I can’t hold it in any longer. For too long I’ve been restraining my anger, but now it’s time to say, “enough.” Some people know about my problems, but I think it benefits my health if I get them out there; talking about it is the first step. It’s not gonna be easy, but I’m strong enough to get all my feelings out there. So here it goes…
I hate Buzzfeed. No, not an exaggeration. I have a burning hatred for Buzzfeed.
My rage and angst towards Buzzfeed is greater than the fire of a thousand suns. When I see it on one of my social media feeds or timelines, I instantly throw up a bit in my mouth. Footage from Super Bowl XLII (where we lost the undefeated season for those of you who don’t know) is more enjoyable than a single article from that website; I’d take being locked in a room for a decade with nothing but me and the David Tyree catch on repeat over reading a single paragraph of a Buzzfeed article. To roughly quote Michael Scott, “If I had a gun with two bullets, and I was in a room with Hitler, Bin Laden, and Buzzfeed, I would shoot Buzzfeed twice.” I could go on for eons with this, but you get it.
“But Fitzy,” you might be asking yourself, “Buzzfeed isn’t bad! They have some cool stuff on there, and so much content!”
Well, that’s the problem for me.
They have a shit load of articles, sure, but what kind of quality is it? There’s NOTHING in terms of value in any of their articles. If it were my full time job, it’d be wicked easy to flood my website with pictures full of LOLZZZZZ, WTFZZZZZZZ, S’CUUUUUUUTEEEEEEZZZZZZ, EPIC WINZZZZZZZZZZ and cats. That’s another fuckin’ thing: they love cats, the most evil creature of all, the assholes who secretly plot to take over the world when their owners aren’t home or aren’t looking. Buzzfeed is all about them and apparently OK with that, and I am not OK with that. Need to give all of their stupid cats the ol’ Furby in the microwave treatment.
Buzzfeed has somehow just posted the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND, OVER again, and have found success. Seriously, I think it’s every Buzzfeed employee’s job to meet a quota of seventeen “28 Things Only 90’s Kids Will Understand!” or “13 Reasons Why You’re School Is So Epic!” or “Take This Quiz With Your Best Friend To Find Out Who’s Elsa and Who’s Anna!” articles a month. Failure to do so leads to a “FAIL!” or “L-NO-L!” label on their forehead. But that shouldn’t be too hard for them to do, considering all they have to do is visit Reddit or type something into Google and label the material as their own. Who needs creative elements or originality anyways?
You can see this in the flesh: a simple search of “you won’t believe” on Buzzfeed shows countless posts full of crap. Why won’t I believe a cat rolling on its back? It’s completely believable. I actually 100% believe it.
But they know they can post the same thing over and over because of one, almighty principle: click bait. They know a whole bunch of absolute morons will click on their veeeeeery vague and generalized headlines out of curiosity, only to give them nothing in return. But again, who gives a fuck? It’s page views! As long as people are clicking on the articles to find DA BEZT MEMEZ OF THA WEEK THAT WERE STOLEN OFF REDDIT ND PAZZED OFF AZ OUR OWN, then they don’t give a single rat’s ass.
You might say to yourself that it’s an exaggeration when I say that they post nothing beneficial, but in actuality they don’t. They’ve been on the record, in fact, for posting nothing. Period. No, I shit you not, they posted an article with zero text. Stop reading for a second. Relax. Take a deep breath. Now read: someone got paid, to write something, and ended up, writing, nothing, while still, collecting, their paycheck, for doing, literally, nothing. Now close your eyes. Let that just marinate for a few seconds. Try not to explode. You didn’t explode? Cool, carry on.
They almost started WW3 over a dress, because they knew it’d get people to argue over it, which is amazing when you think about it but is still equally aggravating. They got me riled up about it, but primarily because they had me in a mental pretzel and I knew that I fell into their trap, so I was more upset at myself for going against my very own principles. Won’t happen again guys, that’s why I’m venting.
But still, even with good things, they completely ruin it. The llama chase that occurred the same day as #Dressgate? That was awesome! Seeing two llamas breakin’ the law, people tweeting hilarious stuff about it, and watching it all unfold was ridiculous yet entertaining…until Buzzfeed started posting nonstop about it. Barstool Sports’ Big Cat explained it better than I ever could in his blog on a similar topic: “They took the Llama chase, which was awesome and a ton of fun and worth a million jokes and laughs and absolutely ruined it. How? Well exactly how they always ruin shit. They took a thing, put it into their Buzzfeed machine and spat out their Buzzfeed Viral Diarrhea.”
Jon Stewart, speaking to New York magazine, also summed up internet crappers like Buzzfeed perfectly: “I feel the same as when I’m walking through Coney Island. “It’s like carnival barkers, and they all sit out there and go, ‘Come on in here and see a three-legged man!’ So you walk in and it’s a guy with a crutch.” Again, they know they can just post absolute crap with outrageous headlines and they know they’ll act as the shepard to the countless sheep who click.
Because they aren’t a website that prides itself on writing, obviously, as they clearly try to market themselves as. No, they’re a technology company. They’ve figured out the system. They know how to get people looking on Facebook or other websites with certain formulas and shit like that. They throw endless stuff in people’s direction and hope that something sticks. Some stuff clearly stuck, like their stupid quizzes and lists, and the beast known as Buzzfeed came to be. Some other websites, like Bleacher Report, do similar kinds of things, but B/R at least puts some quality in. Buzzfeed is king at disguising themselves as a serious place to find good material.
