Blogger and YouTube star Akilah Hughes is accusing BuzzFeed of stealing an idea from her. After the site published a video called “The Perfect Weekend For An Introvert” on June 29, Hughes claimed it was based on her own video "How To Be An Introvert — According to Tumblr Ep. 1," posted in January. In a Change.org petition with nearly 6,000 signatures, she is asking advertisers to boycott BuzzFeed's videos.
"BuzzFeed has been caught repeatedly stealing ideas, jokes, bits, gags, and therefore money from prominent YouTube creators," the petition reads. "And we’ve all had enough. It's time to #StopBuzzThieves." Hughes lists several other videos she thinks were heavily influenced by individual YouTubers who went uncredited. She also references an incident in which BuzzFeed asked vlogger Kat Blaque for ideas without offering compensation. BuzzFeed creator Jonah Peretti published a post on Medium Tuesday defending his company against Hughes' accusations. He had his team conduct an investigation and shared the results in his post. Peretti argued that the ideas BuzzFeed was accused of stealing actually arose before the work the site allegedly stole them from. Peretti wrote that he doesn't believe Hughes is intentionally lying, but took issue with her tone. Hughes still isn't buying it, though.
We reached out to Hughes, Peretti, and BuzzFeed and will report back with their comments.