For several years now, BuzzFeed has been fending off claims that it copies the work of other content creators. Back in 2012, Slate revealed that many of the popular listicles published on the site were largely repackaged from Reddit threads (which in turn are often copied from other sources to begin with). A follow-up on Gawker found still more cases of BuzzFeed‘s copying, and then pointed out that Gawker itself had been accused of stealing stories from mainstream publishers many times over the years—which is to say, the actions are defensible in this era of “extreme aggregation.”
Now a handful of YouTube stars have been vocally (on Twitter, at least) calling out BuzzFeed for copying their work in its own videos. One of them, writer and comedian Akilah Hughes, launched a change.org petition urging advertisers to boycott the company. It now has more than 6,000 supporters.
As a result, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti conducted an internal investigation, and published the findings yesterday in a post on Medium.
As with any decent BuzzFeed story, it’s entertaining and includes lots of pictures.