Gawker and its alleged “feminist” sister site Jezebel have been the target of an online backlash for months. Many feel that both websites create faux outrage and hate in order to get clicks for advertising revenue. Despite proclaiming to stand up for liberal viewpoints, many feel that both Gawker and Jezebel feature stories that are not only anti-gay, but anti-feminist as well.
On Friday, the situation hit a boiling point when Gawker published (then later removed) a story outing a Condé Nast employee David Geithner, even though the story that surrounds him might not have an ounce of truth to it. The Huffington Post describes the situation.
“Gawker on Friday removed a controversial story about a media executive soliciting a male escort who later attempted to extort him, after the decision to post the piece received widespread condemnation on social media.”
The Huffington Post goes on to note that even though Condé Nast is a powerful company, the overwhelming opinion was that Geithner did nothing to warrant such a nasty invasion of his alleged private life. Geithner never said anything that was anti-gay. He never spoke out against gay marriage. Many people feel that this story was clickbait gone too far.
Gawker‘s sister site Jezebel has been criticized as well. The site, which has lured readers on the promise of providing a feminist hangout, has spent the past year shaming female celebrities for being too old, too white, too fat, and everything in between. One tweet in particular sums up what many feel about Jezebel.
I sometimes think @Jezebel is a secret project to defame feminism and to try to turn women (and men) away from it.— Matthew Rettenmund (@mattrett) March 10, 2015
The spotlight on Jezebel‘s clickbait articles has returned after the Gawker fiasco. Several people have taken to Twitter to condemn both sites in the past day.
If you read Kotaku, Jezebel, Deadspin or i09, you're supporting Gawker media. Don't just jump on the outrage train. Stop reading those sites— Rachel A. Ansley (@KonashenokGleb) July 18, 2015
USA Today describe’s Nick Denton’s (he runs the Gawker network) decision to take down the possibly libelous hit piece on Geithner.
“On Friday, Gawker founder Nick Denton said he regretted the decision to publish the piece and acknowledged internal dissension over the move. He said the post ‘was true and well-reported,’ but said it ‘does not rise to the level’ of publication worthy.”
Denton went on to note that pulling the piece doesn’t turn back the clock or erase David Geithner’s alleged embarrassment. He says that this action will help set a standard for future stories. Let’s hope that other websites can learn from Gawker‘s mistakes.
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