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You Decide with Errol Louis

Jul 13, 2023

One could claim, without hyperbole, that Ben Smith helped invent modern digital media.

Smith, the co-founder of Semafor News, is a former New York Times media columnist and the founding editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed News. He is also the author of “Traffic: Genius, Rivalry, and Delusion in the Billion-Dollar Race to Go Viral,” which chronicles both BuzzFeed’s rise to fame and Nick Denton, the controversial mastermind behind Gawker. Along the way, Smith tells other tales of the many key players involved in New York City’s Silicon Alley.

Smith joined NY1’s Errol Louis for a lengthy discussion about his book, and his years at BuzzFeed. They also talked about his blog years, the ability to make things go viral, his thoughts on Thread and how he and his colleagues may have misjudged human nature. They also weighed in on the role social media will play in the 2024 presidential election. And they touched on how so many major players in the right-wing media movement came from the same offices and companies that Smith did.

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