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Jezebel Calls Out Gawker on Rape Gif Problem

August 12, 2014

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The feminist news website Jezebel called out Gawker Media, its parent company, Monday for ignoring the high number of pornographic, rape-themed gifs posted on the site.

In an editorial written by the staff, titled "We Have a Rape Gif Problem and Gawker Media Won't Do Anything About It," the writers said anonymous commenters have been posting offensive gifs depicting rape.

"In refusing to address the problem, Gawker's leadership is prioritizing theoretical anonymous tipsters over a very real and immediate threat to the mental health of Jezebel's staff and readers. If this were happening at another website ... we'd report the hell out of it here and cite it as another example of employers failing to take the safety of its female employees seriously. But it's happening to us. It's been happening to us for months. And it feels hypocritical to continue to remain silent about it," they wrote.

Joel Johnson, editorial director at Gawker Media, apologized on Twitter for his oversight and began posting updates on how the problem was being handled.

Re: Jezebel. 1. They rule. 2. I've dropped the ball and they're right to call me out. 3. I don't have a solution yet but that's my problem.— Joel Johnson (@joeljohnson) August 11, 2014

Quick update: we're disabling all image uploads on comments while we figure out a better long term solution for image trolling. #gawker— Joel Johnson (@joeljohnson) August 12, 2014

Buzzfeed obtained an internal email that said all of Gawker's websites -- Kinja, Gawker, Deadspin, Kotaku, Jezebel, io9, Jalopnik, Gizmodo and Lifehacker -- saw an influx of graphic images, which caused the company to disable all image uploads until it configured a better comment monitoring system.

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Original headline: Jezebel calls out Gawker media for ignoring rape gif problem


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