Author Archives: Sydney

Ads versus content: BuzzFeed’s struggle

Posted by Sydney Price

On April 9, BuzzFeed deleted a post by Beauty Editor Arabelle Sicardi. Its removal sparked an uproar. The reason? The post criticized Dove’s new advertising campaign. The catch? Dove is a big advertiser on BuzzFeed. Ben Smith, BuzzFeed’s Editor-in-Chief, quickly apologized and put the post back up, calling it an issue with unclear standards for opinion writing. Twitter users who responded to Smith’s tweet had mixed reactions. Some praised his transparency and others questioned the legitimacy of BuzzFeed’s editorial standards.

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Does Reddit have an obligation to provide user information to law enforcement?

Posted by Sydney Price

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Photo by Jeff Keyzer on Flicker via Creative Commons.

Reddit, the popular social media and aggregated content discussion forum, covers a staggering variety of topics – including illegal ones.

A recent WIRED article revealed that a representative from the Baltimore Department of Homeland Security requested Reddit to disclose information about five users who are under investigation for involvement with Evolution, an online black market website. Continue reading

Will robots take over journalism?

Posted by Sydney Price

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Photo by David Pickett on Flickr via Creative Commons.

If I didn’t write this post, would you still read it? If this post wasn’t written by a human being at all, would you still read it? In the last month, CNN and the Huffington Post, among others, reported that major news outlets are using software algorithms to “write” stories that require a lot of data.

The L.A. Times uses a program called Quakebot to update online readers about earthquakes within minutes of their occurrence. The robot even has its own Twitter page with up-to-date reports.

The Associated Press also uses robot-fueled journalism to release dispatches about sports, finance and other number-heavy topics. Some of these news releases are not seen by human eyes before hitting the website.

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