Friday, August 19, 2016

GamerGate and the Death of Gawker

The vomitable Gawker is dead.  The  No Heroic Measures to Maintain Life form has been signed and plug will be pulled next week. Naturally New Yorkers are sobbing about it. In fact New York Magazine is running a piece on the death of Gawker by Max Read himself.

I'll do a full on Fisk next week but here is the nub of it so far as we are concerned.

As Gawker was imploding in the summer of 2015, a group of teenage ­video-game enthusiasts was throwing gasoline on the already-raging fire. These were the Gamergaters. Of all the enemies Gawker had made over the years — in New York media, in Silicon Valley, in Hollywood — none were more effective than the Gamergaters.

Max remains delightfully dishonest and disingenuous.  Or perhaps he simply cherishes his flat fucking ignorance.   In the part I've left out he rehashes the usual bullshit about GamerGate and the GamerGaters.  Dismissing them as much as possible as defective teenagers.  Living in their manchild basements.

But none the less...

... Gawker went into full-on crisis mode. Our chief revenue officer flew to Chicago to meet shaky clients; someone I hadn’t spoken with since high school Facebook-messaged me to let me know that her employer, L.L.Bean, a Gawker advertiser, was considering pulling its ads. Nick asked me to draft a non-apology apology — a clarification, basically, that we did not, institutionally, support bullying. Sam was compelled to tweet an apology. Joel, then the executive editor, published on Gawker, over the objections of the editors, another clarification. I then published, without Joel’s knowledge, an apology for the apology. Perhaps tellingly, it was the first time I’d ever really been confronted with the business side of Gawker besides small talk at parties.

Then it all went away. Gawker had taken a hit — thousands of dollars of advertising gone, at least. But in the weeks we’d been hemorrhaging advertisers and goodwill, stories in the New York Times and other outlets — the real media—and a segment on The Colbert Report made it clear that the Gamergaters were the bad guys in this case, not us. The sites went back to normal.

But of course it didn’t go away. Gamergate proved the power of well-organized reactionaries to threaten Gawker’s well-being. And when Gawker really went too far — far enough that even our regular defenders in the media wouldn’t step up to speak for us — Gamergate was there, in the background, turning every crisis up a notch or two and making continued existence impossible.

As sad, pathetic and Colbert officially disapproved as GamerGate must clearly be. It found the first real chinks in Gawkers armor. And they...even they can't deny it.

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