In a mind fuck that rivals those in (que the horn) Inception, Buzzfeed posted an article defending itself, saying why it isn’t actually full of click bait. But here’s the mind fuck: that article is the VERY DEFINITION of click bait!!!
It did a horrible job of defending itself, but it got the pot stirring yet again. Ben Smith, the editor-in-chief who wrote the article that was published in November of 2014, said that click bait stopped working “around 2009.” Well Ben, explain why A.) Buzzfeed has only gotten bigger since 2009, and B.) Why your self identified and well known concept of click bait is still plastered all over your website, the very website that you’re trying to defend? That doesn’t add up whatsover; Ben Smith and Buzzfeed are frauds. Yeah, I get it, every site to an extend has to find ways to get page views. But when you’re hyping stories with crazy headlines and providing nothing in return, unlike legitimately good sites, then you’re just being an asshole. Don’t try to be something that you’re not.
That’s a nice segway into my biggest issue with Buzzfeed.
I could deal with all of their bullshittery, all of their horribly unfunny and unentertaining posts, all of their thinly veiled and half-assed efforts to try to label themselves as the opposite of a click bait machine, and all of their stupid fucking lists that are shared by friends of mine on Facebook with their best friend tagged in it after the standard “OMG THIS IS SOOOO USSSS” preamble, if they didn’t try to make themselves look all high and mighty. I could live with myself if Buzzfeed, out of all places, didn’t try to be a RELIABLE SOURCE FOR NEWS.
No, no, no. No. The buck stops there. Stay in your fucking lane Buzzfeed. If you wanna be the king of LOLz and WTFz, and you wanna be the equivalent of a plastic bitch in high school, fine, be that way. But don’t try to blur the lines of “entertaining” forums that hold no stock or relevance in society and actual, legitimate, media outlets. That’s not how it works, that’s not how any of this works!
You can’t try to put a serious interview with Barack Obama next to a “THE RESULTS WILL SHOCK YOU!” post, which does not shock any single reader whatsoever, and expect rationally thinking people to buy into your mission, your message, or anything.
And if you wanna try to be ludicrous and join the field of reliable, trustworthy, ethical, and accurate journalism and reporting, at least play by the goddamn rules. And guess what? Buzzfeed doesn’t!
Buzzfeed recently published an article critical of Dove’s newest advertising campaign. Basically, women would walk through one of two doorways: one said “Beautiful” and the other said “Average.” Most of the women walked through the average door, to correlate the recent study that said 96% of women don’t consider themselves beautiful.
The point is, Dove wants everyone to #ChooseBeautiful by buying their products I guess, but that’s another story. The author, Arabelle Sicardi, makes the argument that it’s shaming women, yadda yadda yadda. The article was clearly critical of Dove, and that’s OK; it’s an opinion piece.
It’s what Buzzfeed editors then did that pisses me off. You won’t believe what happens next!
Dove is a sponsor of Buzzfeed. See where this is going?
Buzzfeed took the fucking article down.
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?! That’s the golden rule of journalism: no conflicts of interest! That’s the EPITOME of a conflict of interest: an outlet editing a piece critical of a company that gives them money. That’s atrocious journalism ethics, and for a company trying to get into real, dependable journalism, that’s the worst possibly thing they can do.
They put it back up, yes, but that was the second time that happened, so they obviously don’t give a single fuck about ethics! Recently, an article chirping the board game Monopoly was published, but since Buzzfeed and Hasbro have a partnership, the piece got the ax. Like the instance after it, the Monopoly post is back up, but these “editorial standards” that Buzzfeed tries to implement makes themselves feel like they’re on a high horse when in reality it’s the opposite. Two examples ain’t good enough for ya? How about the report from Gawker, GAWKER, OF ALL PLACES, that showed that BuzzFeed deleted over 4,000 posts! I don’t like Gawker, but I mean that’s at least some good information.
Anything BuzzFeed tries to post and pass off as legitimate can’t be taken seriously by anyone now, right? They could break a story that’s so monumental, so revolutionary, so relevant, a story that makes the moon landing look like an early September afternoon traffic report from Cheyenne, Wyoming, and I wouldn’t take it seriously due to their vile abandonment of simple journalistic ethics. They aren’t straight shooters. They’re just slimy, unethical, and horrible at publishing good material.
BuzzFeed is something that we’ve all created, though. We, society, made it what it is. We click on it. We share it. We buy into it.
But my friends, I’m here today to put my foot down. To say, “Enough!” We can stop clicking on their baby back bullshit. We can stop sharing it with our aunts in another state. We can stop buying into it. We can stop this. We, together, cannot be stopped. BuzzFeed, who can’t tell their ass from their elbow, can be. Us, united.
But how do we start? Admit you hate it. Wake up. Smell the roses, or rather the bullshit coming from that horrible website. Make a stand. Start figuring it out. The only way to start is to find that inner hatred and disgust for them. It’s like a 12 Step Process; you start by identifying yourself.
Here, let me start.
“Hi, my name is Brendan Fitzpatrick, and I hate BuzzFeed.”
There, now you try.