Controversy of the Day

BuzzFeed is accused of plagiarism. Again.


Yes, Jimmy Fallon did the watermelon rubberband video before BuzzFeed. (Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon/YouTube)

Allegations of plagiarism have been haunting the popular media outlet BuzzFeed for quite some time now, and they don't show any signs of stopping. Most recently, BuzzFeed video creators have been accused of profiting off stolen video concepts, and not properly attributing them.

(Remember that viral watermelon video? Jimmy Fallon did the same exact same thing way before BuzzFeed did.)

Akilah Hughes, a YouTube comedy vlogger, said BuzzFeed has stolen several ideas from her videos, and she has had enough. She called on advertisers to stop supporting the site, and referred to them as "Buzz Thieves."

Here are a few other examples she mentioned:

More people have started collecting evidence against BuzzFeed and their alleged plagiarism problem, and many are saying they have always had a pattern of ripping off ideas from women and people of color:

BuzzFeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti has denied plagiarizing content, and simply used the argument that they constantly recycle video ideas.

The problem is ... the internet is complicated. While some of the videos (and other ideas) from BuzzFeed look and sound remotely similar to others' ideas, they aren't on an individual level considered plagiarism. With or without attribution, most content on the internet is just remixed from other content.

The bigger problem is that BuzzFeed is profiting off of it.

YouTuber Hughes called for advertisers to put their money toward original young creators instead:

"Don’t you think your millions of dollars would be better spent on original content from young creators with audiences and potential on YouTube? Do you know how much more of a return you’d get on your investment if you paid 50 top creators $20,000 instead of throwing a blind million at the untalented, underpaid staff at BuzzFeed Motion Pictures?"

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BuzzFeed is accused of plagiarism. Again.

Christina Buff

Christina is a freelance writer from a tiny town in Southern Maryland who just can't seem to figure out whether others are being sarcastic or not. She has a degree in business communication, with a focus in writing, from Stevenson University, and has written things for Severna Park Voice, Maryland Film Festival, The Villager, and Hello Giggles. Follow her on twitter @tinaBUFF where she constantly overthinks her tweets, or read her medley of musings at touchinfinity.wordpress.com.

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