Buzzfeed opened an enormous can of worms during the 2016 presidential election, and it looks now like it will take a miracle for them to close it again.
The social site, which was made famous by its incredibly bizarre, niche “list” articles revolutionized internet spam advertising by forcing viewers to traverse several of the platform’s pages to finish even one article, thereby inflating their page views and advertising revenues. It was a dirty trick that had previously only been utilized in dark and depraved corners of the internet where viewers were hasty with their clicks to avoid being caught.
During the election of 2016, however, Buzzfeed jumped ship on their “43 cutest dogs on the internet” gold mine and attempted to move into the “fake news” world dominated by CNN, the New York Times, and others. This led to the now-infamous coverage of the Steele Dossier, of which Buzzfeed was guilty of disseminating information from unverified, and likely unverifiable sources.
The dossier claimed that the Russian government was blackmailing Donald Trump was information gleaned from high end prostitutes working on Moscow. According to the nonsensical drivel, the soon-to-be President had been visiting these working girls and requesting unsanitary and downright degrading acts to be performed in his presence – a claim that no one seems to have any knowledge of other than the dossier’s author, Christopher Steele.
Now, as Buzzfeed faces a number of legal threats over their inflammatory and inexcusable publishing of this material, the website’s management is doling out big bucks in hopes of corroborating something from the dossier.
“For the last six months, a team led by a former top FBI and White House cybersecurity official has been traveling the globe on a secret mission to verify parts of the Trump dossier, according to four sources familiar with different aspects of the ongoing probe.
“Their client: BuzzFeed, the news organization that first published the dossier on U.S. President Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, which is now being sued over its explosive allegations.
“BuzzFeed is being sued for libel by Russian technology executive Aleksej Gubarev, who argues that the news organization was reckless in publishing a series of memos written by former British spy Christopher Steele. Those memos — part of a so-called dossier of information about Trump — include unverified claims that servers belonging to a company owned by Gubarev were used to hack the Democratic Party’s computer systems during the 2016 campaign.”
Of course, many of the claims of the dossier have already been explained away as re-hashings of obscure Wall Street Journal articles from over a decade ago.
This has given us a great idea for a list article titled “58 Ways in Which The Owners of Buzzfeed Will Be Humiliated in Prison”.