Bezos-Owned Washington Post Asks Readers to 'Buy It Now'
And Facebook tests 'satire' warning
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Aug 18, 2014 11:48 AM CDT
A screen shot from a Post article with a 'buy it now' button.   (Washington Post screen shot)

(Newser) – About a year ago, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post—and this weekend, Post readers noticed something unusual. Mentions of books in Post articles featured a button within the text allowing readers to "buy it now" from Amazon, Mashable reports. Several such buttons appeared, for instance, in a piece about the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, fueling discussion on social media. Later, many of the buttons disappeared (though at least one was still active in this article as of this writing), prompting more chatter. "Shameless," observed one tweet.

The Post, however, tells Mashable it has featured the buttons for half a decade, though on the side of an article, not in the text. They were appearing in the text this weekend, a rep says, because of an article formatting switch that "inadvertently incorporated" them. PandoDaily feared a blow to editorial independence; a Post rep tells Digiday, however, that writers and editors have never been involved in the button-adding process. Elsewhere in digital media, Facebook is offering readers a new warning label—for comedy. It's testing a system adding the word "satire" alongside News Feed links to the Onion and its brethren, a rep tells Mashable. The labels appear in Facebook's "related articles" section.

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Showing 3 of 8 comments
Charles P
Aug 18, 2014 2:48 PM CDT
WHO EVER is DUMB ENOUGH TO WASTE TIME READING THE WASHINGTON POST GETS WHAT THEY DESERVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Scaramouche
Aug 18, 2014 2:31 PM CDT
This is normal integration of marketing. Nothing to see here, or really care about, unless you're not net-savvy. On an incidental side note, does anyone else ever read Bezos name as Bozo in their peripheral vision? Or is it just me?
Who_Cares
Aug 18, 2014 1:54 PM CDT
As someone would say "who cares". You don't like, you don't click on it. It's more about convenience and more profits for the guy. That's what capitalism is all about, isn't it? I have more problems with Healthcare stealing from me first $5k deductible (because their poor execs has to make $100 millions) than with this guy who is not forcing me to buy.