

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You Loved the ‘First Kiss’ Video Because You Were Told to Love It

If you have Facebook, then chances are yesterday your feed was bombarded with people sharing a curious video wherein a bunch of “strangers” kiss one another. By now, I’m wagering you fall into one of two camps: you’re sick of seeing the bastard thing, or you found it life-affirming and wonderful and are wondering why there’s a backlash against it. Either way, I suspect the last thing you want to do is read more about it, but bear with me here, because beyond the superficial, the way the whole thing unfolded is a rather fascinating study in what we tend to call viral culture. … Read More

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BuzzFeed Books Won’t Kill Literary Criticism — But Book Snobbery Might

So here’s the thing: yesterday BuzzFeed Books named its new editor, a sometime friend of mine named Isaac Fitzgerald. I knew Isaac as the Managing Editor of a literary site known as The Rumpus, where I was a weekend editor for several months in 2012.  … Read More

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BuzzFeed Shift Editor Amy Odell's 5 Favorite Twitter Feeds

You can tell a lot about a person based on who they religiously follow on Twitter — or least that’s the driving idea behind this new weekly column. Every Monday we’ll ask an influential web editor to share some of his or her most prized feeds with you, along with a few exemplary tweets that will illustrate why you’ll soon be following along too. Our hope is that you’ll get a tiny glimpse inside the creative minds of some of online media’s brightest stars — and a more interesting Twitter feed of your own to boot!

To kick things off, we were lucky enough to score some recommendations from the lovely Amy Odell, the editor of BuzzFeed’s brand-new women’s vertical, Shift. Click through to check out her picks, and be sure to follow her on Twitter here. … Read More

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