After I published my first article regarding recent events called, ‘Is Louis Tomlinson The Victim Of A Character Assassination Campaign?’ I emailed it to the editor of Buzzfeed whom I have been liaising with and sending my work to since 2013. I told him how much traffic it had already generated and this was his response:
Then on Monday, after my account inexplicably being removed despite bringing in over 100,000 views, I emailed the same editor whose reply was simply, ‘Sorry to hear that. If you drop community an email, someone there will be able to explain.’
So I did. I asked why, given that my articles were being promoted a week ago and generating not only social, but seeded views, would they suddenly delete an account that was bringing them free traffic? That is, after all, the aim of running a website is it not? To have people actually go there. I don’t even work for Buzzfeed, so I’m essentially free labour and traffic.
Then I received a reply from Buzzfeed Community.
Interested in finding out more about these policies I clicked on the link, but to add insult to injury it didn’t even work.
And then I just felt bad for that poor fucking fox.
This was quite confusing given that I wasn’t even generating traffic for my own website last week, preferring to use Buzzfeed because, as I’m finding out re-uploading everything, it’s a much easier platform to publish a lot of media content like gifs, videos and posts from other social medial outlets like Twitter and Tumblr. Also they have a very handy analytics page which is easier than me staring at Google Analytics trying to figure out why I have so many people from Turkey reading my blog. (Merhaba!)
The explanation was, quite frankly, insulting to my intelligence. Once again.
I persisted in trying to find these guidelines for self-promotion and as it turns out the person who emailed me just provided me with the wrong link. So, thanks for that. I went through, word-by-word, what this “brand” thing meant and I’m going to point out to you why literally any other reason would have been sufficient for deleting my entire 2.5 year profile on Buzzfeed.
Gotcha. Whilst true that I suppose technically my blog could be classified as a brand, I’ve never used it for monetary gain. Ever. I’m currently experimenting with Google Adsense but only did so post-apocalyptic attack on my site and social media profiles. That’s really just more to cover the costs of finding a new web host that isn’t as susceptible to hacking though.
Moving onto the small print…
INSIGHTS INTO IDENTITY AND FANDOM.
This is where I was like, ‘Aw what the hell?’ The posts were literally distinct to my identity as a blogger (“What Happens When You Blog About Sex At Oxbridge“, “What It’s Like To Be A Girl With A Best Friend Who Is A Boy“, etc…) and especially insightful to a fandom recently as I was merely discussing a topic that was rampant amongst the One Direction fans. I mean, I would say that most people found it “interesting” given that the collective views on all of my One Direction articles at the time they deleted my profile.
I’m going to pause here for a moment to highlight the fact that it says which POSTS to remove, not which profiles.
Eh…I wouldn’t call it an “attack” on someone per se as much as it was just pointing out comparisons between a certain person and a certain book about CEO psychopaths. In general it was just highlighting glaring comparisons.
I mean, if an actual endorsement from Buzzfeed is anything to go by, I’d assume it doesn’t fall under their categorisation for “bad”, but what do I know?
Buzzfeed themselves are well within their right to do what they’ve done. Allowing people to post in Community is entirely at their own discretion, and Community serves as a sort of Facebook or Tumblr for users. Accounts get suspended all the time on the internet, but my question is – why mine?
Let’s take a quick look at the top users and how many views they’ve had in total for their posts.
My traffic from eight days worth of views would have put my profile in the top 15 users and their total views in the entirety of their existence for Community. So, why delete a top profile instead of a problematic post?
I previously explained that my initial motive in writing on Buzzfeed Community was to apply to their Editorial Fellowship program. A requirement for the application is to create a Buzzfeed Community profile and post there to prove that you’re capable of creating desirable content. Being in the top 15 Community users would have certainly given some attention to my application, so this has not only affected my profile as an anonymous blogger online, but my chances of actually getting a job in real life.
To be fair, I am glad that it happened because I would rather find out that I’m not able to write about facts and observations for a website like Buzzfeed now than to find out once I was working there. I honestly do not blame Buzzfeed for what they’ve done. I had a reporter email me shortly after all of this happened and asked me to go on record slamming Buzzfeed for censorship, but when I explained that I believed the fault to lie with something far above myself or Buzzfeed they wouldn’t listen, so I refused to be interviewed.
This isn’t just about Buzzfeed. This is about major media outlets being told not to report on certain things and instead being fed lies, “from a source close to [whoever].” This entire thing has brought into question everything I have ever believed about print journalism from not only what’s happened to me, but from stories from fellow writers who have contacted me with consolations and similar tales.
What this has led me to believe is not only are narratives lied about and constructed behind the scenes, but that actual lies are perpetuated throughout the media as a form of propaganda and that print media is just one large advert. This in itself isn’t news or groundbreaking, but to mask the truth with what they want the general public to believe versus is just a fancy way of lying. And major publications and news sources are actively participating in it.
I never claimed anything as fact, rather just pointed out observations about the discrepancies in all the stories that people are told. It was put forth very much in the manner of, “Have a look at this and see what you think for yourself.” The fact that the overwhelming response was that we are being lied to is perhaps what struck a nerve, but I wasn’t saying anything that hadn’t already been discussed or seen. Rather I only set out to make this speculation more public and thus was personally attacked. As someone who writes for free and of my own volition, I had literally nothing to lose (or so I thought) and no agenda aside from voicing what was previously a quiet murmur in this situation.
I refuse to stop talking about something simply because someone doesn’t want the truth to be heard. I’m sick of people questioning their sanity over having basic common sense. Buzzfeed did help me in one way, which was to realise that I could very well be a brand. If the brand of Buzzfeed doesn’t want to publish my work, then there’s literally nothing stopping me from publishing it myself. I have no desire to work there anymore and thus no need to drive any further traffic to their site.
In the interest of protecting my brand, I have setup an email subscription to receive the so-called “banned” articles which I feel are far from undesirable. I simply at this point cannot risk my website being hacked and deleted again, but am working on a major transformation of what will be posted here.
I started this blog because I saw a gap in the kind of content I wanted to read, so I decided to create it myself. I wrote those articles because I saw a distinct lack of that information in the media so I wanted to present it myself. I currently see a total deficit online for the kind of website I would like to see. Which is one that simply allows for the discussion of facts and speculation about the unspoken facets of certain topics. Largely, I want to give a voice to the people who are sitting there wondering why no one sees what they’re seeing. I would also like to eventually extend this to people who are artists, whether it be writers, musicians or visual artists, since one of the best things about delving into the One Direction fandom is finding an endless amount of crazy-talented people. I’m not saying I want this to be limited to the One Direction fandom, as One Direction didn’t even exist when I started blogging, but I would very much like to start allowing people to use this website as a platform to be heard or seen.
My only guidelines: Don’t lie, and don’t be a dickhead.
More to come soon. Thank you so much for the overwhelming support.