Child abuse is not okay.



Gawker Media outlets and Jezebel are DEFENDING Lena Dunham’s documented child abuse[1][2]. 



If you stand against child abuse and find it disgusting that Gawker is defending this stuff, make it ABUNDANTLY CLEAR by hitting Gawker where it hurts: in the pocketbook. EMAIL THE ADVERTISERS OF GAWKER MEDIA and let them know how you feel. They will drop Gawker Media like a hot potato. 

Huge list of Gawker advertisers:

(Whatever your politics are, GG are the only ones keeping a list of Gawker advertisers)

Include links to the articles where they defend Dunham in your email. Make it clear that incestuous child abuse is unacceptable. Tell them to stop placing their ads on this increasingly toxic network of sites. 

Copy paste this to other forums/sites/boards. Get it out via facebook/reddit/twitter ect. 

Goodbye to All That Gawking

To steal a tired line from an old dead writer: Gawker in 2013 was a very special time and place to be a part of. I think – hope – that I still have some good years of writing and reporting and editing ahead of me, but whatever form that future takes, it will be a far sight from sharing blog space with storytellers and solid human beings like Cord Jefferson, Adrian Chen, Camille Dodero, and Ken Layne. The place was an oasis for writers and thinkers who’d been around and paid a heavy load of dues, many heeding New York’s gravitational pull for a time, but not forever. Through years of experience in journalism, creative writing, and unrelated vocations, they knew well the rules and norms they chose to break. Their cynicism and affectations were borne out of a frustrated idealism for the world, for America, for New York, for the industry we worked in and covered. At their best, they used snark as a tool, an expedient means for entertaining and enlightening, rather than as a brand identity, a means in itself.

That was six or seven Gawkers ago. Those people are all gone now. Since then, there have been Kinja recruits, dozens of redesigns and side blogs born and dead, an editorial director born and dead, a Politburo, a slow-batch blogging experiment, a new office deal, a reorientation toward traffic goals, a legal and PR push… a host of little changes and spot corrections, each like a minor repair to Theseus’ ship. At some point, a crew member looks up at the vessel and realizes that no plank, no rib of the original ship remains; it is something different now.

For me, that’s been the last half-year or more at Gawker, culminating in last night’s publication of the David Geithner gay escort-and-solicitation-outing story. That, and some other little posts and stories to come out of the place lately, seem like something Gawker might have always done, but looser, less-well vetted and justified, a more cynical and malign simulacrum of the site’s past.

There is still more good than bad, an excess of talent and wonderfulness in the Gawker Media staff, from the folks known as the Politburo to Jezebel hitting on all cylinders to Deadspin’s delightful writing, especially Concourse and Adequate Man. Even on Gawker proper, old voices like Rich and Hamilton are doing what they’ve always done and new talents have consistent smile-making potential. To the extent that I know them – which is to say, mostly virtually – I like pretty much all of these people. But I worry that they won’t realize their potential. On the whole, this current Gawker is not an incarnation I can endorse and defend vigorously. It’s not a Gawker I’ve been comfortable contributing to for awhile. It’s not a Gawker I will work for.

But please don’t mistake this for some unambiguously courageous, principled stand on my part. I don’t work at Gawker now. I was fired late last month.

The way firing generally seems to work at Gawker is like this: It does the company, and the individual writer/editor, no real good to announce a parting in some public way, so they keep a person on payroll for some reasonable amount of time while the person keeps up appearances and lines up a new gig. As far as anyone knows, the parting happens on the employee’s terms. It’s a pretty cool arrangement, if you ignore the fact that that the company has no official severance policy and no set method of evaluating, warning, or terminating employees. And also the proposition that Gawker’s existence is ostensibly predicated on radical transparency and honesty. (Now think about how many people have left Gawker over the years, and knock yourself out wondering how many were actually fired!)

