If you haven’t been following the mini-drama surrounding a BuzzFeed article this week, here’s a quick rundown. BuzzFeed posted an article criticizing Dove’s newest ad campaign and then promptly removed it for now being “consistent with the tone of BuzzFeed Life.” Well now the company’s editor-in-chief has come forth to apologize for his decision to remove the article and gives a look inside a website that’s still not sure what it wants to be.
You might have heard about a BuzzFeed article criticizing a “condescending” Dove ad campaign (it asked women to walk through doors marked “beautiful” and “average”) — but in the past couple of days, you wouldn’t have been read it on BuzzFeed. Well, now it’s back. The post was published Wednesday and taken down yesterday (replaced with the message, “We pulled this post because it is not consistent with the tone of BuzzFeed Life”), a move that looked particularly bad since Dove is a BuzzFeed advertiser. Why the turnaround? BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith just tweeted an email he sent to BuzzFeed staff, which begins: “I blew it. Twice in the past couple of months, I’ve asked editors — over their better judgment and without any respect to our standards or process — to delete recently published posts from the site. Both involved the same thing: my overreaction to questions we’ve been wrestling with about the place of personal opinion pieces on our site. I reacted impulsively when I saw the posts and I was wrong to do that. We’ve reinstated both with a brief note.”
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