Valleywag Fires Writer Who Criticized Valleywag

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Apparently everything and everyone is fair game at Silicon Valley gossip site Valleywag. Or, almost everything. Write a post criticizing Valleywag itself, and two weeks later you’re out of a job.

Writer Jordan Golson is the person who finds himself out of work, possibly based on a single critical post about his employer. His post, written on April 1 (but not an April Fools joke), complained that pay was being lowered, but no one knew the details even after they took effect. “Writers are getting a paycut, but are expected to continue working even though we don’t know what we’re getting paid,” adding “We should not be expected to work blind.”

That may not have sat well with Golson’s boss, Owen Thomas. He apparently fired Golson via telephone, and followed up via instant message:

12:13:51 PM Owen Thomas: So traffic was certainly not the issue, I can tell you that much
12:14:13 PM Owen Thomas: It had something to do with what you wrote about, when you wrote, and how you wrote
12:15:02 PM Owen Thomas: And I saw no swift resolution to that.

This was forwarded to me by someone else and I haven’t been able to reach Golson for comment. I’ll update with any additional information.

Update: I spoke to Golson, who says he has no idea why he was fired, but says it probably wasn’t solely due to the April 1 post. It may have also been due to a “lack of enthusiasm” following the pay cuts.

Update 2: Golson now says in the comments that his April 1 post had nothing at all to do with his firing, and that is his final position on the matter. His email, on record and off record comments (as well as Owen’s IMs) are starting to confuse me in their contradictions, I’m moving on.

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