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Background: What is Clubhouse? submitted by
You know all those stories of people interrupting
Zoom calls by spamming the link and getting in? What if that, as a business model.
It is still in private beta, has only 1500 users and yet somehow venture capitalists have $12 million invested at a $100 milion dollar valuation
in this. What is Away?
Hardcover suitcases that cost $225 and above.
Hipsters seem to like it
. "The brand is more than just luggage. It’s about travel." It is treated like a tech company by VCs for some godforsaken reason (it has raised $100 million at a $1.4 billion valuation), and the CEO uses a lot of Lean In
rhetoric (female led, inclusive etc.) How New York Times?
The New York Times has hired a reporter, Taylor Lorenz, specifically for "Internet Culture" i.e. HobbyDrama
reporting. (No, seriously, look at the stories she gets to write. For the NYT
!) Pre-Drama Events:
In December 2019, an elaborate investigation was posted by The Verge
(not the NYT, important) about the toxic work culture at Away, with the CEO, Steph Corey, calling workers brain dead and firing someone based on chat in an internal private Slack channel called #Hot-Topics "filled with LGBTQ folks and people of color" (from article).
Korey stepped down
as CEO in December, with another CEO to be selected. She came back
as co-CEO in January because she 'should not have fallen on the sword.' Course of the Drama:
June 30/July 1: On an Instagram AMA, returned co-CEO Korey answered a question
about "women being targeted by the media" (I presume the AMA went in that direction) by talking about media having an incentive to clickbait in the social media era that and women (like her) were targeted because women are supposed to be motherly, ambitious women like Hillary are targeted by the media, some millennial women who work in the media forgo their ethics to advance their career because old media ethics are being eroded.
The Verge investigation was done by Zoë Schiffer, a “millennial woman.”
Incensed by this, Lorenz posts the IG pics on twitter (previous link from her) and speculates that this AMA exists because of a piece on the disgracing of the “girlboss” stereotype
. To recap, neither the original story, nor the Atlantic op-ed were written by her.
Techbros start sharing the same pics of the AMA as a balanced
Until this point, #bothsides, let them fight
, etc. Enter Balaji Srinivasan
. Here is a pompous bio
He starts attacking
Lorenz (again, not the writer of any of the stories
). Lorenz says the guy has been obsessively attacking her for quite some time on Clubhouse
gussied up public Webex calls (in tweets after the linked tweet).
Then anti-Lorenz sockpuppet accounts
start being created to attack her.
An elaborate website
is linked by the accounts, specifically to attack her. (Click the link, it is deranged as all hell.)
Taylor asks Ben Horowitz (of multi-billion dollar Andreessen Horowitz, where Balaji has worked before) to get him to stop. Gets blocked
Then the Andreessen Horowitz batch have a conversation on Clubhouse
Discord without texting with Lorenz. After Taylor leaves, (this part leaked to Vice
, so you can go listen) Ben Horowitz’ wife, Felicia says that Taylor is playing the “woman card to defend herself.” Balaji implies that she may be “afraid of a brown man.”
And then the conversations ascend
”the entire tech press was complicit in covering up the threat of COVID-19,”
relying on the press is “outsourcing your information supply chain to folks who are disaligned with you,”
”Media corporations are not the free press, any more than chain restaurants are food “
“why does press have a right to investigate private companies, let the market decide, I don’t understand who gives them that right” (Note: Probably from another conversation by some CEO)
Also something about Github, VC funding and Blockchains being a better model for journalism. (Bitconeeeect!!
Then Vice reports on it.
Tech media rallies around Taylor [retweets on her twitter
]. Glenn Greenwald
pokes his nose and says otherwise, because Greenwald.
VCs support their own (along with MC Hammer??
because he’s also on Clubhouse
the conference calls you join “for fun” app? So is Oprah???), with opinions like
I’ve never met a VC more powerful than a journalist. One can block me from accessing capital. The other has controlled the narrative / perception of my entire race for decades.
And other nuclear fucking takes retweeted by Felicia Horowitz And Balaji?
When reached for comment, Balaji claims recording it was illegal
(which, idk, haven’t seen the Terms of Service, only 1500 people can use Clubhouse
the Twitch app, but you don’t have video and chat has audio) And then he announces a $1000 bounty for memes and analysis of this event. (paid in Bitcoin, obviously, this whole scenario is a damn meme)
This gets the creator of Ruby on Rails/Basecamp to defect to the media’s side Aftermath? (This is a current story):
VCs (like Paul Graham
) declare that the media hates them because they are losing power
Media Twitter decides VC Twitter is trying to reanimate the corpse of #GamerGate
Steph Korey, the instigator of this spiraling nonsense? Away says she has decided to step down (redux)
because an employee revolt over her IG post.
(Recap: Away sells hardcases to hypebeasts. They are worth a billion because of VCs)
Balaji, rich VC guy, has memes on his timeline?
has not weighed in yet, if you are curious]
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