BuzzFeed’s CEO today said that racist police violence is part of a long history of oppression in the United States and spoke of BuzzFeed’s efforts to address this. Jonah Peretti made the remarks at the 30,000-attendee online conference Collision from Home, produced by the team behind Web Summit – the world’s largest tech conference.
“The first responsibility for me was to make sure that our black employees felt supported within BuzzFeed and to communicate that we stand with them and that the police violence and brutality and racist police violence is something that is prevalent and is part of a long history of hundreds of years of oppression and that we understand that and that we’re not going to pretend that that isn’t the case,” said Peretti.
Peretti said BuzzFeed recorded site records during the Covid-19 pandemic – “we had 74 million unique people take Buzzfeed quizzes in a month, which was a record for us” – and that the site identified a strategy of “programming and counter-programming”. This involved publishing stories on issues driving the news agenda (programming) along with more lighthearted content (counter-programming), such as quizzes and recipes.
After the killing of Geroge Floyd, Peretti said the site changed this strategy.
“At the peak of this, we decided that we wouldn’t do counter-programming the way we do – we didn’t do quizzes or tasty videos for a day and we really focused on shining a light on police brutality and oppression and racism, and that was the focus of the site,” he said.
Watch a clip from the interview here.
About Jonah Peretti:
Jonah Peretti is founder and CEO of BuzzFeed, a cross-platform news and entertainment network. He founded BuzzFeed in 2006 as an experiment in virality. Under Jonah’s leadership, BuzzFeed now reaches more than 520 million unique visitors monthly.
Collision is known by CBC as the “TIFF for tech”, while Inc. Magazine calls it the “fastest-growing tech conference in North America“. Collision is set to move online for 2020 with Collision from Home. Collision will return to Toronto as a physical event for the second year from June 21-24, 2021 at the Enercare Centre.
About Web Summit:
Forbes says Web Summit is “the best tech conference on the planet”; Bloomberg calls it “Davos for geeks”; Politico, “the Olympics of tech”; The Guardian, “Glastonbury for geeks”; and, in the words of Inc. Magazine, “Web Summit is the largest technology conference in the world”.
Whatever Web Summit is, it wouldn’t be possible without an incredible team of over 200 employees based in Dublin, Lisbon, Toronto and Hong Kong, including world-class engineers, data scientists, designers, producers, marketers, salespeople, and more. They’ve disrupted an old industry by building incredible software and designing mind-blowing events, revolutionising how people and ideas come together to change the world.
SOURCE Web Summit
Rod is a blogger, writer, filmmaker, photographer, daydreamer who likes to cook. Rod produces and directs the web series, CUPIC: Diary of an Investigator. He is also the editor, producer and administrator of TNC Network.