This bit of satire from The Onion gives me giggles every time I even think of it: BuzzFeed Writer Resigns In Disgrace After Plagiarizing ’10 Llamas Who Wish They Were Models’. Here’s a tidbit:
NEW YORK–Bringing an end to a high-profile scandal that has shaken the media industry, BuzzFeed staff writer Tim Mills resigned his position Wednesday following widespread accusations that he plagiarized content in the recent slideshow “10 Llamas Who Wish They Were Models.”
The 26-year-old Mills, a once promising young writer in BuzzFeed’s Animals division best known for authoring the popular posts “First-World Bear Problems” and “Seal And Owl Are BFFs,” admitted this week that he copied captions from other reporters’ slideshows without proper attribution and lifted various images of grinning llamas and wig-wearing alpacas directly from competing websites.
“We would like to offer our sincerest apologies to our readers for the egregious unprofessionalism of our recent slideshow ’10 Llamas Who Wish They Were Models,’” BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith wrote in a press statement Wednesday. “The unauthorized reproduction of proprietary llama photographs and the plagiarism of captions and emoticons by former employee Tim Mills represented a breach of BuzzFeed’s stringent journalistic standards and an inexcusable violation of our readers’ trust. As of today, Mills no longer works for this company.”
After various bloggers discovered that several more of the slides had been copied in part from Happy Place, FunnyJunk.com, and KnowYourMeme.com, BuzzFeed opened a full investigation Friday into the once highly touted young editor’s extensive resume of baby monkey, sleepy dog, costumed guinea pig, and horse-photobomb slideshows.
“This is truly shocking–Tim was a rising star in the viral media industry who already had a 500,000-view sloth slideshow under his belt by age 24,” said Oscar Kennedy of the Columbia School of Journalism, noting that the scandal effectively invalidated the millions of likes, retweets, +1s, pins, upvotes, diggs, and stumbles that Mills had accumulated over the years. “This was a talented kid who was hired right out of college and quickly shot up the BuzzFeed ranks with his uncanny ability to come up with new reasons you know you’re a kid from the ’90s. He had a bright future ahead of him, but unfortunately he threw it all away.”
Go read the whole thing: BuzzFeed Writer Resigns In Disgrace After Plagiarizing ’10 Llamas Who Wish They Were Models’. I love that it’s not just satirizing BuzzFeed, but also the angsty, overwrought way that publishers respond to plagiarism by their young journalists.
Even better, you can find the article in question on Buzzfeed: 10 Llamas Who Wish They Were Models.
Then, I learned from this article — In Which Buzzfeed Answers a McSweeney’s Parody of Their Site with Aplomb — that McSweeny’s wrote up a list of suggested BuzzFeed articles. BuzzFeed went on to create a number of them, including … drumroll please… 25 Numbers Bigger Than “2″.
Internets, you make me laugh.