The benefits and blemishes concerning Buzzfeed

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Photo by Luke Sarazin

Recently, I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed when I saw a link to a quiz posted by Buzzfeed called, “Choose a Deranged Doll And We’ll Determine Your Very Worst Habit.”

I don’t know when and I don’t know how, but somewhere along the line I fell right into the overhyped and problematic black hole that is BuzzFeed.

The relationship that I have with this site is conflicting. I get sucked into their nonsensical quizzes and fluffy, feel good pieces whenever I see them pop up all over the internet. Yet, I still can’t ignore their mixed basket of lacking articles and the countless examples of lazy journalism that they share on their numerous social media pages.

It becomes more difficult to merely accept the website’s flaws when there’s an increasing number of YouTube videos being shared titled, “Why I Left BuzzFeed.” The format typically follows a former employee who sits down in front of a camera to detail all the reasons why the company is basically garbage, including the ways they completely mistreat and neglect their staff.

Journalistic integrity is not something I would necessarily associate with BuzzFeed either, for that matter. They continuously run into problems with careless fact checking, poor editing and flat out plagiarizing what they publish. More often than not, they’re an incredibly biased news source that fails to keep writers opinions out of their articles.

BuzzFeed churns out content the way Forever 21 mass produces their clothes. Their primary concern seems to be predominately focused on click-bait and what will inevitably drive the most  traffic to the website. I can see the merit behind this method of media production, but it severely hinders their ability to be taken seriously as a reliable source of journalism.

Another problem with their endless stream of publishing is that their more exceptional articles get buried amongst inane horoscope predictions and unending updates about the Kardashians.

Whenever I stumble upon an article from BuzzFeed that is a genuinely well written and immersive, I bookmark it. It feels like a rarity when I read through something that looks like it took actual time and effort to create.

Recent standouts that I’ve read have been an article about the fascinatingly morbid Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose Blancharde case and another engaging body of work that chronicled an anonymous writer’s life of abuse. They were detailed, thought provoking and nearly all of the comments on each one were entirely positive, a scarcity with a lot of BuzzFeed articles.

It’s fairly easy to assess that BuzzFeed shouldn’t be a go-to news source for hard hitting journalism. Their goal is to keep up with what they deem to be the low attention spans of their readers, constantly providing them with something new, even if it’s an idea that’s been used countless times before.

Former employees have all stated that the company’s spotlight will never truly be on the artistic freedom and ideas of their workers. They present themselves as an incredibly fun, low-key place to work at, the ideal dream job for any millennial that wants to roll around with puppies and film videos taste testing weird food.

However, when you have a website that consistently runs into various issues with workers, other content creators and also neglects to edit basic grammar mistakes in articles, their ultra hip image ends up feeling very forced and fake.

I will always be a schmuck when it comes to reading insipid articles about celebrities, or taking a quiz that’s supposed to tell me which Hemsworth brother I should date, but I think it’s beneficial to see a company for what it really is.  

BuzzFeed isn’t something you should take too seriously, especially when they don’t even have the content to justify it.

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