Nitasha Tiku’s Apology
I can only speak for myself, and not for others on Twitter, but I told Nitasha that if she apologized, I’d accept it. AND I’VE ACCEPTED IT, FROM HER. I’m publishing our email exchange regarding the apology below, so that we can separate out the issues on the Valley Wag / Gawker “comfort women” topic.
Here are the issues as I see them:
1. There is a Valleywag post with an unfortunate and offensive headline, penned by Nitasha. She apologized, and it’s up to you to accept or not accept the apology. As I wrote above and on Twitter, I’ve accepted her apology.
2. The editorial position at Gawker, per Deputy Editor, Max Read is making jokes about comfort women or Germany’s Joy Division is okay. To quote Max, “We have spent a long time at Gawker making hyperbolic comparisons between the stories we cover and horrible world-historical events; I don’t imagine we’ll stop soon.”
I don’t agree with this editorial position, but I’m not going to waste any more of my time converting Max or Sam Biddle to my point of view. I can only hope that they mature a little bit and see that this kind of rhetoric is offensive and has actual real world damage. I don’t think that this change will happen at Gawker soon, since their policy is to guarantee writers exposure, in exchange for little pay and long hours, and a little piece of their soul each time a headline like the “comfort women” headline is penned.
In the past, I think that Valleywag was done a great job at times exposing the hypocrisy of Sillicon Valley. But I don’t think that they should alienate their readers (and people working at the companies they cover) through mocking the experience / trauma of historical suffering.
3. Is the Gawker comments section the proper place to have a discussion about Gawker’s mistakes?
I think that Twitter, other blogs, and media publications are the right place to have a discussion about this editorial stance. But that’s part of a larger debate.
Email from Nitasha:
Here’s the email I sent Anna earlier, I should have CC’d you as well. I have apologized for the analogy by responding to the commenter you asked me to respond to. Then I apologized again (I had a meeting in between, was offline for a couple hours and just got back.) It was a regrettable decision, which is also why I’ve also promoted the critical comments on the post. You initially said “we’re the nice people on twitter. if you offer an honest apology, we’ll let this go.” It’s your prerogative to not accept my apology, but it was sincere.