Reports are starting to come in indicating that the Daily Dot has laid off 20% of its staff. According to a report by Politico, at least 15 people have been let go from upper management, the business department, the art team and the newsroom. [Update: Politico has updated their story to reflect that 40% of the staff from the Daily Dot have been laid off.]
In a statement to Politico, Daily Dot CEO Nicholas White stated…
“While this move is without a doubt the right thing for the long-term sustainability of the Dot, this was an exceedingly tough decision to make. We expect headcount to grow back to yesterday’s level soon, as we hire more people in areas like video, e-commerce and sales”
The move follows a string of content the site has been producing of questionable quality. Just recently they misreported on Ethan Ralph, the owner of the website The Ralph Retort, claiming that he was “The Leader of GamerGate”, a widely reported consumer revolt that has regularly been identified as being leaderless.
Another article proclaimed that the new Ghostbusters reboot, which turned out to be a flop for Sony, was “Gamergate’s worst nightmare”, another piece that was penned by the same author who wrote about Ethan Ralph.
Previously they wrote about how #GamerGate was to blame for Felicia Day getting doxed. The article places the blame of harassment of culture critics like Anita Sarkeesian on #GamerGate, even though there has been no cited evidence that #GamerGate ever actually harassed Sarkeesian, this was even backed up by an investigation into an organization that Sarkeesian bankrolled called Crash Override Network, who couldn’t find any harassment committed by #GamerGate against the critic.
The Daily Dot was also at the forefront of misreporting on the Alison Rapp incident, a former employee of Nintendo. They attributed harassment to #GamerGate and titled the headline “Did GamerGate get this Nintendo employee fired?” and even condemned #GamerGate with quotes from the IDGA as they stated that the organization targeted “Nintendo following Alison Rapp firing”.
They tried to avoid the truth by updating the articles regarding that whole saga by still attributing blame to #GamerGate. However, Rapp was fired for moonlighting as an escort, which is illegal in the state of Washington, which is where the Nintendo headquarters was located that she was working out of.
Those are just a few of the snippets from the Daily Dot regarding the controversial #GamerGate topic. Attempting to get corrections made have proved futile. Moving into the political or identity politics sector is a whole other can of worms.
According to Daily Dot’s CEO Nicholas White, even he acknowledged that the organization is “not always right”, mentioning in the statement to Politico…
“I take pride in the fact that we march to the beat of our own drum. But we’re not always right, not by a long shot. Unfortunately in media today things move quickly and turn on a dime. We need to stay lock-step with our audience.”
If the outlet seems intent on pushing out misinformation or using weasel tactics to avoid providing all the facts, it seems like the natural course of the site’s direction is already set in stone. You can only keep the wool over the eyes of people for so long before they eventually take it off and go elsewhere.