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The New York Times fires opinion writer after backlash over ‘faggot’ tweets

Josh Jackman February 14, 2018

(Twitter/quinnnorton)

The New York Times has hired and quickly fired an opinion writer who repeatedly called people on Twitter “fag” and “faggot”.

The Times tweeted on Tuesday morning that Quinn Norton had joined the editorial board as “lead opinion writer on the power, culture and consequences of technology.”

The publication’s editorial page editor James Bennet, along with deputy editorial page editor Katie Kingsbury and op-ed editor Jim Dao, wrote that they were “delighted” with the move.

(Twitter/NYTimesPR)

In a culture which is “aspiring to privacy, transparency and prosperity,” they said, “we’re excited to have Quinn to help our readers understand what’s possible and what’s sensible, and where we’re all headed.”

But the backlash began almost immediately, as followers of Norton pointed out that she had tweeted anti-gay and racist slurs.

Norton, who is in her mid-40s, sent a particularly inflammatory string of tweets to one user in 2013.

(Twitter/quinnorton)

“Srsly, did you just do that after having the discussion about rape culture with me? ARE YOU F**KING KIDDING ME YOU IDOT FAGGOT? [sic]”, she wrote.

Norton, who has also written for Wired magazine, continued: “you are laying waste to your own f**king ideals, you s**t eating hypersensitive little crybaby fag”.

(Twitter/quinnorton)

She continued: “here’s the deal, faggot: free speech comes with responsibility. not legal, but human. grown up. you can do this.”

(Twitter/quinnorton)

Norton added: “look, fag, you’re going to have to walk a far mile to offend me, and you f**king know that”.

(Twitter/quinnorton)

The replies to these tweets are now deleted.

Writing to another person, she tweeted: “sigh, read all the way to the bottom, fag. Love, the bitch.”

(Twitter/quinnorton)

She was also accused of racism.

In 2013, she tweeted that “at this point, as far as I’m concerned no one is a terrorist, in exactly the same way no human being is a n***er.”

(Twitter/quinnorton)

She also retweeted a post which called President Barack Obama a “n***er”.

In 2014, she tweeted: “Today I realised I’d probably make a lot more money being a racist for @nytimes.”

On Tuesday evening, just hours after the original announcement, Bennet made a statement revealing that Norton was being let go from the Times.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 27:  People walk past the New York Times building on July 27, 2017 in New York City.  The New York Times Company shares have surged to a nine-year high after posting strong earnings on Thursday. Partly due to new digital subscriptions following the election of Donald Trump as president, the company reported a profit of $27.7 million in the second quarter, up from $9.1 million in the same period last year.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
(Getty)

“Despite our review of Quinn Norton’s work and our conversations with her previous employers, this was new information to us,” he said.

“Based on it, we’ve decided to go our separate ways.”

Norton defended herself on Twitter, writing: “I’ve been a queer activist since 1992. But when I speak to communities, I used their language to do it.

“I only used it in the context of my work with anons. I used it occasionally when amongst gay friends in our community. That’s not really your business, though,” she added.

(Twitter/quinnorton)

“As I said so many times to the @nytimes, no harm no foul.

“I’m sorry I can’t do the work I wanted to do with them. I wish there had been a way, but ultimately, they need to feel safe with how the net will react to their opinion writers.”

More: Anti-gay, quinn norton, racism, The New York Times, Twitter, US, US

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