Jeff Bercovici has the goods. Bottom-line: Buzzfeed is using “featured partner links” on Fark to direct traffic to its “sponsored content.” I love this quote from Buzzfeed’s spokesperson:
We’re working with a number of sites, including Fark, to extend our content-driven social advertising to third party sites.
So now it’s “content-driven social advertising”. The damage these people do to the English language is as great as their undermining of ethical distinctions between advertising and writing. Unless you look very closely at the small print, you’ll soon be getting links and posts you may think are journalism – with the Atlantic and Buzzfeed and others branding the page. But all you’re reading is corporate propaganda. Just keep your eyes open.