Gizmodo Bans Its Own Editor For Breaching Comments Policy

This site has a fairly liberal comments policy, but there are certain limits that everyone is asked to observe, the most important of which is the requirement to respect other commenters.

You might imagine that the most important is not to piss off the site owners, but that’s very much a secondary objective, as long as the discussion carries on in a reasonably decent way.  Many posts here are written for the purpose of encouraging debate, and sometimes the plan works.  Sometimes, of course, it doesn’t.

The comments policy on this site is stripped back.  Don’t attack other commenters, don’t be racist, don’t be sexist, and don’t try to tell me how to run my own site.

That seems fairly reasonable, wouldn’t you think?

There’s no doubt that some people have been banned over the years, but in all cases, that was because they tried to disrupt discussion or because they thought they made the rules.  If they had shown some respect for others, and if they had acknowledged that they didn’t control the site, they would still be here, but that’s stupidity for you.

All well and good.  The positive side is that we encourage disagreement and debate.

What then to make of Gizmodo, one of the most prominent websites in the world?  While casually browsing through an article on Google’s new terms, I was astounded to read a moderator’s response to a reader who disagreed with the post.  Jesus Diaz, the editor, didn’t just challenge the reader.  Instead, he accused him of sucking the corporate cock, and went on to indulge in a macho, chest-beating warning to all Gizmodo readers.  Cross the line and you’re out.

Guys, it’s just a fucking website.  That’s all.  Just a motherfucking website.  By all means challenge bad behaviour, but don’t threaten the people who form the backbone of your business.

What a fool.

Sometimes, though rarely, I have to block people because of certain behaviour, but it isn’t a reason to threaten all my readers.  I value them and I understand that I have no business trying to treat them like children.  If I behaved like Jesus Diaz, this site would end up with no commenters  at all.

Almost uniquely, Gizmodo has decided to ban one of its own editors and quite properly so.  Jesus Diaz behaved exactly like the sort of trolling asshole any of us would ban in the blink of an eye and if he appeared on this site displaying such ridiculous pumped-up aggression, he would immediately be blocked.

The blocking would not be temporary.

Gizmodo’s real editor wrote a post explaining why he had to ban Diaz and displaying a commendable loyalty, but in truth, Jesus has already fired himself.  Any of the commenters on this site would know better.  They wouldn’t put me in such a fix and that’s why I find myself baffled that the owner of a site as widely-read as Gizmodo should find himself so stuck

4 thoughts on “Gizmodo Bans Its Own Editor For Breaching Comments Policy

  1. Bock,

    What am I missing here, why are you so baffled?

    Gizmodo has readership numbering millions and elicits thousands of responses daily to a wide variety of articles which, I imagine, requires a large team of moderators to supervise. Is it so unusual to have a bad egg in the box?

    Moreover, Gizmodo commenters are from a wide variety of national and ethnic backgrounds and so there may be undercurrents of tension ‘twixt those who comment and those who moderate which are not obviously or immediately apparent. Also, as we all know, the written word, lacking clear tone, is not always interpreted in the way it was intended and this could cause someone – who should know better – to take it out of context, lose his or her cool and remark inappropriately or, as in this case, most foully.

    Your blog, which I love to peruse when I have time has a more regional focus of attention, more specific content and generally, it seems to me, a readership and commenters who share something, probably a delight in your articles and therefore almost a corps d’espirit and so would not trouble you with trolling or argument. As you put it, they know better.

    So, again, why are you so baffled?

  2. I’m only baffled in the sense that these errors are obvious and elementary. Is Gizmodo run by people so inept? That’s what baffles me.

  3. Well I quickly had a look at some of the comments written by Sen. Diaz and did ask myself how the feck he could have been considered for an editorial position.

    So, yes, probably a degree of ineptitude is at the root of it.

    We are surrounded by it, it permeates the very air we breathe, as ubiquitous, though hardly as elusive as that particle of Higgs Boson.

  4. Gizmodo is a Gawker site. They live on linkbait and inflammatory commentary. Producing this dreck required editors that know how to stoke the fire. Their hitcount speech also invites the worst type of commenters. The only thing unusual is that Diaz – a man in his mid thirties that acts like a fucking 12 year-old – can’t keep his mouth shut. If the site had any respect for itself, it would have enforced the ban like it would have against any commenter – permanently. But, again, it’s a Gawker site.

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