Tag Archives: BuzzFeed

Report: Buzzfeed to lay off over 200 employees next week

As someone on Twitter said: “They are probably just laying off non-essential personnel, like fact-checkers.”

From Hollywood Reporter: BuzzFeed is laying off 15 percent of its workforce, about 215 people, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.

CEO Jonah Peretti on Wednesday sent a memo to staffers with the subject line “Difficult Changes” in which he explained that efforts to diversify revenue weren’t enough to help the company achieve profitability.

“Unfortunately, revenue growth by itself isn’t enough to be successful in the long run,” he wrote. “The restructuring we are undertaking will reduce our costs and improve our operating model so we can thrive and control our destiny, without ever need to raise funding again.”

The cuts, expected to be company-wide, are set to take place next week. The staff reductions will give BuzzFeed a faster path to profitability, a spokesperson said.

“Rumors started flying” about the layoffs on Tuesday in the company’s New York and Washington, D.C.-based offices. “Lots of people are talking about it,” said an employee on the basis of anonymity. About 1,450 staffers work at BuzzFeed.

In the memo, Peretti noted that he’s “never thought about my job as ‘just business.’ I care about the people at BuzzFeed more than anything other than my family. This will be a tough week for all of us and I realize it will be much worse for the people losing their jobs.” The exec added that he was sorry to the people who would be let go.

BuzzFeed employees are not new to the cost-cutting process, but reporters and editors in the U.S. and at BuzzFeed News have largely been spared from previous rounds of cuts. The news division is expected to be impacted by the cuts but isn’t the division most affected.

BuzzFeed parted ways with about 100 employees in November 2017, which Peretti positioned as an evolution of the company, though those affected worked mostly in advertising sales and business operations.

“Our business is more diverse and balanced than it was a year ago and, very importantly, for the first time a quarter of our annual revenue will come from sources other than direct sold advertising,” Peretti wrote in a memo to staff at the time.

BuzzFeed News, which launched in earnest when the company poached editor-in-chief Ben Smith from Politico in 2012, regularly produces reporting on par with much larger news organizations, such as a Jan. 17 scoop about President Donald Trump and his former fixer Michael Cohen that upended the media-political ecosystem for several days and led to the office of the special counsel issuing a rare statement denying an aspect of the story.

But, newsgathering is not generally profitable, and the company has not followed legacy media competitors in putting reporting behind a paywall. Instead, the company has sought to tap different sources of consumer revenue, including a paid membership program that launched in November.

“We’ve had years when we’ve been profitable, and years when we’re not profitable,” Peretti said on an industry podcast last July. “On years, when we’re profitable, we haven’t said we’re profitable. We’ve proven we can be profitable. I feel good about where our business is now.”

He added, “Sometimes, it’s not smart to focus on profitability. Right now, we’re focused on sustainable growth so we’re innovating, managing our costs in a more rigorous way and we’re growing our top line in double-digit growth.”

DCG

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Mueller: Buzzfeed report that Trump told Cohen to lie to Congress is bunk

The hyenas in the Hate America MSM were beside themselves with glee when a Buzzfeed story published Thursday, January 17, cited two unnamed federal law enforcement officials claiming that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen told Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office that in 2017, Trump had instructed him (Cohen) to lie to Congress about a now-abandoned real estate deal to build a Trump Tower in Russia.

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani immediately refuted the Buzzfeed story as false: “Any suggestion – from any source – that the president counseled Michael Cohen to lie is categorically false. Michael Cohen is a convicted criminal and a liar. Today’s claims are just more made-up lies born of Michael Cohen’s malice and desperation, in an effort to reduce his sentence.”

A day later, on Friday, January 18, the Buzzfeed story is refuted by none other than Mueller’s office. Mueller’s spokesman Peter Carr said: “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate.”

FoxNews notes that Carr’s statement “is remarkable in that Mueller’s team rarely issues statements in response to news stories. But BuzzFeed’s story sparked immense interest from Democrats, who called for renewed investigations and even suggested the allegations could be a basis for impeachment proceedings.”

Responding to the statement from Mueller’s office, Buzzfeed‘s Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith, 42, tweeted that “We stand by our reporting and the sources who informed it”.

For his part, President Trump, in a tweet yesterday, reminds us that it was none other than Buzzfeed that first published the bogus “golden shower” Russian dossier:

Remember it was Buzzfeed that released the totally discredited “Dossier,” paid for by Crooked Hillary Clinton and the Democrats (as opposition research), on which the entire Russian probe is based! A very sad day for journalism, but a great day for our Country!

