BuzzFeed nemesis says site ripped off his trend story

October 8, 2013
Category: Uncategorized

Death and Taxes | BuzzFeed

Joe Veix says BuzzFeed “posted essentially the same article” he did without crediting him prominently enough.

His Oct. 2 story was about people tweeting photos of themselves falling down stairs. Ryan Broderick wrote a story published the same day called “Teenagers Are Obsessed With Tweeting Photos Of Each Other Falling Down The Stairs” that linked to Veix’s story, but not obviously enough, he argues: “Most bloggers have come to an unspoken agreement that you generally cite your sources in the first paragraph with an obvious link, and/or at the bottom of the article (i.e., “via ‘site name’”). BuzzFeed did neither.”

BuzzFeed’s story received more than 100,000 views, and Veix says his original “received 115 clicks back.”

The etiquette of linking and aggregation are fascinating topics, but the fact that Veix is on one end of these complaints makes this a little more interesting, at least to me: In July, Veix published a story in BuzzFeed’s community section making fun of the site, which it removed and then later reinstated.

Critical posts in the community section could be “A kind of BuzzFeed version of the public editor,” Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith wrote in a memo to staffers explaining the reversal.

Veix’s post ran in Death and Taxes, where he is a staff editor. Ashley McCollum, Buzzfeed’s vice president for business development and communications, told Poynter in a phone call that Veix didn’t share his concerns about Broderick’s linking with BuzzFeed. She declined to comment further. Via email, Veix confirms he didn’t contact the site and says he “decided a more vocal and thoughtful criticism was in order, since the practice in question extends far beyond this particular instance.” Asked if that meant he’d be writing more about the site, Veix said, “I’ll likely be covering them further.”