About a year ago, the popular satire magazine The Onion published an article called "BuzzFeed Writer Resigns in Disgrace After Plagiarizing '10 Llamas Who Wish They Were Models.'" Forgive us for briefly engaging in the ill-advised practice of explaining a joke, but basically what the piece points to is not only how utterly ridiculous it would be to plagiarize a gif-heavy piece, but how equally vexing it is that anyone is paid to write such lists anyway.
Well, sometimes life imitates satire, because just last week news broke that BuzzFeed has, in fact, fired one of its writers, and that that writer did, indeed, "write" lists. That writer's name is Benny Johnson. So now we've got a list directly for you, Benny Johnson. It's called ... hmm ... "A few reasons why you, Benny Johnson, should feel utterly disgraced." It is accompanied by the kid of annoying gifs and memes that you so adored:
- Your sole job was to write lists. There are people who get paid barely over minimum wage to write thousands of words a day. You got paid who knows how much to write about "The 7 Ugliest Government Buildings." So not fair. Yet evidently you didn't make enough money to afford a decent stylist (the offender is on the right, by the way. The other dude looks great).
- Your sole job was to write lists!! We really can't emphasize this enough. I mean, how hard can that possibly be? This is utterly confounding. And not only did you just write lists, but you weren't even good at it. Your pieces were at best cloying or juvenile, and at worst outright offensive. And yes, we're talking about "The Story Of Egypt's Revolution In 'Jurassic Park' Gifs." When we saw that piece we were like this. For your benefit, dear reader, we're deliberately not linking to it.
- You plagiarized from Wikipedia. Do you know who taught me not to plagiarize from Wikipedia? Nobody. Do you know why? Because it's such a monumentally dumb thing to do that it shouldn't have to be taught. Where did you go to school, Johnson? The Shia LeBeouf University of Journalistic Integrity?
- You gave an irritating TED Talk. Watching you talk to your poor victims at the University of Iowa was akin to being slowly drowned. The too-tight jeans, the painful attempts at reaching your audience and above all that self-satisfied voice - it adds up to a truly suffocating 20 minutes. The fact that you had the gall to get up on a stage and impart wisdom when most of your knowledge came from your computer's Copy/Paste function is basically the picture of cruel irony. For that, we offer you this ironic appraisal.
Here at Fonality, we feel that stealing someone else's words is one of the worst things you can do in business. And this goes for any company. After all, the same principle holds not just for words, but for ideas. So go create!