- Buzzfeed experienced a mountain of criticism for deleting posts that were critical of advertisers Dove and Monopoly, as some speculated pressure from the brands was behind the deletion.
- Editor Ben Smith released an internal email on Twitter explaining that deleting the posts was a mistake and saying he decided to reinstate them.
- According to Smith, deleting the posts was meant to show Buzzfeed staff that articles shouldn't be personal opinion pieces and that advertiser pressure had nothing to do with the decision.
The controversy, which played out mostly over social media, highlights the direct conversation and engagement publishers can now have with readers.
Buzzfeed, however, isn't new to controversy surrounding deleting posts—a highly frowned-upon practice in the journalism community. In 2014, the site removed almost 5,000 posts. At the time, Buzzfeed CEO Jonah Peretti said the deletion ensured older content met the site's current editorial standards.