Sep 11, 2019

BuzzFeed CEO's 8-step plan to "unbreak" the internet

Photo: Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti unveiled an 8-step plan on Tuesday to save the internet from the "dumpster fire" that it has become. He's calling on the public, media, government and corporate America to pressure platforms into elevating quality journalism and weeding out bad content online.

Why it matters: Peretti made his name by making things go viral on the internet. Now, he says that society needs to "unbreak" the modern web that he helped pioneer, before internet trolls take it over.

The plan, according to Peretti:

  1. Get rid of the bad stuff (platforms): Better policy, algorithms, AI, more moderators.
  2. Support the good stuff (platforms): Share more revenue, make and buy content (Spotify podcasts).
  3. Diversify revenue (media companies): Native, commerce, studio, membership, subscriptions.
  4. Drive digital media collaboration (media companies): Merge or partner with competitors for leverage with platforms.
  5. Apply government pressure (the public): Vote for reps who fight for the internet you want, merge or partner with competitors for leverage with platforms.
  6. Apply advertiser pressure (brands): Pull your dollars from toxic content.
  7. Apply journalistic pressure (news orgs): Expose the hate and lies.
  8. Make viral hits everyone can rally around (media companies): Create hits that break through filter bubbles and unite the culture.

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President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

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Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.