Gawker Media faced with anonymous trolls

A generic image of typing. Gawker Media blog Jezebel has been confronted by an unknown individual or group anonymously posting disturbing content to the site's comment sections, without action from the company's executives.

On Monday, the staff at the Gawker Media site Jezebel wrote a group post criticizing their parent company for refusing to address issues with Kinja, the comment system for the company’s blog network.

In the post, the editors detailed the efforts of an anonymous commenter who was posting graphic .gifs depicting sexual violence in the comments section of many posts.

Click the media player above to hear Erin Ryan, News Editor at Jezebel, in conversation with Marketplace Tech host Ben Johnson

The burner accounts -- a feature added when Gawker’s sites revamped their comment system -- in theory allow people to write about things happening in their companies without going on the record. But that’s not always what’s happening.

The fundamental problem with these images being posted, argues Ryan, is that once a reader has seen the image, they have seen the offending content in its entirety. This, she argues, is emblematic of a broader issue with the internet.

“People who want to make women feel bad for one reason or another have an anonymous forum with no consequences,” says Ryan.

As it stands, Gawker Media has banned image uploading in comments, and the company says it’s working on a longer term solution.

About the author

Ben Johnson is the host of Marketplace Tech.

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