“Socialite Arianna Huffington built a blog-empire on the backs of thousands of citizen journalists,” a post at Adbusters begins. “She exploited our idealism and let us labor under the illusion that the Huffington Post was different, independent and leftist. Now she’s cashed in and three thousand indie bloggers find themselves working for a megacorp.”
But the Huffington Post is not Arianna’s to sell. It is ours: the lefty writers and readers, environmentalism activists and anti-corporate organizers who flooded the site with 25 million visits a month. So we’re going to take it back.
We’ll stop going to her site. And we’ll stop blogging for her too. Then we’ll give birth to an alternative to AOL’s HuffPo by using the #huffpuff hash tag to tell the world about our favorite counter-culture websites and indie blogs.
“We are the ones who built the Huffington Post. And now we will be the ones who will huff & puff it down,” Adbusters concluded.
A quick search of the social network Twitter indicated that the hashtag #huffpuff was already being used to propose alternatives.
Arianna herself told Politico this week, “We don’t see ourselves as left. And I think it’s one area where news consumers are ahead of the media, because they know that continuing to see everything that’s happening as a right-left issue is missing what’s happening, and is also making it much harder for us to be properly informed.”