Miserabile dictu! Gawker’s tech and Silicon Valley gossip vertical, Valleywag, has finally been discontinued after 9 years of hectoring, hand-wringing, language-policing and bullying.
The vertical which was headed by tech journalism’s most notorious bully, Sam Biddle, was one of Gawker Media’s less viewed websites, leaving few actually surprised about the closure. The fact that Valleywag’s content relied so heavily on rumours, lies, and playground bully tactics, also doesn’t help with the overall lack of shock at their demise.
Adobe took the radical step of publicly distancing itself from Valleywag and Biddle in a series of tweets in 2014, proclaiming “We are not an advertiser w/ Gawker. We asked Gawker to remove our logo. Adobe stands against bullying,” in retaliation to Biddle’s Twitter antics.
Biddle, whose finest moments have included outing PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, telling his readers that a writer at the Hustle with a brain tumour was lying, and tweeting such gems as “nerds should be constantly shamed and degraded into submission” and “Bring back bullying”, left the vertical in November shortly before its closure to write for Gawker’s main site, though still mainly about the internet.
The reaction to Valleywag’s closure has been favourable, and examples from Valleywag’s own comments section after the announcement include the following: “Good. Biddle took it too a pretty dark, axe to grind place in the most petty ways possible. Even by Gawker standards it was a cess pool of bitterness.”
“Good riddance. Valleywag could’ve been a source for incisive commentary on the serious problems in the tech industry’s hiring practices, use of personal data, etc. But you had to put a sad little waste of carbon like Biddle in charge, of course, and so it turned into petty gossip and endless rants against the trivial shit like surge pricing.”
Charlie Nash is a libertarian writer, memeologist, and child prodigy. When he is not writing, he can usually be found chilling at the Korova Milk Bar, mingling with the infamous. You can follow him on Twitter at @MrNashington.