Thoughts on BuzzFeed

Apparently some people really hate BuzzFeed. Who knew? I sure didn’t. I found the article I Hate Buzzfeed very interesting because my roommate is currently applying for an internship at BuzzFeed. The article claims that BuzzFeed “attacks our collective intellect, worsens civilization and collects a handsome reward for doing it.” To be honest, I haven’t thought twice about the content on BuzzFeed, even once my roommate started applying for a position there. Rather than analyzing the content and purpose of the site, I simply accepted and enjoyed what it provided me: entertaining pop culture “articles.” After reading I Hate BuzzFeed, I admit I am a little ashamed of myself. I never considered where the BuzzFeed images came from, and never realized how the company lacks to rightfully cite creators and authors.

The article continues to discuss the purpose of BuzzFeed: to use their audience for profit. BuzzFeed does this by creating an article that relates to a specific demographic, then featuring ads on this article that are aimed at that specific audience demographic. So how to BuzzFeed get away with all of this? Isn’t it illegal to use other peoples ideas and images for profit without their permission? Apparently BuzzFeed claims they are abiding by Fair Use. As I discussed in my Writing & Digital Media final project, Fair Use is an extremely blurry area of copyright law. It seems as if BuzzFeed is using this blurriness to their advantage, and is claiming that these posts are “authentic forms of expression.” How is a resource that you do not own or have the rights to “authentic” to your company BuzzFeed? I’d love an explanation.

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