In recent months, social media titans have been on the hot seat on Capitol Hill. We’ve seen all the elected officials try to make a name for themselves by aggressively questioning Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey. In most cases, these politicians have shown how little they actually understand social media.
And while these elected officials have been mugging for the cameras on Capitol Hill, online “news” outlets like BuzzFeed, NowThis and Teen Vogue have been brilliantly, strategically and diabolically “informing” the youngest generations of voters. Make no mistake: These sites are an even greater threat to the future of our republic.
BuzzFeed is a news site founded in the early days of social media. Initially, it churned out low-level, easily digestible stories and marketed them to the masses. None of it was political. This enabled BuzzFeed to build a following of millions of people from across the ideological spectrum. Currently it has more than 12 million followers on Facebook alone. Rachel Maddow is lucky to draw 3 million viewers for her MSNBC show. But unlike Maddow’s viewers, BuzzFeed’s audience is young and impressionable.