Max Read Recounts How #GamerGate Helped Destroy Gawker
(Last Updated On: August 19, 2016)

Filled with misinformation, poorly sourced facts and a quote that doesn’t actually exist from one of the citations called into account, a seemingly final screed from Max Read on behalf of Gawker about its eventual downfall is an entertainment roller coaster. Long winded, self-righteous and completely devoid of accountability, the diatribe dictated through strained text tells a tale of how Gawker was wronged by all the right people, groups and institutions… one of which includes #GamerGate.

Kotaku in Action was quick to pick out the piece that was published over on New York Magazine on August 19th, 2016, which tries its darnedest to absolve Gawker of wrongdoing. Max tries even harder to misreport key points of information that led to the downfall of the company. But would you expect any less from its former editor-in-chief and one of its co-conspirators in pushing tabloid-tier outrage-bait?

Amusingly enough, out of the 6000 words used to recount his time at Gawker, former editor-in-chief Max Read carves out an entire section to #GamerGate, explaining the role it played in the site’s eventual demise at the hands of Hulk Hogan, Peter Thiel and a clear-cut case of privacy invasion.

The section is a lovingly staunch defense of Gawker in the face of a movement dedicated to ethics in journalism. Max starts by misinforming readers about one of the catalysts that helped kickstart #GamerGate, writing…

“Gamergate, a leaderless online movement dedicated to enforcing its own unique vision of “ethics in journalism,” had first taken up with Gawker Media the summer before, in 2014. Earlier that year, a writer for Kotaku had had a brief fling with a well-known video-game developer. In August, the developer’s ex-boyfriend, a 24-year-old computer programmer, wrote a 10,000-word blog post about her, spawning rumors that she’d traded sex for a positive review of her game on Kotaku. That no such review ever actually appeared on the site should tell you a lot about Gamergate’s relationship to the truth; that Gamergaters believe this is how sex works should tell you a lot about the Gamergate demographic.”

Petty potshots aside, one Eron Gjoni – the ex-boyfriend of Zoe Quinn and the who wrote The Zoe Post – never once mentioned the word “review” in the post. There was never any mention of a game journalist reviewing Quinn’s game. The actual charge from the community was positive coverage from Kotaku’s Nathan Grayson while he was intimately engaged with the subject, Zoe Quinn. It was also later revealed that $800 had exchanged hands between Grayson and Quinn, as admitted to by Grayson, for which that was also not disclosed.

It was a matter of disclosure.

That’s not counting the media narrative pushing that happened in the cabal known as the Game Journo Pros, as reported by Breitbart, or all the other forms of corruption that surfaced past and presence since, most of which have been indexed over on DeepFreeze.it.

There have been countless infractions committed by game and mainstream media journalists since #GamerGate came to be, well beyond what transpired between Grayson and Quinn. The hashtag is also propelled by far more than just “angry teenagers”.

Within Max’s misrepresentation of #GamerGate and the people behind it — he conveniently leaves out those who used #NotYourShield — there are elements of self awareness and an almost congratulatory admiration to #GamerGate’s diligence, where he writes…

“What I’d missed about Gamergate was that they were gamers — they had spent years developing a tolerance for highly repetitive tasks. Like, say, contacting major advertisers.

 

“On Reddit, a campaign was launched to contact every advertiser Gamergaters could find on Gawker’s site — and not just the marketing departments of advertisers like Adobe and BMW, but specific executives. If you can bug a chief marketing officer, it doesn’t matter that your complaints are disingenuous: He just wants to stop being annoyed.”

Max explains how the e-mail campaign dubbed “Operation Disrespectful Nod” actually sent Gawker’s executives into panic mode.

The article states…

“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. “

The article also explains how Denton had people drafting apologies; it explains how some people didn’t agree with apologizing; it explains how some people publishing apologies for the apologies sent the office into general chaos. Ultimately, they were bleeding money and they had to make it stop.

According to Max Read, Gawker lost “thousands of dollars”… “at least”, which contradicts the millions that were claimed to have been lost by some other outlets. He doesn’t go into detail on exactly how much they lost between standard ads and native ads, but writes…

“[…] 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 final part of the #GamerGate section in Max’s piece reads like a hurt puppy asking why it was left out in the wintry cold, fused with the snide defiance to never admit defeat. You can almost hear the tears dripping onto the keyboard between the clatter of keys rapping and tapping away, pausing only for sniffles to be sniffed and the salt from cheeks to be wiped.

