After a couple leaks to The Wall Street Journal, BuzzFeed has decided to crack down on staffers who are tipping journalists. An unintentionally hilarious memo titled “Transparency and Trust” describes leaking as a lack of “personal ethics” and states that staffers could get fired if they’re caught:
Anonymously tipping a reporter to something a colleague says in a meeting isn’t a violation of business or journalistic ethics. It’s an issue of personal ethics. It makes it harder for us to trust one another. That said, the one thing that’s worse for culture than leaks is obsessing about the leakers, so we won’t be launching a plumbing operation to find the holes. But breaching confidences is something we take seriously, and the sort of thing you can get fired for.
Once you stop laughing at the irony of BuzzFeed criticizing ethics, check out this line near the end of the note: “And by the way, if you’re reading this blog post and work at a company with lots of secrets, do go ahead and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org at your convenience.”
If that’s a joke, then was the entire memo and bullshit about “personal ethics” a joke, too? Disparaging staffers’ character, threatening to fire them, and then… Funny time! Certainly an odd place for humor. If that line wasn’t a joke, BuzzFeed thinks anyone who leaks info is trash, unless they happen to work somewhere other than BuzzFeed. Sounds about right.
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