Complaint claims social news outlet published story on Central European News with “reckless disregard for whether it was true or false”
Sorry, BuzzFeed, but this news item isn’t bulls*t.
Central European News and its founder Michael Leidig have filed a defamation lawsuit for over $11 million in damages over a 2015 BuzzFeed article headlined “The King of Bullsh*t News.”
The Aug. 24 piece, subtitled “How a small British news agency and its founder fill your Facebook feed with stories that are wonderful, wacky — and often wrong,” ties CEN to false news that often goes viral.
The lawsuit, which has been obtained by TheWrap and can be viewed below, alleges BuzzFeed “intended to and did assert that plaintiffs were in the business of publishing news articles presented as true that are false, and known to be false by plaintiffs, and that plaintiffs are the largest purveyors of such articles in the world.”
The suit goes on to say “The King of Bullsh*t News” was published with “reckless disregard for whether it was true or false, and in a grossly irresponsible manner.”
Leidig, a citizen of Great Britain who lives and works in Austria, says he had an “unblemished career” as a journalist prior to the BuzzFeed story.
The stories that BuzzFeed accused CEN of manufacturing include a tale of people in China who walk cabbages, rather than pets, out of loneliness. The suit also states that “people around the world pay more than 5 billion visits to BuzzFeed’s web site each month.” Earth’s population was approximately 7.125 billion as of time of writing.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.