TIME

BuzzFeed Fires Editor Over Plagiarism

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The logo of news website BuzzFeed is seen on a computer screen in Washington on March 25, 2014. Nicholas Kamm—AFP/Getty Images

Updated 11:20 a.m. ET

The popular social news site BuzzFeed announced the firing of an editor late Friday night after allegations of plagiarism surfaced online this week.

Benny Johnson was the site’s first “viral politics editor.” In a note to readers, the site’s editor said that a review of more than 500 posts authored by Johnson revealed 41 instances of plagiarism.

“Benny is a friend, colleague and, at his best, a creative force, but we had no choice other than letting him go,” wrote editor-in-chief Ben Smith.

Johnson apologized in a message sent on Twitter Saturday morning.

In one case, Johnson borrowed portions of text from a U.S. News & World Report story by journalist Rick Newman on the depravity of life in North Korea. In another, he used the exact phrasing of a five-year-old response on Yahoo! Answers on the German bombing of London during World War II.

Johnson, 28, came to BuzzFeed’s Washington bureau in December 2012 from Glenn Beck’s online publication, The Blaze.

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