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Adobe Distances Itself From Gawker After Writer's Gamergate Tweet

Here we go again.

wellesenterprises / iStock

Gamergate has declared another victory after software maker Adobe implicitly condemned a recent series of tweets from Gawker writer Sam Biddle that made fun of the Gamergate movement.

Biddle’s tweets came in the aftermath of generally negative coverage of Gamergate by many of Gawker Media’s blogs — including the main Gawker blog, for which he penned a piece, as well as gaming blog Kotaku, feminist blog Jezebel and sports blog Deadspin.

In one tweet, Biddle said the online movement, which is ostensibly about journalistic ethics but is in fact about trying to censure any discussion of gender politics in the gaming industry, reaffirmed the idea that “nerds should be constantly shamed and degraded into submission.”

To Gamergate supporters, who believe that media collusion and “corruption” have kept them from being heard, this was like throwing a lit match into a powder keg. Whether he was joking or not (and Biddle’s Twitter persona is very often jokey), his tweet bolstered a widely-held Gamergate narrative: That they, rather than the game developers and critics who have had their lives threatened as a result of Gamergate, are the real victims, and are being bullied by radical feminists.

“I have literally not seen a single person who is not a Gamergate supporter who did not get that I was very obviously joking,” Biddle said in an email to Re/code. “Not a single one.”

Pressed for a response to Biddle’s tweet by a Gamergate supporter, Adobe initially tweeted the following:

https://twitter.com/Adobe/status/524625011919708160

By “remove our logo,” Adobe is referring to a section of Gawker’s advertising info page that already disappeared days ago (though an archived version of the page with the section intact is available here), which contained the logos of brand “partners” Gawker Media had worked with in the past, including Adobe.

Adobe confirmed via email that the tweet did come from them, and spokespersons directed Re/code to another tweet from the same account, issued seven hours later:

https://twitter.com/Adobe/status/524727259844718592

The relationship between Adobe’s tweeted condemnation and Gamergate is more tenuous than Intel’s prior turn in a similar position. Earlier this month, Intel pulled its advertising from the website Gamasutra under pressure from Gamergate supporters, who were unhappy with an opinion column written by Gamasutra editor-at-large Leigh Alexander. Intel also apologized for its association with the movement after the fact, but declined to reverse the ad pull.

Gawker Media did not respond to a request for comment.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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