Just days after writers at Gawker’s Jezebel site complained that bosses were enabling bullying by allowing trolls to post comments without moderation or oversight, Jezebel published this headline…
The post continued:
This morning Anonymous tweeted the name of the police officer they claim killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri on Saturday, August 9. The name has not been confirmed by national media nor Ferguson police because of death threats that have been levied against the officer and his family. Ironic, no?
A few hours later, after it was confirmed that the officer named by Anonymous was neither responsible for the killing, nor… um… actually a cop, Gawker.com posted this…
Everybody knew there would be repercussions if “Anonymous”—or whoever runs the now-suspended @TheAnonMessage Twitter account—released the name of the police officer it thought killed Michael Brown and turned out to be incorrect.
Well that is what happened, and here are the repercussions: A 48-year-old handicapped woman crying on the porch of her home.
Shockingly, Gawker’s second report neglected to note that just a few hours earlier, its own colleagues had been amongst the first to repeat as fact what later turned out to be unsubstantiated crap, leading to unimaginable distress for the disabled mother of the falsely accused man.
Emotional distress caused by lack of editorial oversight: Only bad if it happens to Gawker.