Max begrudgingly acknowledges the continued thorn that #GamerGate proved to be in the side of Gawker, leading all the way to its demise, writing…

“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.”

The reality is that we have no real, concrete value of just how much damage #GamerGate did to Gawker. We don’t know how much of a wind the hashtag blew into the tower that helped topple over an empire that was hit by Hulk Hogan’s legal tornado.

At the end of the day, the only thing we know for sure is that a lot of Gawker’s writers were butthurt over #GamerGate’s efforts, and that the e-mail campaigns did enough damage to Gawker’s bottom line to force the executives into panic mode. None of that really matters now given that Max Read is no longer Gawker.com’s editor-in-chief and Gawker.com will no longer exist as of next week.

(Main image courtesy of Gargus)


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About

Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • Alistair

    I like to think gamergate Was part of the win while hunk Horgan dish the final blow.

    Gamergate was persistent lot & consistent about ethic in journalism & censorship, you need to read of what they think of gamers & echhi games.

    They called gamers Id are dead, ecchi gets bad reviews they use the taboo in them instead of gameplay.

    That brings in Devs to censored the games influence by the media SJWs

    I’m not wasting my salt or crying on them they reap what they sow.

    Other journalists should take note from this do not take gamers for granted bad mouth us if you dare, give negative reviews of ecchi games if you dare.

    We won’t go away EVER.

  • durka durka

    “how Gawker was wronged by all the right people, groups and institutions… one of which includes #GamerGate.”

    Ofcourse, gawker dun did nothing wrong.

    ““Gamergate, a leaderless online movement dedicated to enforcing its own unique vision of “ethics in journalism,””

    I believe it is the same for all then again kotaku’s version of journalism according to stephen tottilo is “write as if you talk to your friend in a bar” and “we do not strive for objectivity”

    “a writer for Kotaku had had a brief fling with a well-known video-game developer”

    “well known” and having a writer compromised like that is not a ethical issue?

    “That no such review ever actually appeared on the site should tell you a lot about Gamergate’s relationship to the truth; that Gamergaters believe this is how sex works should tell you a lot about the Gamergate demographic.””

    Yeah it says alot about kotaku’s relationship with journalism because no one said review COVERAGE, positive COVERAGE. As for how sex works, i think i will take anyone’s opinion over the mangina cucks at gawker.

    ““What I’d missed about Gamergate was that they were gamers — they had spent years developing a tolerance for highly repetitive tasks. Like, say, contacting major advertisers.”

    He missed that “gamergate” were “gamers” and finds the process of contacting major advertisers to be a something that cannot be tolerated as it is a highly repetitive task.

    Where there you go, a “journalist” that cant be bothered to do research or contact people because it is too “Repetitive” also games suck because they are too repetitive i guess. This explains why they write all that bullshit, because writing good articles or doing JOURNALISM is too REPETITIVE AND BORING, so just write whatever bullshit pops up in your head wherever you taking a shit and call it a “Article” dont forget yo click bait title bitch!!!

    ” If you can bug a chief marketing officer, it doesn’t matter that your complaints are disingenuous: He just wants to stop being annoyed.””

    and he chooses to take action against the fucktard with ZERO social skills who writes trash articles who rustled the jimmies of their customers instead of blocking all those people who dont have legitimate complains.

    AND THAT WORKED FOR EVERY COMPANY….Damn man, kotaku dun nothing wrong, it was all this insidious goobergubbers who did not have a point and manipulated everyone.

    TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR SOMETHING IN YOUR LIFE YOU TWAT.

    “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. ”

    See if there are two things i am butt hurt about is that i could not see those jackasses losing their shit and this did not happen to polygon.

    “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.”

    Thats like admiring you the “journo shills” shilled to other “journo shills” to make it clear who is the bad guy, you missed something asswipe, no one trusts the media. So you shut yourself in the foot.

    “Gamergate proved the power of well-organized reactionaries”

    Compared to what? Kotaku? I mean how you organize a leaderless movement let alone prevent its plans from leaking to the public when THEY ARE RIGHT THERE, THERE FOR EVERYONE TO SEE, OPENLY TELLING YOU WHAT THE PLAN IS AND YOU COULD NOT STOP IT.

