In a tweet last week, Adobe said that it was pulling its sponsorship from Gawker and that it “stands against bullying.”
Many took that to be in response to a series of tweets by Valleywag’s Sam Biddle, in which he joked about bullying and took aim at Gamergate supporters.
But, according to Adobe, it seems that it was all just a matter of bad timing.
“We were mistakenly listed as an advertiser on the Gawker website (which we are not), so we asked Gawker to remove our logo (which they did),” the post reads. “However, as a result of our logo having appeared on the Gawker website, we received tweets that accused us of condoning bullying.”
According to the statement, it seems that Adobe did not pull the logo in response to Biddle’s tweets or in response to anything other than the fact that it was mistakenly there to begin with.
The blog post then re-asserts Adobe’s “strong stance against bullying,” and that it does not condone bullying in any sense of the word. “We are not and have never been aligned with Gamergate,” the post says. “We reject all forms of bullying, including the harassment of women by individuals associated with Gamergate. Every human being deserves respect, regardless of gender, orientation, appearance, personal hobbies or anything else that makes individuals who they are.”
The Gamergate controversy involves death threats via tweets (or comments on blogs) aimed at women who have criticised sexism in the gaming industry. The Gamergate camp is composed of people who believe that the reaction to those threats is overblown, or that some of the threats were scams on the part of the women or that the men who play video games are the real victims, as they are being painted as misogynists.
Although this instance seems to be an issue of bad timing, it’s not too farfetched for people to have assumed it was in response to the Gamergate controversy.
Some Gamergate supporters have created a five-point campaign
in order to get companies such as Adobe and others to pull support from sites they view as being anti-Gamergate, according to The Washington Post.
Mercedes-Benz pulled advertising from Gawker, according to the Washington Post. It later reinstated its ad campaign.
And Intel pulled advertising from gaming site Gamasutra over an opinion piece about sexism in the gaming industry. Intel later apologised, but said it was not reinstating its ads.