Every time I scroll down my newsfeed on Facebook – which is regrettably often these days – I end up seeing quite a few links to a site I am sure we are all familiar with: BuzzFeed.
Just the vile name makes me cringe with disgust and abhorrence. Although I started this article with the intention of retaining my journalistic integrity by being as fair and balanced as I humanly could, I soon realized that the task would be impossible given the fact that BuzzFeed’s existence is logically indefensible. Thus, I present to you the top seven reasons why BuzzFeed is “The Cancer of the Internet” in the highly satirical list-format that I myself so lovingly deplore. (Note: this list is in a completely arbitrary order.)
1. BuzzFeed hosts no (original) content.
Articles hosted on the site rarely feature anything more than lists rife with pictures and gifs shamelessly taken from every corner of the Internet, often times without proper attribution. The captions are, if anything, only slightly better than their corresponding images – usually, that is only because the captions are actually related to the original title. Based on the quality of some of the captions, I would guess that you do not really need any previous writing experience to contribute a piece of your own.
Moreover, these articles have no literary, journalistic or entertainment value at all. The topics in these articles range from vague generalizations that most of the population can relate to (“28 Things People Who Can’t Sleep Will Totally Understand”) to regurgitating the experience of niche groups (“30 Signs You Grew Up In Sacramento, CA”) to stupid quizzes (“What Kind of Pizza Slice Are You”). You would be hard pressed to squeeze a modicum of intelligent humor or amusement from the majority of the site’s so called “content.”
The way the site contributes nothing to society, while at the same time sucking away the life-blood of the rest of the Internet makes it little more than cancerous.
2. BuzzFeed abuses the click bait method.
Every time I find myself clicking on a BuzzFeed link, it turns out to be click bait trash. The sensationalist titles of the articles have little to nothing to do with the actual “content” and I end up having to waste my energy to click the “back” button on my browser every time I fall for the trap.
Furthermore, the effects of this glorified form of social engineering end up tarnishing the rest of the Internet. Click baiting chokes out traffic to sources that actually create real, substantive content, thus forcing other sources to rely on similarly sleazy tactics and lowering the quality of the content generated on the internet as a whole. Nowadays, you can even find reputable sources like Time and Slate attempting to remain relevant by sharing deceptive social media links.
3. BuzzFeed is glorified spam.
The way the links to useless BuzzFeed articles spread and get shared through the click baiting method is essentially spam.
4. BuzzFeed’s tags do not help categorize anything.
There is no way for any rational human being to figure out the vague differences between “lol,” “win,” “omg,” “cute,” “trashy,” “fail,” and “wtf.” For example: “28 Things People Who Can’t Sleep Will Totally Understand,” in my mind, should be categorized as “omg” or “wtf,” but in actuality it is under the “win” section. What the hell.
The ambiguous and confusing delineations between categories are yet another reflection of how little BuzzFeed actually cares about trying to create quality content for its users to enjoy.
5. The numbers BuzzFeed uses are arbitrary.
There is no reason why “25 Meals You Won’t Believe Someone Actually Ate” could not be 5 meals or 17 meals or even 83 meals. None at all. I cannot find a conceivable reason for why these arbitrary sets of whatever-the-author-decides-to-write-about are listed in the quantities that they are, and for that reason, I am led to believe that each author probably furiously Googles their topic until they exhaust their limited ability to use a search engine.
This phenomenon is also why I have decided to assign the random number of 7 to this article. The next two points will be lazily formulated and will seem unrelated to my original point, but will serve to propound my argument further as an example of BuzzFeed’s inherent mediocrity.
6. Reddit is better.
People who actually know how to use the Internet prefer Reddit. Also, Reddit does not constantly make Beyonce references on its quizzes.
7. My opinion is in a newspaper, so it must be true.
This is published in an official newspaper, thus my point must be truthful and correct.
Note 2: I do not mean to insult anyone who uses the site; again, I merely wish to point out BuzzFeed’s inherent mediocrity.
By THOMAS GUI