I should have seen my end coming. There’s no question that for most of 2015, I underperformed expectations. The editor who brought me on had departed, and with him went the site’s minute-to-minute alt-weekly feel; his replacement had a different aesthetic, one that was sharper geographically and demographically and somewhat inscrutable to me; he was never really sure what to do with me, and I cast about trying to find ways to be useful, until I was exhausted and empty.

I was one of the first writers last year to volunteer for the great Kinja experiment, leaving the safety of the front page to start Fortress America, with complete freedom – and complete disinterest from the bosses; as a remote worker with specialties in the not-always-SEO-friendly areas of politics and conflict, I was pretty much left to my own devices, so much so that I had no clue if anyone other than my commenters really cared how I was spending my work day.

Somewhere in there, as I was dealing with a divorce, a move, health issues, and a parenting plan, the new editorial leadership began to express preferences for Gawker writers. These were almost always expressed in negative rather than affirmative terms: Stop using these words. Don’t write these headlines. Don’t write those stories. Your tone should not be like this. You shouldn’t really do “beats.” Some of which is par for the course in newsrooms, although it’s usually accompanied by exhortations to do write this, do expand that format or area of coverage. Once-weekly editorial meetings, checkins where every member of the team went around the horn and talked about what we were working on, were canceled. Our internal chats became much snippier and gossipier and more us-against-the-world and less focused on writing and reporting. Staff who weren’t around in Soho to do rooftop drinks with the bosses were left to guess what the site leadership really wanted.

If I’m being honest, it wasn’t really hard to guess; I just didn’t want to confront the answer. I’d expressed a desire to edit and was told there was no budget for it; then a handful of senior editors (a few of them really nice and really good) were hired. A bunch of younger writers (all of them good) were hired or imported from other Gawker sites to write about things I had previously written about. A lot of my chats and emails to bosses went unanswered. I had to remind my boss to give me the same phone and email reviews, goal-setting conversations, and checkins other staff writers got. The most insubstantial of my posts was suddenly sent through rigorous vetting by the site lead, and multiple stories were put on hold, spiked, or watered down in ways that made obvious my news nose and style were not what he wanted on his site.

A few months ago, amid all this, I was told with great fanfare that I’d spend the next year working on a side blog with a national security expert who – without divulging too much – had access to an enlightening and largely unknown trove of sensitive government information. That turned out to be a colossal oversell; the expert was embittered, obsessed with more than a few red herrings, occasionally unreliable, and singularly unwilling to share his still-undisclosed trove for stories. He preferred instead to write bombastic score-settling rants and conspiratorial suppositions – precisely the sort of unwarranted jeremiads I’d assured readers and friends in the national security space that we wouldn’t be doing. At a certain point, I sort of gave up on the experiment, unable to associate with factually shaky posts that claimed the Charleston killings weren’t terrorism and that portrayed a former defense secretary (whom I don’t particularly like) sucking and rubbing off the Washington Monument.

So I shouldn’t have been surprised when I was fired June 19. We had just voted to unionize, and on our Slack chat group for all the site’s writers, a solicitation went out for volunteers to serve on the union’s bargaining committee. I expressed my interest and mere seconds later, the site editor came on, rapping off a couple reasons why it would be a good idea for me not to volunteer, and to let someone else in the office take our spot on the committee. I couldn’t understand why a supervisor would call out an employee, in front of the staff, and dissuade him from organizing the workplace. A few hours later, he called me to tell me things weren’t working out.

It was a tone thing. There’d been “plenty of come to Jesus moments,” he’d said. The phone call, I think, was more difficult than he anticipated. He didn’t realize that I was closing on my first house in six days. They’d pay me through July, he said. I’d gotten offers before, I’d land on my feet, he said. Indeed, I’d turned down three very good offers in the previous year out of a desire to leave my imprint on Gawker. Those offers had now exploded. I told him his timing sucked and negotiated for pay through August. I haven’t kept up appearances especially well on this end. I have a house and debts and half-time custody of a toddler son and frankly no inclination to write anymore for a site that doesn’t want me. Best if I stay out of the way.

