Gawker/Valleywag gossip writer Sam Biddle, who has written sensational, inflammatory, abusive articles about people in tech for years as if we’re trashy celebrities (who also don’t deserve the abuse, but at least they’re accustomed to it), comes so close to a bigger revelation in this marvelously introspective piece:
I’ve been asked many times if I would post Sacco’s tweet all over again, and I still don’t know how to answer. Would I post the tweet again? Sure. Would I post the tweet knowing it’s going to cause an incredibly disproportionate personal disaster for Justine Sacco? No. Would I post the tweet knowing it could happen? Now we’re in dicey territory, and I’m thinking of ghosts: If you had a face-to-face sit-down with all of the people you’ve posted about, how many of THOSE would you do again? We’re wading through swamps and thorns, here.
Please, Sam. Wade through those thorns. It really is that bad. Every time, there’s a human on the other side that you’re trivializing, misrepresenting, and ruining — all for just one more post, among many, to feed the endless machine today.
Is this really the kind of work you want to devote your life to? That’s a choice you make, and it’s not your only option.
It isn’t too late to change.