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July 16, 2015

Feminist Ellen Pao: I Only Failed Because of "Trolls" and Because People Were Mean to Me and Because It's Other People's Fault

Wow, some of these strong, capable This Is What a Feminist Looks Like women are really made of steel, aren't they?

I have just endured one of the largest trolling attacks in history. And I have just been blessed with the most astonishing human responses to that attack.

What happened to me while head of the popular online forum Reddit for the past eight months is important to consider as we confront the ways in which the Internet is evolving. Here’s why:

The Internet started as a bastion for free expression. It encouraged broad engagement and a diversity of ideas. Over time, however, that openness has enabled the harassment of people for their views, experiences, appearances or demographic backgrounds. Balancing free expression with privacy and the protection of participants has always been a challenge for open-content platforms on the Internet. But that balancing act is getting harder. The trolls are winning.


Fully 40 percent of online users have experienced bullying, harassment and intimidation, according to Pew Research. Some 70 percent of users between age 18 and 24 say they’ve been the target of harassers. Not surprisingly, women and minorities have it worst. We were naive in our initial expectations for the Internet, an early Internet pioneer told me recently. We focused on the huge opportunity for positive interaction and information sharing. We did not understand how people could use it to harm others.

The foundations of the Internet were laid on free expression, but the founders just did not understand how effective their creation would be for the coordination and amplification of harassing behavior. Or that the users who were the biggest bullies would be rewarded with attention for their behavior...

...


The writers of these messages often said they could not imagine the hate I was experiencing....

I don't like trolls either, but she was shitcanned because she was a Social Justice Warrior who fired a popular female administrator, and was clamping down on free speech generally, because those are a SJW's core "skills," censorship, and ruining everything.

This woman sure seems to fail a lot, and get fired a lot, and then claim "sexism" and trolls were responsible for her downfall a lot.

But I'm sure she's super-duper qualified and effective.

It's just that, apparently, Failure Is What a Feminist Looks Like, at least to untrained, sexist eyes.

Scapegoated: This piece claims that Ellen Pao was a scape-goat, fired for decisions that actually came from Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian:

Many Reddit users blamed Pao for firing Taylor, adding to complaints they already had about how Pao was managing the site...

But Pao wasn’t the one to fire Taylor, according to Yishan Wong, the site’s CEO before Pao. Instead, it was Reddit cofounder and executive chairman Alexis Ohanian, Wong wrote on the site Sunday night. Pao reported to Ohanian, so she was unable to do anything about his decision, he said.

"When the hate-train started up against Pao, Alexis should have been out front and center saying very clearly 'Ellen Pao did not make this decision, I did,'" Wong wrote. "Instead, he just sat back and let her take the heat. That's a stunning lack of leadership and an incredibly shitty thing to do."

OK, I can buy a cowardly CEO doing this.

However, in that case, why is Pao blaming "trolls" and "sexists" when it was her cowardly boss who is to blame?

Evidence for That? The new Reddit CEO is clamping down on free speech too, suggesting this wasn't Ellen Pao's idea, at least, certainly not her sole idea.


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posted by Ace at 05:32 PM

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