No company is going to stand up to a mob

Impossible scenario: The Twitter mob chooses someone to make an example of. They go after that person's job. The company says "We're standing behind our employee." It'll never happen. Companies have to make the right business decision. And that means firing the radioactive person and replacing them with someone who is not radioactive.

  • Standing behind the employee would just fuel the rage, and cause the company itself to become the target of the mob, probably even more than the employee. Boycott. The management would be fired, and replaced by people who will do the right thing for the business. Which is why no company will stand up to the mob.

A few weeks ago one of the maintainers of node.js was fired because he didn't accept a check-in that would have made language in the code be gender neutral (at least that was my read of it as an outside observer). There was some question whether he understood what was being asked of him because English wasn't his native language. What an ugly scene, for so little, from someone who was so generous!

I have been surrounded like this myself, many times, over the years. Believe me, the mob has tried to get me fired. If I had had a real job I'm sure they would have. When I was the CEO of a company, the mob went after our families. These are not principled acts. Don't kid yourself. If they think they can get you fired for having the wrong political opinion, they will.

I've been told that "Free speech has consequences." Everything has consequences, like hounding people for practicing free speech. The consequence is that people won't speak. Great. What a cruel joke if the greatest communication medium ever invented was used to stifle communication.

Last built: Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 11:23 AM

By Dave Winer, Sunday, December 22, 2013 at 8:28 PM. So, it has come to this.