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  • Fifteen years after launching BuzzFeed, Jonah Peretti is heralded as a digital-culture visionary.
  • He’s also faulted for overseeing waves of layoffs and some former colleagues doubt his guru status.
  • BuzzFeed’s widely-watched SPAC deal is being seen as a referendum on digital media.

As a cofounder of both BuzzFeed and HuffPost, Jonah Peretti is one of the great adventurers of the digital age.

“I think he should be thought of as a visionary,” said Jill Abramson, the former executive editor of The New York Times and author of “Merchants of Truth,” a 2019 book that examined the BuzzFeed story.

To Arianna Huffington, he possesses a “deep and instinctual understanding of the internet” and an “incredible sense of fun.” Ben Smith, The Times’ media columnist and a former editor in chief of BuzzFeed News, identified similar soothsaying qualities: “He seemed to have this ability to see…

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