Recently someone pointed me to an article on a site I’d never seen before. It’s called Uproxx. The tag line is The Culture of What’s Buzzing.
After looking at the staff page I’m guessing that the “culture” they’re referring to is the culture of 20 something caucasian men. Which is fine, but it’s a narrow field of vision and there’s so much privilege in there that it might be difficult for these young men to actually understand consequences.
So I thought I’d address them here. Similarly to how they addressed my friend Calvin Lee (but I’ll leave out the threats of violence).
A recent post by the editor in chief begins by stating as fact:
By now everyone knows that Klout is terrible.
Well, that’s not entirely true. In fact Klout has some really great points to it. All measurement will have a downfall here or there but adults know these things. A discerning reader would know that this post is now a straight opinion piece. Right? Because a reputable site would mark it as such or they’d be worried about things like integrity and lawsuits.
Not those kids at Uproxx, they’re too indy for that.
In paragraph two the writer (actually the editor in chief) makes some assertions about the Klout algorithm. It’s adorable and I want to pinch his chubby little cheeks. Especially when he uses an asterisk instead of spelling out motherfucker… because that is hardcore. If he was right about the algorithm it might have been cuter.
By way of disclosure I know this to be true because I have a loose affiliation with Klout that makes me part of the Klout Squad. They’ve given me a tee shirt and a water bottle. Look at me, I’m rich.
Paragraph three starts with this:
Take, for instance, this guy — Calvin Lee — mentioned in the journalistic blowjob Wired recently gave Klout. He exemplifies everything that is wrong with Klout and the people who care about it.
Yes, Brett Michael Dykes is criticizing Wired Magazine’s journalistic integrity. I’ll give you a moment to let that sink in. Brett Michael Dykes asserts that Wired Magazine needs help with their journalism.
Stop laughing so loud. It’s hard for me to concentrate when you do that.
So far this is all very ranty and does nothing but make the writer look like a petulant child. The site clearly has a large (the media kit says 3 million a month) but very narrow readership and one can only suppose that their readers will grow out it very soon.
Here’s where I have huge problems with Brett Michael Dykes. Read this:
I hope Calvin Lee — who follows 80,000 people on Twitter (following an impossible number of people for a human to actually follow is another way to raise your Klout score, naturally) — gets eaten by a grizzly bear. No, seriously, I really do.
Brett. I know you’ll see this because the internet is actually quite small. You’ve called Calvin names and I’ll go to my grave defending your right to do that. What you should not do, and what no one should ever do is use their bully pulpit as a place to call for the physical harm of another human being.
I understand that you were trying to be funny by saying a grizzly bear should eat Calvin. Unfortunately it’s just plain threatening.
I don’t want to make too much of this by saying that Uproxx threatened Calvin Lee’s life or livelihood. I do know that posts like this make it dangerous to be Calvin and I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some level of legal remedy he could seek.
It’s also probably worth noting that Calvin is a beloved figure in the Silicon Beach tech scene and is known for helping people launch their businesses.
We know that Uproxx is basically a blog with a bunch of contributors. Journalists, investors and lawyers, I’m asking you the tough question. What should Uproxx do?