The tech industry backlash against Valleywag is in full swing: Tim Herd, a San Francisco-based software engineer, published an “Antigawker” extension for the Chrome internet browser that allows users to read Valleywag without actually clicking on it. The extension automatically displays the Google cache version of the highly negative tech-gossip blog instead.
Herd isn’t the only one who hates Valleywag. Yesterday, Pando Daily’s Paul Carr published a lengthy screed crucifying Valleywag writer Sam Biddle for inciting a “class war” against people employed in the tech business:
Biddle spends his days searching the social media accounts of junior startup employees, looking for any Tweet, blog post or YouTube video that might fit his narrative of arrogant rich kids gone wild.
… Biddle is not so much a normal human being as a grotesque hypocrite, employed by a huge, even more grotesquely hypocritical, media corporation. A corporation which thinks nothing of posting photographs of Trayvon Martin’s corpse on its front page and whose most senior editor believes media ethics to be “part of a process of trying to exclude the hoi polloi from the process of reporting.”
And Capital New York reports that Gawker Media, the owner of Valleywag, was prevented from leasing new office space in Manhattan when staff at nearby offices rented by tech startups complained that they didn’t want to be neighbours with Biddle:
The situation was mentioned at Gawker’s all-staff meeting on December 12th, two people who attended the meeting told Capital.
During the meeting, held at the Scholastic Auditorium in Soho, Gawker Media’s head of operations, Scott Kidder, half-jokingly called out Biddle for messing up the lease.
You can get an idea of just how much tech workers hate Biddle from Tim Herd’s explanation of why he designed the hack:
Chrome extension that replaces all links to any Gakwer [sic] Media sites with links to the google cache. Because those f—ers don’t deserve our clicks. Valleywag’s bulls— faux-class-warfare clickbait does nothing but enrage everyone, all for Gawker’s profit margin. They paint a false picture of software engineers like me, to outrage their readers. Meanwhile, they fill me with existential depression, pointing to startup millionaires and shaming me for not keeping up with these unrealistic Joneses. They are shame based tabloid journalists for tech.