Back in March Tom Chivers, formerly of The Telegraph, poster a mildly mocking why-oh-why piece about “Why Monopoly Is The Worst Game In The World”. Some time later it was deleted. We now are told at the behest of the Editor-in-chief, Ben Smith. Originally it was claimed that the Tom Chivers deleted it himself, an odd thing for a journalist to do unless he is being sued. Tom didn’t delete his tweets about it:
It is unlikely Tom knew that Hasbro, the makers of Monopoly, had signed a big sponsorship deal with Buzzfeed until perhaps Ben Smith, editor-in-chief, had a word.
At this point, in breach of all the fancy ethical guidelines that Buzzfeeders boast about…
… the post got deleted.
Critics were on the lookout for this kind of malfeasance after Gawker published an article on Thursday reporting that BuzzFeed deleted an article that attacked Dove’s latest advertising campaign.
On Friday morning MediaGuido was alerted by a reader that this had happened in relation to Monopoly. At 14:30 we reached out to Buzzfeed and Tom Chivers for an explanation. We got no reply. However, coincidentally perhaps, a former Telegraph colleague of Tom Chivers tweeted a reference to the issue at 15:40, at the same time as we published out first story.
The situation at this point was pretty much:
Media Guido predicted it would go like this:
It pretty much did exactly that, except far quicker…
Here’s the cover up:
As soon as New York media types started pushing the story, the statement of regret swiftly arrived:
It turns out that Buzzfeed at the very least self-censors when it comes to lucrative advertisers. The Telegraph did the same with HSBC, about which a Buzzfeed report took a very moralistic tone, reporting that “…Telegraph colleagues had lost all faith in the newspaper’s management”. Turns out hipsters can be hypocrites too…
The article isn’t even that interesting anyway: