The face of anti-bullying in 2013
Imagine if King Herod announced January was going to be "protect the children" month. That's roughly akin to Milo Yiannopoulos launching a campaign for online civility on Kernel this month
- There's plenty of stories – and evidence – old and new circulating everywhere on ways Milo has treated those who've worked for, with, or rivaled in the past. These will, inevitably, surface. But why dredge up anything when a public profile works just so easily?
Below are some choice examples of tweets Milo (@nero) has made about Guardian tech editor Charles Arthur – who's been seeking comment from him – over the course of today. They're all open tweets.
- Arthur had asked Yiannopoulos to donate £60 to a deaf children's charity after a copyright dispute. Instead, he sent an intern with £60 in pennies (withdrawn from her own bank account, as it happened) to the Guardian offices, filming the whole shebang here: http://www.kernelmag.com/editors-blog/2750/when-the-kernel-met-charles-arthur/ …
As far as we're aware, the charity never got the cash, incidentally:
Earlier, he'd hectored another Guardian staffer on whether she'd keep her job. Lovely.
- This exec is cited again later, amidst messages about Arthur:
- Some of the surrounding messages:
- Yiannopoulos' ire appears to have been drawn from a series of questions asked ahead of a potential story from Arthur, relating to the non-payment of former Kernel writers (background here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/sep/12/the-kernel-sued-former-contributors …). He quotes a question from an email sent yesterday, now posted in public, about the source of funding for Kernel:
- Another day of media dickishness? Yes. (That's why this is a storify, and not an article). But in a day we've had vitriol thrown, private emails quoted, taunts for merely being pregnant, and public hints people are on their way out – a pretty nasty way to try to discredit working professionals.
People in both the tech and the media are frightened of Milo: he's a man they discuss in DMs, not open Twitter (or open anything) because they don't want to go 18 rounds in public, in exactly this manner.
Those who challenge him publicly – like Charles Arthur – receive waves of vitriol.
It goes further. Numerous people working across tech and the tech press have heard about (in my view) appalling rudeness and nastiness to former associates – even leaving aside the payment disputes themselves.
Why, in such a climate, even try to stake out the moral high ground? Why, in a glasshouse packed with explosives, start throwing grenades?
Sheer obliviousness? Possible, but seems unlikely. Attention-seeking? Maybe – and if so, well done: you got me. But the lack of obvious motive just makes the whole thing unsettling, and saddening.
Surely, surely, it's time to stop.