Plagiarism, Explained in ‘Forrest Gump’ GIFs


If Media Twitter seemed more jubilant than usual yesterday, it may well have been due to the news that BuzzFeed’s conservative-leaning “viral politics editor,” Benny Johnson (you may know him from such posts as “The Story Of Egypt’s Revolution In ‘Jurassic Park’ GIFs” and “What It’s Like Being Conservative On A Liberal Campus”), has been accused of plagiarizing from various sources to construct his highly considered political analyses. You’d think someone in Johnson’s position would know better, but look, surely it’s not all his fault — after all, the people making this kerfuffle are nasty liberal-media troublemakers, and anyway, how was he supposed to know not to plagiarize, eh? They never teach you that at the likes of Bob Jones University. Now he’s in trouble, and it’s not fair! So for the benefit of anyone else struggling with the concept of not lifting other people’s work, here’s plagiarism, explained in GIFs from a film that anyone sharing Benny’s political leanings will love: Forrest Gump!

Life can be hard when you’re the Viral Politics Editor at BuzzFeed.

People expect you to be smart.

But you can’t be smart all the time!

People expect you to know all the answers.

But sometimes you don’t know the answers!

But wait: sometimes you can find those answers on the Internet!

The temptation is to just take them.

But you shouldn’t do that…

… because people will notice…

… and then you’ll be in trouble.

The moral is not to lift other people’s work…

… especially if that work comes from Yahoo! Answers.

Lessons learned.

Back to work, Benny.

Don’t do it again.