In the midst of some of the most grotesque trolling imaginable, Gawker Media has decided to start doing its part to combat Internet sexism — and, at the same time, to take seriously the legitimate complaints of its staffers at Jezebel, who publicly charged their parent company with failing to address incessant commenter misogyny earlier in the week. On Wednesday, Jezebel posted a follow-up memo stating that Gawker has finally made the staff’s concerns a top priority.
In Wednesday’s post, Jezebel editor in chief Jessica Coen commended Gawker for instituting a temporary fix, which should prevent the incidence of more anonymous graphic rape pornography in comments by disabling image uploads. She also noted that the company is working on a more permanent solution:
Gawker Media’s leadership from both tech and editorial has been working around the clock to get both a short-term solution in place as well as making larger systematic changes necessary to improve the commenting environment across all of our sites. … As for the long-term fix, we’re reintroducing the pending comment system. …
We hope to have this system solidly in place within the next 24 hours. And Gawker Media is not walking away from this problem with the launch of the pending queue; it’s just one of many continuing improvements that we hope to see sooner rather than later.
While (obviously) it would have been ideal for Gawker to have listened to its employees about ongoing sexual trauma in the first place, it’s heartening to see that the company has taken swift action to prevent any additional strain on its readers and writers. In a climate where women are often shut down for daring to voice their opinions online, Gawker’s move is a positive sign — of which Coen took note. “This ordeal has been unpleasant,” she wrote, ”but we’re lucky to work at a company where raising hell gets you results instead of getting you canned.”