But Adobe employee calls tweet a “case of mistaken identity,” promises an update
On Tuesday, Adobe used its official Twitter account to post a condemnation of Gawker Media over accusations of “bullying.” In a confusing move, an Adobe employee tweeted roughly an hour later that the company’s original post was “mistaken,” but as of press time, the original post in question had yet to be taken down or modified.
(As this back-and-forth involves the latest wave of activity attached to the #GamerGate hashtag, you’ll want to study up if you’ve missed out on the hashtag’s rise in recent months.)
On Tuesday morning, a user tweeted at Adobe with #GamerGate hashtags and accusations that Gawker “endorses bullying and hate speech,” along with a call for the company to remove its advertising from Gawker’s network. The tweet didn’t specify where that “endorsement” came from, but another post from that user’s Twitter account pointed to tweets made by Valleywag editor Sam Biddle last week, including statements such as “bring back bullying” and “I’m getting a raise because I made gamers cry.”
These posts came after other jokes and criticism Biddle had posted about #GamerGate. In particular, Biddle criticized a YouTube video that had purported to sum up the hashtag’s concerns about game journalism ethics, but the video relied heavily on recent, refuted accusations while brushing off violent, anonymous threats linked to #GamerGate. Biddle also later apologized for his tweets, and Gawker followed that by distributing an internal memo about the incident, telling its employees, “when a tweet could be innocently misinterpreted, don’t tweet.”
Adobe’s official account posted a response indicating that it was not actively advertising on the site and had asked Gawker to remove its logo (presumably from the company’s “Partners” page, which no longer exists on the network’s advertising hub), then added, “Adobe stands against bullying.”
The tweet attracted a wide variety of responses, alternating between support from active #GamerGate participants and accusations that Adobe was allying with a “hate group.” People who made the latter statement linked to a recent Gawker network report breaking down statements and tactics that had been linked to #GamerGate.
Adobe product manager Divya Manian later responded to the Adobe tweet by saying, “We are working on it; it was a case of mistaken identity,” without clarifying whose identity was mistaken (as the earlier post came from Adobe’s confirmed, blue-checkmark Twitter account). Manian also retweeted a comment by threatened game developer and #GamerGate critic Brianna Wu that read, “I just got off the phone with Adobe. Stay tuned,” implying that a reversal of course would follow.
This was the second major story in the past month linking tech companies and pulled advertising campaigns, following Intel’s decision to pull ads from game development and criticism site Gamasutra after being targeted by an e-mail campaign known as Operation Disrespectful Nod. It also followed a rise in mainstream #GamerGate coverage from outlets such as the New York Times and MSNBC. That coverage has largely focused on the public faces of #GamerGate, almost exclusively women in the game industry who have faced threats and harassment.
On Tuesday night, Adobe sent Ars an e-mail that said, “Please read our Twitter response to this matter.” The e-mail then linked to a single sentence from Adobe’s official Twitter account, which read, “We are vehemently opposed to bullying of any kind and would never support any group that bullies.” That Twitter feed did not clarify whether the company was accusing anybody in particular of bullying, but the original tweet about Gawker remained live on Adobe’s feed.
Our questions about whether the company believed Gawker promotes bullying, or what Divya Manian meant about “mistaken identity,” were left unanswered.
by Sam Machkovech – Oct 21 2014 – view source