At its peak, Buzzfeed was known for their viral content, though I doubt this is the virality they were looking for.

Droves of former Buzzfeed staffers are recording ‘Why I Left Buzzfeed’ videos and publishing them on YouTube.

According to Variety, a common complaint among former Buzzfeeders is the lack of creative independence, the inability to take side projects, and Buzzfeed’s ownership of all creative capital.

The recurring themes: The creators say they wanted more creative control and ownership of their work; they chafed a BuzzFeed’s policies prohibiting outside projects; and some simply feel burned out from the pressure of churning out a high volume of hits.

Several of the confessional videos from the twentysomething ex-BuzzFeeders have garnered millions of views, reflecting an interest in (or schadenfreude about) the inner workings of the internet media company’s content factory.

In the latest entry in the “Why I Left BuzzFeed” genre, former social-media strategist Candace Lowry explained the reasons for her departure in a YouTube video posted Tuesday. “I don’t want my identity to solely be BuzzFeed,” she said. “I want to be be able to create this own path, and to be able to collaborate with anyone, everywhere and to have creative freedom.” Lowry worked at BuzzFeed for two and a half years before joining Popsugar a year ago — the first time she’d ever quit a job.

“The overarching reason why I left BuzzFeed is to have independence,” Safiya Nygaard (pictured above), a former video producer at the company, said in a YouTube video last month with more than 8.6 million views.

She quit in January 2017 after less than two years, saying that one of the main things that bothered her was BuzzFeed’s fiat that staffers were not allowed to interact with viewers in YouTube’s comments section. Nygaard also complained that she felt like producers lacked clear direction from BuzzFeed management, and that she was excluded from the decision-making process about a show she had co-created, “Ladylike.”

“In general, I think my goals and the company’s goals just didn’t align anymore,” said Nygaard, who added that she has no hard feelings toward BuzzFeed.

Here’s her video:

Chris Reinacher created relatable content for Buzzfeed, and used his tell-all to create a well-produced narrative on collaborative filmmaking:

And here’s a former Buzzfeed Senior Social Video Strategist sounding off:

There are plenty more and they’re all entertaining, though some more so than others.

Viral content machines breed viral work break-up videos, it would seem.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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