~Eowyn

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Buzzfeed sued by firm named in Trump dossier

buzzfeed-ben-smith

Buzzfeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith


Hit the Fake News where is hurt$ the mo$t.
From NY Post: Buzzfeed was sued by the Russia-tied tech firm named in the dossier that contained unsubstantiated allegations against President Trump for including “libelous, unverified” information about the company, McClatchy reported Friday, citing the lawsuits.
The defamation suits were brought by XBT Holdings. Company lawyers reportedly filed complaints against BuzzFeed and its editor Ben Smith. A former British spy and his company were also named in complaints. The company seeks an “undetermined compensation for the damages.”
A Buzzfeed spokeman told McClatchy that it redacted the name of the company’s owner and “apologized for including it.”
McClatchy reported that the dossier said XBT and affiliates “had been using botnets and porn traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs, steal data and conduct “altering operations” against the Democratic Party leadership.”
The suit reportedly says Alekej Gubarev, XBT’s owner, is married with three children and “has found his personal and professional reputation in tatters.”
The network did not give details about the information, saying the charges had not been verified, but BuzzFeed soon published the 35-page dossier. Most reputable news organizations, following up the story, also did not report the details.
Trump and his team was quick to attack news organizations that spread unsubstantiated reports about a damaging dossier last month collected on him by Russia, an incident that illustrates how old rules of journalism are being tested in today’s rapidly changing media world. Trump called BuzzFeed “a pile of garbage” for publishing the allegations.
CNN reported that Trump had been briefed by intelligence officials about compromising personal and financial information that Russia had collected on him.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Vice President Pence sharply condemned those who spread the story. Spicer called BuzzFeed’s decision “outrageous and highly irresponsible,” while Pence said it was an effort by some in the media to delegitimize the election and discredit the incoming administration.
“The American people are sick and tired of it,” Pence said.
Meanwhile, Trump credited The New York Times, a newspaper he’s often been at odds with, for its decision not to publish what it could not independently verify.
DCG

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Tweeter wants you to make this disgusting "lincoln" pic go viral

A nobody named Joe Bernstein (@basher) is on Twitter. Joe Bernstein On March 24, 2015, Bernstein flatulated this tweet to his 2,694 followers, of a fat naked man engaged in an obscene act with the head of a statue, with the message:

please, for the love of god, help me make #lincolning go viral

Bernstein tweet By #lincolning, Joe Bernstein is referring to the obscene act that the chubby naked guy was doing to what Bernstein thinks is the statue of President Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
In other words, Bernstein is applauding and encouraging the desecration of President Lincoln.
Sadly, Bernstein is mistaken. The statue isn’t that of Abraham Lincoln.
It’s the statue of Alexander Graham Bell in the front portico of the Bell Telephone Building of Brantford, Ontario, Canada. Lincoln Memorial & Alexander Graham Bell Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) is the Scottish-born scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator who is credited with inventing the first practical telephone.
And so, both the tubby man and Joe Bernstein (assuming Bernstein isn’t the fat naked guy himself) are actually dissing the statue of the inventor of the telephone. facepalm
Bernstein calls himself a “reporter for BuzzFeed.”
facepalm ~Éowyn

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Many in U.S. Army are secret members of Anonymous; more leaks are coming

Anonymous in L.A.
The group-name “Anonymous” refers to a loosely associated, decentralized network of hacktivists — political activists who hack into secured websites, then leak the information free to the public.
The group originated in 2003 on the Internet forum 4chan, representing the concept of many online and offline community users simultaneously existing as an anarchic, digitized global brain. The group became known for a series of well-publicized hacks and denial-of-service attacks on government, religious, and corporate websites, including U.S. and Israeli government agencies, the Church of Scientology, child porn sites, PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, and military contractors.
Supporters have called the group “freedom fighters” and digital Robin Hoods, but critics have described them as “a cyber lynch-mob” or “cyber terrorists”. In 2012, Time magazine called Anonymous one of the “100 most influential people” in the world.
Anonymous members (known as “Anons”) can be distinguished in public by the wearing of stylised Guy Fawkes masks. Guy Fawkes is the best-known member of the Gunpowder Plot, an attempt to blow up the British House of Lords in London in 1605.
Now a member of Anonymous, who is an active-duty captain in the U.S. Army, has given an interview to BuzzFeed, anonymously of course. He claims that there are many Anons in the U.S. military, including middle- to high-ranking NCOs (non-commissioned officers), who are profoundly alienated from the military. He promises that more leaks are forthcoming.
H/t ZeroHedge
~Eowyn

Guy Fawkes maskA Guy Fawkes mask on the dashboard is just one way this Army captain tips off other soldiers that he’s a fellow member of Anonymous.

