Read BuzzFeed's Apology For Plagiarism But Now With GIFs!

We added GIFs to Ben Smith's apology because for some reason he didn't.
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We added GIFs to Ben Smith's apology because for some reason he didn't.
LOL

On Friday, BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith published a letter to readers announcing the firing of its Viral Politics Editor, Benny Johnson, who had been caught plagiarizing in some of his articles. Although Smith issued a heartfelt apology, it rang hollow given that it wasn't written in the spirit of what's made BuzzFeed so successful all these years. So since BuzzFeed didn't see fit to BuzzFeedify its apology, we'll just have to do it.

Editor's Note: An Apology To Our Readers

Starting this Wednesday, Twitter users began pointing out instances in which a BuzzFeed writer, Benny Johnson, had lifted phrases and sentences from other websites.

TinaFey

After carefully reviewing more than 500 of Benny’s posts, we have found 41 instances of sentences or phrases copied word for word from other sites.

GaryCole

Benny is a friend, colleague, and, at his best, a creative force, but we had no choice other than letting him go.

Sad

We owe you, our readers, an apology.

ImSorry

This plagiarism is a breach of our fundamental responsibility to be honest with you — in this case, about who wrote the words on our site.

JayZ

Plagiarism, much less copying unchecked facts from Wikipedia or other sources, is an act of disrespect to the reader.

Efron

We are deeply embarrassed and sorry to have misled you.

Ashamed

Benny’s editors — I, Katherine Miller, John Stanton, Shani Hilton, and McKay Coppins — bear real responsibility.

MyBad

We have corrected the instances of plagiarism, and added an editor’s note to each.

allgood

We have also included links to each at the bottom of this note. We will work hard to be more vigilant in the future, and to earn your trust.

TrustMe

BuzzFeed started seven years ago as a laboratory for content.

Lab

Our writers didn’t have journalistic backgrounds and weren’t held to traditional journalistic standards, because we weren’t doing journalism.

ZoeBarnes

But that started changing a long time ago.

Change

Today, we are one of the largest news and entertainment sites on the web.

RonBurgundy

On the journalistic side, we have scores of aggressive reporters around the United States and the world, holding the people we cover to high standards.

Walter

We must — and we will — hold ourselves to the same high standards.

WeCan

Similarly, the people who produce our immensely popular entertainment have raised their game dramatically, focusing on creative and ambitious work, and increasingly careful attribution.

Maximus

We have more responsibility now than ever to get it right, to keep raising our standards, and to continue getting better.

Done

*Daily Banter editor's note: All GIFs were taken from unknown creators. Feature image via Gawker.