How does this long, blubbery personal story bear on the publication last night of that Geithner story? I tell you all of that background to stress that 1) I’m only speaking for myself here, and 2) I’m not impartial, omniscient or especially courageous in speaking out now. But 3) I definitely feel that the latest incarnation of Gawker is short of grownups in the room to exercise some kind of non-holistic, non-shitty editorial and tonal judgment. The drawback of Gawker’s flat, wide-open editorial structure – what Nick Denton has recently called a “writer’s collective” – is that it’s only as good as the writers who run it. And my personal view is Gawker’s usual surplus of talent and insight is being undermined by a couple of people running things who’ve made it very small, very mean, and very jerkily gossipy without an intermediate process of reflection.

So my view on what happened last night is that it was a symptom of that deficit. Having checked out of the staff’s chat system, my first look at the story was when it published. Even if I had known it was in the works, I’d have had absolutely no control over it. But I wish I did.

My concerns were, first, that we’d be doing the work of either an unstable or unsavory escort, and second, that we hadn’t established the newsworthiness of the story or Geithner, its subject. I’ve written stories outing cads before; but one was a moralizing congressman, and one was an NSA-defending electronic-privacy hypocrite and war-college professor who was engaging in the sort of behavior for which his pupils – prospective admirals and captains – could be prosecuted. Gawker has written about the sexual orientation of public people before, but those cases have been, to my mind, more defensible: You can make an argument for the newsworthiness of a Fox News broadcaster, already branded as qualitatively different from most of his coworkers, reportedly having to play down his sexual identity for a conservative employer. I might not have made the call to publish that myself, but I was not ashamed to work someplace that did publish it.

Even the much-ballyhooed Hulk Hogan sex-video case is clearly different: Hogan is a bonafide public person, whose family life was purportedly an open book on a reality program; he was having sex with the wife of another public person, and he has made facts about his sexual proclivities public matters in his media appearances. He can seize on the case as a solution to his financial and personal woes, and he can possibly score a short-term gain here in this bizarre state I call home, but he can’t change facts.

That’s a sight different from this Geithner story. I’m not aware of any effort that was made to link David Geithner’s alleged behavior to his work, or his famous brother, or any public statements he’d made about marriage, or sex, or sexual orientation; to me, any of these would have been have necessary (but not necessarily sufficient) factors in deeming his outing newsworthy. I’m not sure why he should have been outed but his accuser should enjoy anonymity. I’m not sure his accuser is reliable. Without acquiring some certainty on these points, I wouldn’t have published the piece. And I saw no reason I shouldn’t say so publicly.

A quick caveat: This is an editing problem, not a writing problem. The story author, Jordan Sargent, is young and smart and talented and energetic, as are virtually all of the content producers I meet today – at Gawker, at the New York Times, at even the handful of sites I have major issues with. We all need editors to push us to report better, to write better, to exercise better judgment. As former Gawkerer Richard Lawson explained here and here last night, our bloggy world doesn’t incentivize that kind of editorial oversight. But that oversight is what makes the difference between good writers and writers who are also good but make very bad calls, and have to live with those calls, and also have to live with your smarmy abusive online threats. (Stop the abuse. Don’t answer childishness with more childishness.)

Relatedly, none of this vindicates any of the psychotic, hateful, performatively sanctimonious self-marketing of Christina Hoff Sommers, Milo Yianawhatever, “gamergaters,” and the bevy of cold, craven, retrograde pre-fab apartment-dwelling souls who are waging an inane jihad against Gawker Media, feminism, and cultural justice. They are wrong. They are twisted. They are abusive. And I could give three hot farts about their crocodile tears for David Geithner and his family. What pisses me off the most about this lapse in editorial judgment is that it’s (again) enabled this barely coherent rabble of internet bullies to signal boost their dumb assertions about Gawker en masse, and to get them taken seriously for a dumb nanosecond. Gawker is not that bad, and those critics are not that smart.