Anonymous’ Secret Presence In The U.S. Army

Justine Sharrock interviews the anonymous U.S. Army Anon for BuzzFeed, Aug. 9, 2013.

Are there a lot of members of Anonymous in the Army?
There are more than you would think, more heavily in the techie world [of the military] — especially at Fort Huachuca [U.S. Army installation in S.E. Arizona], where all the intel people are. A lot of them wanted to get the job [there] because they want to learn secret stuff and have a better personal understanding of how the world actually works.

How do you know who is in Anonymous?
Initially we have the handshaking phase. The lingo is still relatively unknown. In conversation, you drop in jokes. If you are with someone on a mission, you’re like, “Man, there are over 9,000 reasons that this is a bad idea.” That initially establishes friendship. Once you feel comfortable with the person and they aren’t just posing as part of the culture, then you talk about what they’ve done and how much a part of it they are. It gets to the point where you are discussing individual operations.
What are the most popular operations amongst soldiers?
Anonymous is so distributed and leaderless that everyone has operations they love and hate. Operation Cartel, especially at Fort Bliss [in El Paso, Texas]. Operation Dark Net was universally loved. And Operation Payback was pretty well received.
What about you?
I was involved in the Arab Spring opening up internet communications. I was a facilitator for a lot of people who have more skills than me in the cyber world. I knew people who I met through 4chan, 9Chan, and 7Chan and then a lot of AnonOps IRCs and who they needed to talk to — the organizations that would help them, and people in government would give them resources and access — and was able to convince them to talk to people in Anonymous. I got people in the right [internet relay chat] rooms at the right time.
Would the military consider you a white or black hat?
The military sees me as black hat.
Is that a fair assessment?
All hats are gray. Every white hacker I know has a night job that is very much a black-hat job.
What were the results of what you did for the Arab Spring?
From what I heard they were able to establish ways to assist the activists to have a method where they could get information out of Egypt and have certain Twitter accounts tweet that information on their behalf. But I don’t know for sure. As soon as I was like, “Hey, this is this person,” and vice versa, they did tweet confirmation to make sure that certain Twitter accounts were controlled by certain people, and then I headed out of the room so there would be no “taint” of having a fed there.

Why do Anonymous members outside the military trust you?
My credibility is incredibly suspect in the group. I admit I work for the feds, and I provide information on myself so that they are comfortable. There are people who I only know as screen names but I have put my career in their hands.

What specific actions have other soldiers taken?
There are several [soldiers] I know that probably did things, but I don’t know know that they did. I can legally say, probably under a [lie] detector, I have no proof that they did it. We keep our activities totally separate because at any point in time I can be put in the chair that I can’t lie in. You have to keep the /b/ [4chan’s “Random” board] brotherhood strong.
Does the military know about the Anonymous presence?
Pre-Manning, there were several academic papers put out trying to analyze it and school the leadership. Because the Army is a very top-down organization, they assume that [Anonymous] is too. Leadership wasn’t concerned with it until Manning happened. Then they read everything under the [lens] of what Manning did and it just scared them — scared them blind. They know we are in there and they assume that we are all going to do a Manning or a Snowden.
How have they addressed it?
Every six months you are mandated to get a Threat Awareness and Reporting Procedures Brief. It used to be very much like how to … spot the Iraqi contractor who is pacing off your base. Now it is, “Look at the person at your left and right. Are they espousing social beliefs that don’t line up with Army values? What websites do they go to at work?” With the caveat that it is OK to have political beliefs that are different. You get a heavy-handed feeling.
I have had more than a few officers come up to me and as we are trying to talk about [Anonymous] they are worried, like, “Are you CID [working undercover for the Central Investigative Division]?” Because you always worry about that.
Are the retaliations against Manning and Snowden discouraging Anonymous activity and the desire to leak information?
A lot [of Anonymous members] have been in long enough and are jaded. They are watching as the government comes down harder and harder. There is a growing sense of disdain and hatred because we are complicit in it. There are some secrets that need to be secrets but the stuff [the military] keeps secret just to protect the bottom line — you just feel like you are selling your soul every day. That is a lot of the motivation. Especially for people of the generation that believe that information should be free.
Are we going to see more leaks?
Yes. A lot [of Anonymous members] are mid- to high-rank NCOs. They are well-respected, have connections, and overly large security clearances. A lot of people who are part of the [Anonymous] culture are just dying at this point for something to come across their table that isn’t already out there. It is so easy to leak information that if you want to, you can do it.

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