Max Read, the editor-in-chief, says that consumer activism has already cost the publisher thousands of dollars. As a result, brands like Adobe, Mercedes, and BMW are thought to have rethought their relationships with Gawker.
Gawker has been defiant in the face of a large number of advertisers leaving after a letter-writing campaign by video game fans and readers who were sick of the way its journalists yelled at, made fun of, and bullied them.
Instead of apologising for the tone of its coverage and the language of its writers, Gawker called the video game community, which was upset by Gawker’s biassed coverage of the GamerGate controversy, “dishonest fascists.”
Since Gawker joined the fight with hateful games journalists who wanted to wrongly portray GamerGate as a misogynistic campaign running under the guise of a press ethics mission, GamerGate supporters have been writing earnest, polite letters to advertisers and sponsors. These letters are working.
Dozens of advertisers have changed their minds about sponsoring sites like Gawker because of how badly they treat their own readers. Max Read’s angry response to the situation won’t have made these advertisers feel any better.
Read yesterday said some unflattering things about gamers and made false claims about GamerGate. He also insulted Intel, an advertiser that left the gaming site Gamasutra for similar reasons, by writing, “Intel is run by cowardly idiots. It employs pusillanimous morons. It’s not honest.”
Read’s post comes after he and another Gawker writer, Valleywag editor Sam Biddle, were embarrassed by tweets that seemed to support bullying of “nerds” and gamers. Read and Biddle both apologised for their tweets.
Gamers are one of the most ignored and looked down upon groups in society, but the media has been painting them as “misogynists” and “bullies” for the past few months.
But as a sign that Gawker may start paying more attention to what its writers say in the future, the site’s editorial director Joel Johnson posted a statement on the front page saying that Gawker does not support bullying.
Gawker has hurt a lot of people in the past. For example, Pax Dickinson, the former chief technology officer of Business Insider, lost his job because Gawker wrote scandalous things about him without even talking to him first.
Dickinson wrote a thoughtful blog post about how Gawker polices language online and how they don’t like it when people don’t follow the rules of political correctness online.
People will notice the irony of Gawker’s far-left authoritarians, whose work is hurting their careers, yelling about fascism and bullying. “I’ve been told that we’ve already lost thousands of dollars and could lose thousands, if not millions more,” Read wrote last night for Gawker.