But Gawker does have a problem. Last night, when I tweeted what I tweeted – a short, fact-based distancing of myself from the Geithner story – I only heard from one erstwhile coworker, an editor that I have always loved and respected and would walk through fires for.

“Cmon that tweet dude,” the editor texted me. “Seriously?”

“That story was not defensible, and isn’t to the credit of good ppl there,” I replied.

“You didn’t have to tweet,” the response came.

I didn’t really know how to reply to that, any more than I’ve known how to be a good Gawkerer these past few months. We worked together and supported each other on a site whose ethos is grounded in total transparency, in shining a light on media’s internal guts. When good editors at a site like that, with a name like Gawker, start reproving old comrades for inward-looking critiques, what are you supposed to do?
Violence Is Currency: A Pacifist Ex-Con's Guide To Prison Weaponry

The most common weapon inside is simply a can top. Pulled off a tin of beans and folded over, it doesn’t even need to be sharpened to leave a jagged scar. A shank, also known as a shiv, is not for cutting but for stabbing. It’s called a “gun” in jailhouse vernacular, and the most valuable kind is fashioned out of materials that don’t activate a metal detector. Prison armorers make a good living shaping brass (sourced from structural elements) and aluminum (soda cans, mostly) into knives, though fiberglass and even wood can work, too. Most shanks are made for one specific purpose and disposed of immediately thereafter; getting caught with one is a year in solitary.

Most of the way through the piece, there is an interesting meditation on the ramifications of violence which does apply to your writing. And, of course, a fairly detailed look at improvised weapons in prison.


That awkward moment when that forced meme “Actually, it’s about ethics in journalism” isn’t considered a joke in a court of law.

Oh yeah, and Gawker is only under fire because they didn’t pay their interns. Because who gives a fuck? Who needs to pay those college kids drowning in debt?

It also doesn’t help that Gawker has been shitting out some of the worst #GamerGate smear pieces. I can’t blame them, GG did cost them 7 figures.

Original Tweet


Avoiding Clickbait: A How-to Guide

If you used the internet at all in the ‘10s it’s probably happened to you: you saw a headline so outrageous and intriguing you just HAD to click it, even though you hate the site and the article was crap anyway. Maybe the title made you angry or just looked neat. So even though the actual content of the site sucks, the title always grabs you. That’s called clickbait. We’ve all dealt with it and it sucks. But as long as sites keep getting hits for doing it there’s no way to avoid it, bad sites just keep getting free publicity and clicks.

But if you’re sick of participating in this system and don’t want to give free views to crappy sites anymore, you’re in luck! There’s an easy way to view these articles without giving these jerks any clicks. That way bad content creators don’t profit off you.

1. Find the link to the article you want to read, right-click and select “Copy Link Address”

2. Go to an archival site such as Archive.Today or DoNotLink

3. Paste the URL into the bar.

Bam! You’re done. Now you don’t have to give bad or toxic sites any validation AND you can find out why this rapping baby is making rednecks so angry.

anonymous asked:

Man did you read what Gawker did? They trolled Coca-Cola's hashtag Make It Happy with Hitler quotes. Crap like that I'd expect from 4channers, but from Gawker? A site dedicated to brocial justice warriors who would burn anyone making racist remarks at the stake? Have they finally passed the horseshoe theory?

Yeah I was reading about that, now they’re trying to act as if Coca-Cola is a white supremacist company.

Like you said, I’d expect 4chan to do it for nothing else but shits and giggles, but for a company attempting to pass off as reputable news source to actually stoop to that point is…well…I don’t know what to say.

I think Coke put it best:

The #MakeItHappy message is simple: The Internet is what we make it, and we hoped to inspire people to make it a more positive place. It’s unfortunate that Gawker is trying to turn this campaign into something that it isn’t. Building a bot that attempts to spread hate through #MakeItHappy is a perfect example of the pervasive online negativity Coca-Cola wanted to address with this campaign.

Not that it surprises me, because it’s fucking Gawker, but still. That’s low, even for them.