Going viral : BuzzFeed editor fired, 41 articles re-written

BuzzFeed Politics Editor Benny Johnson has been fired after Twitter users and Gawker un-earthed wide-spread plagiarism affecting 41 news articles.

Responding to the allegations, BuzzFeed immediately started to review around 500 articles on the site and found 41 separate incidents of copying from other sources including information portals like Wikipedia.

The 'copy-paste' editor released a statement to his fans on Twitter and encouraged people to check out the public letter of apology written by current News Editor Ben Smith:

"Starting this Wednesday, Twitter users began pointing out instances in which a BuzzFeed writer, Benny Johnson, had lifted phrases and sentences from other websites.

After carefully reviewing more than 500 of Benny’s posts, we have found 41 instances of sentences or phrases copied word for word from other sites. Benny is a friend, colleague, and, at his best, a creative force, but we had no choice other than letting him go.

We owe you, our readers, an apology. This plagiarism is a breach of our fundamental responsibility to be honest with you — in this case, about who wrote the words on our site."

- BuzzFeed

It is unclear how big the impact was on the readership, but before BuzzFeed had removed their public traffic counters on articles, an average post was receiving between 50-100k visitors.

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