Farhad Manjoo writes:
How does this one site come up with so many simple ideas that people want to spread far and wide? What’s their secret?It's not the first time BuzzFeed has taken heat for republishing other people's photos in lists like “33 Animals Who Are Extremely Disappointed in You.” Manjoo said BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti "concedes that some of its ideas have appeared elsewhere online, but he argued that there’s nothing wrong with that because few things on the Web are really original."
The answer, in short, is that BuzzFeed’s staff finds stuff elsewhere on the Web, most often at Reddit. They polish and repackage what they find. And often—and, from what I can tell, deliberately—their posts are hard to trace back to the original source material.
... Once you understand how central Reddit is to BuzzFeed, it’s like spotting the wizard behind the curtain. Whenever you see a popular BuzzFeed post, search Reddit, and all will be revealed.
Grist writer Philip Bump, writing on his personal blog, evaluates Manjoo's case against BuzzFeed:
Where Manjoo's post hits hardest, I think, is when it suggests that BuzzFeed steals ideas. ... (more...)