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Buzz Feed has drilled its young employees in the dark arts of crafting viral content.
Concha later noted that “[t]he simplistic answer here is that ethics got trumped by an obsession with clicks — and the ad revenue that goes along with them — once again” but there’s a deeper reality to be gleaned.
“[T]here's been ample criticism from the left toward the media that damaging reports on Trump are being suppressed, so perhaps that's part of Buzz Feed's impetus here.
Perhaps Smith believes there was value in getting this story out in full — warts and non-verification and all — so the public can see it...
If you ever see someone with a Buzz Feed T-shirt or something, we probably designed it. I graduated college with a creative writing major and had taught myself HTML during that time.
When I finished school I got a job at a coffee shop like all good creative writing majors because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life .
But putting forth that choice based on a report devoid of sourcing, details, verification or corroboration while littered with errors isn't a fair choice,” argued Concha. How can “Americans make up their own minds” when they have no ability to fact-check the allegations?
The public knows nothing about the sources, nothing about the underlying claims, and has no means of discovering the truth.
It’s not about “hiding it from the public” but about what a news organization chooses to put its name behind by publishing.” The insightful Joe Concha of The Hill was livid with Buzz Feed’s screw-up.
Writing in his Wednesday column “Buzz Feed's publication of Trump report violated journalistic ethics,” Concha reminded readers of how Buzz Feed head Ben Smith encouraged “his staff to refer to him [Trump] as a “mendacious racist and “liar,” if they so choose.” Taking that into account, Concha opined: So if you're an editor who freely admits serious doubt around the Trump allegations and sees the words "unverified" and "errors" as it applies to the report, here are the simple questions: Why publish it before verifying anything?
Cap Watkins is the VP of Design at Buzz Feed in New York.
He told me how he ended up in his current role and some of the growing pains along the way that influenced his career as a designer and eventually a design manager.
The product design team covers the site, our apps as well as our internal tooling that we use for data analysis and ad sales.