Tonight I was greeted online with Gawker’s publication running a piece on the CFO of Condenast apparently having an affair with a gay pornstar and outed the man for what seems to be some personal axe to grind that Gawker themselves has with Condenast. Condenast used to own Reddit and still has influence on the site in the form of shares and contacts. Gawker ran multiple pieces criticizing Reddit’s decision to remove Ellen Pao from interim CEO and Huffman stepped up to the helm. Huffman is quoted saying they will look to classify certain ‘hate subreddits’ to help filter out unsavory content to bring in advertisers to keep revenue up. I’m paraphrasing so please excuse me if the quote isn’t ‘exactly’ what he says but that’s what i drug from the NY Times article on his taking over Pao’s position. Well that apparently wasn’t enough for Gawker because this horrid article posted this evening that even has Gawker senior writers distancing themselves from their own publication they write for. All it takes is a quick Google search to find out the connections between Condenast and aggregation site Reddit as a whole.
— Best Mom Eva (@mombot) July 17, 2015
I had no part in this. I would not have chosen to run it as is. http://t.co/kHOz1YA87S
— Adam Weinstein (@AdamWeinstein) July 17, 2015
Yet you link to it for the traffic. How honorable @AdamWeinstein
— Christina H. Sommers (@CHSommers) July 17, 2015
@AdamWeinstein you've helped Gawker become the cesspool that it is. Don't think you can just wash your hands now.
— Renegade Jew (@bzyouthdirector) July 17, 2015
@AdamWeinstein This is evil, and the money they made from it pays your salary. The money you make for them, funds shit like this.
— David Wong (@JohnDiesattheEn) July 17, 2015
Been a long time since I've seen such universal media revulsion for a media company's editorial decision: @jordansarge
— Michael Barbaro (@mikiebarb) July 17, 2015
You know it’s BAD whenever your colleagues want no part with a story such as this. What baffles me as a journalist myself is why run a piece like this that basically sheds a negative light on being a gay man so soon after gay marriage laws were passed in the United States? This is such a bizarre story at any angle I look at this.
Here are some more reactions from other journalists and activists from Twitter. Nobody is amused by Gawker’s antics. One can only wonder if Hulk Hogan’s impending lawsuit might have something to do with this slash and burn journalism Gawker is doing today.
(1) Gawker is horrible.
(2) So are people who read Gawker.
(3) This atrocity will not deter anyone who reads Gawker from reading Gawker.
— Gabriel Malor (@gabrielmalor) July 17, 2015
Dear Gawker, we do not care about your personal drama. Stop pretending like the private lives of your enemies count as news. #blackmail
— Rachel Haywire (@RachelHaywire) July 17, 2015
I'm a fan of Gawker & several of its journalists, but that article is reprehensible beyond belief: it's deranged to publish that.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 17, 2015
Dont read Gawker much as it is. But that's the end of it for me.
— Ben White (@morningmoneyben) July 17, 2015
Those who can, report the news. Those who can't, write gossip columns. Those with no lives or consciences, write for Gawker.
— Julia Kite (@juliakite) July 17, 2015
what the goddamn hell, Gawker. Seriously. Dude tries a shake down of a closet case, then randomly outs him. https://t.co/FqNkxXKMNI
— Justin Ling (@Justin_Ling) July 17, 2015
— Dell Cameron (@dellcam) July 17, 2015
There's no excuse for the Gawker piece, which I won't link to. It's disgraceful, and it shouldn't be referred to as journalism.
— Sabrina Siddiqui (@SabrinaSiddiqui) July 17, 2015
Generally supportive of gossip and gawker but this is terrible, repugnant, dishonorable
— Juliet Lapidos (@julietlapidos) July 17, 2015
To be clear: Geithner not a public figure. Closeted gay. Didn't have affair – backed out. So blackmailer goes to Gawker. Gawker cooperates.
— Jeff B/DDHQ (@EsotericCD) July 17, 2015
Stop clicking. Unfollow their writers. Ignore.
Social media is a weapon. Use it.
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) July 17, 2015
Now it’s no surprise I’m no fan of Gawker. They have been vehemently against the online consumer revolt that is Gamergate for a year now and for good reason. They’re literally the type of journalism that the online revolt fights, the type that destroys lives. What Gawker did to the CFO for Condenast could potentially ruin his life and his family will become estranged over what? A few million page views on their website, that’s what. Gawker’s power hungry approach to venomous attack journalism is the most unethical type of journalism ever practiced. Even Nick Denton himself is involved in an unpaid intern scandal now where interns are now suing Gawker for long slave labor like hours with no pay.
Let’s just go through some of Gawker’s past transgressions and let the readers decide their opinions.
Gawker has no idea how videogame development works or how geography works. (Kotaku is owned by Gawker)
Here we have Gawker / Jezebel’s ethics policy for ”outing people” for their gender or sexual orientation.
Here is a Gawker writer angry at Reddit for not outright banning subreddits he doesn’t like or approve of.
Here we have a Gawker writer blaming Charlie Hebdo for being shot for drawing his art. Disgraceful albeit opinion but still a repugnant piece to write about a man who got shot by terrorists for drawing cartoons and nothing else.
Here we see more proof of an axe to grind against Reddit from Gawker’s writers. It’s getting to be a pattern over the years where Gawker has been trying to control content on Reddit by pressuring them via stories like this and shaming them into doing what they want.
It’s fairly obvious now, that I have a clear disdain for Gawker but not just out of personal grievance but just the fact they are the most unprofessional site I’ve ever seen release a piece of journalism and their ethics are pretty much nonexistent. That’s my beef. Nothing more. I hope everyone enjoyed this rambling piece. It’s a bit longer than my usual articles but this story was a big one to tackle and I hope this spreads the news of exactly what kind of journalism is acceptable these days and what shouldn’t be and how we all need to improve as content creators and writers to make the fifth estate prosper and not stagnate and fester.
This tactic seems to be quite combative and out of left field. I’m pretty sure their brands would like to know about how Gawker essentially targeted all of them for no other reason than to get clicks on their website….*winkwink nudge*
Thanks for reading, everyone and let’s all try to improve as people and learn a lesson from Gawker in not how to act as a person.