NEW YORK — Saying that no hashtag will be left unexamined, a senior BuzzFeed editor has sent cub reporter Ben Walker into the dark and dangerous world of Twitter to uncover the truth about a thwarted terrorist plot to attack a major European capital.
“Kid, here’s 10 bucks to order a pizza,” international news editor Karla Oakes told the 22-year-old Walker. “Take your iPhone into [fashion and culture editor] Allison [Schmidt]’s office, because she’s off sick today, and I want you to find out what really happened in Europe. Who was behind this plan? How did the police infiltrate the terrorist network? You wanted a chance to prove yourself, well, here it is.”
“Has anyone tweeted racist remarks about the incident?” she added. “Five million American millennials with only a passing interest in world events are counting on you.”
Exhausted and emotionally drained, Walker returned from Twitter four hours later after having glossed over nearly 6500 tweets, five of which he selected to be embedded in the hard-hitting, fact-laden 250-word article.