The people at Buzzfeed are brilliant when it comes to trivializing important issues and elevating stupid crap to newsworthy status. As such, they are the future of journalism and we all must bow before them. After all, these are the people who turned rape victims into a listicle complete with flashing gifs. Somewhere, Neil Postman is either cackling hysterically or curled up in a ball rocking back and forth.
I thought that the above example was as slimy as Buzzfeed could get, but apparently I didn’t take the Christmas week traffic slump into account. On Friday, Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczynski (henceforth referred to as Evil Genius) decided that he was going to destroy a random person for traffic.
Justine Sacco, a woman with 100 Twitter followers who no one ever heard of, is — or perhaps was — a communications director with IAC, a firm that owns a bunch of internet companies (like About.com).
She did something you’re not allowed to do anymore: She made a joke.
Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!
— Justine Sacco (@JustineSacco) December 20, 2013
Evil Genius no doubt gets the joke, but he knows that a lot of his Twitter followers are too stupid to get it, so he directed the horde to go after the random person in order to, get this, create the story for a BuzzFeed post that was showing up in my fucking Facebook timeline this morning.
Here’s an example of the measured response that Evil Genius’ provocation whipped up.
If the Buzzfeed people understand anything, it’s that the Internet is really an entertainment medium that masquerades sometimes as an information medium. Evil Genius understands that whipping a bunch of idiots into a frenzy over nothing is actually very entertaining for said idiots, with the added benefit that they think that they’re acting for the cause of Social Justice. The only crowd that’s better at this kind of hoodwink is Organizing for Action.
By the way, Justine Sacco lost her job. Four days before Christmas. Well played, Evil Genius. Well fucking played.
The Other McCain: In Which @AceOfSpadesHQ Expresses an Unexpected Distaste for Blood
American Power: BuzzFeed Gets Justine Sacco Sacked?
Washington Free Beacon: Sating the Hungry Mob
Buzzfeed: 27 Survivors Of Sexual Assault Quoting The People Who Attacked Them (Not linking the Evil Genius troll post.)