In the fall of 2018, Jonah Peretti, managing director of online publisher BuzzFeed, emailed a senior official at Facebook Inc. The most controversial content produced by publishers was going viral on the platform, he said, creating an incentive to produce more.
He highlighted the success of a BuzzFeed article titled “21 Things Almost All White People Are Guilty Of Saying,” which received 13,000 shares and 16,000 comments on Facebook, with many criticizing BuzzFeed for writing it and arguing over race. . Other content produced by the company, from news videos to articles on personal care and animals, has struggled to break through, he said.