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BuzzFeed attempts to have defamation lawsuit thrown out


By John Glenday, Reporter

April 12, 2016 | 2 min read

Social news and entertainment provider BuzzFeed is attempting to have a defamation lawsuit lodged against it thrown out as it remains locked in a legal battle with the founder of Central European News (CEN).

The spat centres on a critical January story published by BuzzFeed which dubbed the business as ‘The King of Bullsh*t News’ in a scathing report on how it funnelled ‘wonderful, wacky and… wrong’ articles onto the websites of major publications including the Daily Mirror, Metro and New York Daily News.

In response the British journalist and founder of the service, Michael Leidig, launched an $11m defamation suit, in addition to punitive damages, arguing that his own reputation and that of his company had been impugned to the detriment of his business.

Responding to the action BuzzFeed asserts that its description of CEN produced articles as ‘inaccurate or downright false’ as ‘substantially true’.

In a statement given to Ad Age Leidig’s lawyer Harry Wise said:” It is one thing to deny that your story was false; it seems quiet something else to deny that charging a journalist with making up fake news stories is defamatory of the journalist.”

Should the case proceed to court BuzzFeed has requested a jury trial where applicable.


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