    ” 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”

    “OUR REGULAR DEFENDERS” What are these people exactly paid shills?

    Good man, its like you are admitting that because gamergate did not destroy you, you doubled down in your douchebagery and went further with it, too far then no one could take you seriously.

    BUT HEY EVERYONE WHO OPPOSES US IS A GOOBERGUBBER. Fucking idiots, these people are like parodies of themselfs

    “Gamergate was there, in the background, turning every crisis up a notch or two and making continued existence impossible.””

    LIKE YOU HAVE BEEN DOING FOR YEARS? THIS IS WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN DOING, YOU TOOK A TINY DRAMA SHIT AND A NON ISSUE THAT N ONE GAVE A FLYING FUCK ABOUT AND YOU TURNED THAT UP BY ELEVEN WITH CLICKBAIT, SHITTY ACCUSATORY TITLES, UBER DRAMA AND AUTHORITARIAN DICTATION ON HOW GAMERS SHOULD LIVE ACCORDING TO YOUR “OWN UNIQUE VERSION OF ETHICS”

    Fucking hell man, that cuntlicker still has not woken the fuck up, he still believes his own bullshit and does not see what he describes is what he was doing.

    You can indeed hear the sound of BUTTHURT when he was writing these utter horseshit trying to deflect his guilt on to us.

  • SiliconNooB

    I like to think that we gave Hogan a meaningful assist.

  • Always good to see SJWs suffer. After all, they completely go out of their way to make other people’s lives miserable, especially men.

  • HisShadowX

    Half way through the article so your telling me this guy is comparing a comedy show, The Colbert Report to the real media?

  • LovingLife139

    This has been a fantastic week for Gamergate, between the Gawker fiasco and the book deal gone sour with Zoe Quinn, and all just in time for our second anniversary. Read’s words of bitter defeat is music to my ears. I am so proud to be a part of this. Gamers are resilient indeed. ^_^

    • Arbitrary

      “…the book deal gone sour with Zoe Quinn…”

      What? I’ve never heard of this. Could you elaborate? I could use some good news, today.

      • static5225

        http://theralphretort.com/book-deal-fail-zoe-quinn-gets-dropped-by-simon-schuster-8018016/

        The film based on Zoe’s book is likely not going to happen because the person who was going to make it, Amy Pascal got booted from Sony after the Ghostbusters flop.

        • durka durka

          “because the person who was going to make it, Amy Pascal got booted from Sony after the Ghostbusters flop.”

          Nothing about this sentence suprises me. Ghostbusters sucked, the creator is buddies with the typical femicunts and wants to help zoe quin.

        • Arbitrary

          Holy shit. I didn’t even know Quinn was about to get a movie deal.

          Do we really have that powerful enemies?

    • durka durka

      Now if only we could fuck up polygon.

      • Arbitrary

        And then come down on Rock Paper Shotgun.

        • durka durka

          at this point RPS is “who?”

          • Mattacus

            Seriously. I used to read that site religiously, back in the day. They had a lot of talented writers and plenty of content, but two things came to the fore for me around the same time: one, they started noticeably and needlessly injecting ridiculous political or social justice viewpoints in their writing, and, one writer’s particularly over-written prose became sort of a standout. You could always tell when an article was penned by Mr. Grayson because it would start out with at least two paragraphs of the most inane, difficult to read bullshit imaginable. So when they came out openly against gamergate, it was too easy to delete the bookmark.

  • lupus

    http://i.imgur.com/IN6Kqei.png look what i found and spread it

    • We’ve known this since August, 2014. Media websites purposefully ignore it. Eron never mentioned the word “review” in the post. It was always a lie that the media used as a scapegoat to misinform people.

      • lupus

        yeah but this is from a recent article an convo

        • Grayson admitted to that back in 2014. The date on the tweets from the image says as much. Max is just reiterating a lie to revise history. Something they’ve been doing at Wikipedia a lot in order to preserve their precious Regressivism.

  • DDD-kun

    Absolutely beautiful

  • giygas

    Gawker and Kotaku editors are super salty right now. They’re busy whining on Twatter while blocking everyone that responds to them.

  • Jesus Zamora

    I’m super happy to see Gawker in flames.

