#cutforbieber and Why BuzzFeed is Every Bit as Gross
January 8, 2013 § Leave a comment
In today’s trolling news, some friendly neighborhood anons revisited the well-trod path to Bieberville. This time they did not vote to send the teen star to perform in North Korea, but instead started a hashtag threatening to cut themselves in response to the recent and entirely not shocking news that Justin Bieber smokes pot. This has upset some people, and understandably so; the images accompanying these tweets (#cutforbieber) are pretty gruesome.
What’s every bit as gruesome is the sensationalist, re-trolling efforts of listicle assembly-line BuzzFeed, which published –shock!!– a list of the most upsetting images. You know, because…these images are terrible…so let’s make a list of the worst ones…because no one should see them. The Telegraph’s Tim Stanley sums it up nicely:
…BuzzFeed does us the courtesy of publishing some of those “disturbing photos” on the shady pretext of letting us decide for ourselves how authentic they are. Are they real, are they fake? Who cares? They’re sick and there was absolutely no journalistic value served in printing them. That’s why there’s no BuzzFeed link in my post and probably never will be again.
I had a similar reaction to Buzzfeed’s recent article (and I use the term loosely) “Here’s What James Holmes’ Online Fans Had to Say Before His Hearing Today,” which amounted to little more than classic trollbait. Ironically, and unsurprisingly, there was no mention of the fact that BuzzFeed essentially started –or at the very least, popularized– the “James Holmes Support Group” over which they are now apparently so concerned.
In short, I think it’s time that we need to start mentioning outlets like BuzzFeed –or as it shall henceforth be referred, TrollFeed– in the same breath as we do the trolls who post disturbing images images onto Twitter. Really, what’s the difference? Both groups are engaging in incendiary, deliberately provocative behaviors –which includes posting the most outrageously shocking images– in order to incite the strongest emotional response possible. The difference, of course, is that the trolls aren’t raking in the ad revenue while doing it.