    For the rest of the sites, I hope they enjoy being under the much, MUCH hotter gaze of a major media conglomeration. Good luck with your “bring back bullying” tweets in the future.

    Tengo mucho felicidad para ver Gawker en llamas.

    Por el resto de los sitios, Espero que gustaran haciendo bajo del mirada mucho, MUCHO mas caliente de un conglomerado de media mayor. Buena suerte con tus tweets de “devolver el acoso” en el futuro.

  • scemar

    the rest of the MSM isn’t much better, honestly

    • Elilla Shadowheart

      Just one head of a hydra. Considering that even journos are pointing out how corrupt the media has become, I’m expecting a larger backlash in the future. I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump wins, that the media throws what little cover they have less into the fire. Even at that, you’ve got heavily left-wing journos like Glen Greenwald saying that the media is stupidly insane for their “all out war against Trump” and throwing objectivity to the wind is going to bite them in the ass very hard.

  • Hawk Hopper

    This dude doesn’t even work for Gawker anymore but he is still in full damage control mode. That’s hilarious.

    Also, for a company that was as big as Gawker was, it is very interesting that they would fly people out to try to calm the nerves of clients, especially for “thousands of dollars.” It almost seems like he’s downplaying how much they really lost. It could also be that Gawker wasn’t making that much money before they lost advertisers, so they needed to spend money to do these get-on-their-knees-in-person meetings.

    I mean, Gawker was only making $6-$8 in profit a year, despite all their bullshit-bait bullshit.

    It makes you wonder why did Gawker go into full crisis mode for a couple of “thousand” dollars? Maybe the seven-figures estimates wasn’t a meme, and could have cost them a lot more.

    • He was on damage control. Nick Denton himself told the press that GamerGate had cost Gawker over 6 figures.

  • Now that Gawker is sunk, Max is revealing that ODN had a devastating effect. This is exactly why I always told the naysayers (that weren’t paid damage control plants by Gawker and co) that we won’t see how far ODN reaches until much later.

    • It’s weird he says the least damage ODN did was “thousands” but there’s no way you would call an execute board meeting because you lost a few thousand dollars when you’re making millions per quarter. You would shrug it off and keep going. Heck, the thousands or so people who said they weren’t supporting Mass Effect 3 didn’t phase EA until it became a swell within the community that nearly reached mainstream. Heck, Microsoft didn’t give a crap about people hating the DRM until they saw that millions were willing to pre-order the PS4 and not the Xbox One.

      Seems weird that he would say “thousands” but it was enough to send the execs into panic mode. Either it was a lot more than that or the execs never went into panic mode.

      • According to the head of advertising at Gawker, GamerGate cost them 7 figures. ( http://www.politico.com/media/story/2014/12/gawker-discusses-cost-of-gamergate-003205 ) This article also shows that Biddle’s half-hearted apology was because Denton demanded it over Max Reads objections. It looks like Max is trying to revise history out of spite for how events played out.

        • Yeah exactly. Gawker is a mixing pot of liars, so it’s hard to take anything they say at face value. I just wish we could see their quarterly financials between the end of 2014 and the middle of 2015… because it would be EASY to see what the total damage #GamerGate did to the overall business.

          • Elilla Shadowheart

            My guess? GG did cost millions for Gawker, and Max is trying to save face for the future. Because someone, somewhere, is going to read this article before hiring him, taking on an editorial piece, or anything else. The entire article comes across as: “No, no it really wasn’t that bad. They did some damage, but I’ll still bite your legs off.”

          • Yeah obviously it was bad enough to cause a restructuring of their executive board. I thought that was pretty funny.

            It was amazing because it set them up to take a nasty fall during the Hogan trial. And if some of the mock estimations are true, GG did just enough damage to prevent them from posting the $50 million bond, which could have prevented the bankruptcy.

      • Gamergater #7230

        What is “ODN”?

        • Operation Disrespectful Nod. The e-mail campaign to kill advertising revenue for Gamergate’s enemies.

  • Gorgon

    Even when expecting the worst, Gawker manages to disappoint.

  • Lawton

    Billy, I love the savage glee dripping from this piece. Some of GGs finest moments were brilliant applications of Allinsy’s 4th rule. They can’t condemn GG without looking like the massive hypocrites that they are.

    • Gerg Arata

      Alinsky you mean?

      • Lawton

        Oops. Typo.