When Anti-Bullying Efforts Backfire

It’s hard to tell a story in 140 characters. And sometimes it’s even harder to know who is behind those characters. We at Adobe learned this lesson last week, when we stepped into a controversy called “Gamergate.”

A quick recap, in case you haven’t followed it: A Gawker reporter posted a series of tweets that appeared to condone bullying of gamers. 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). However, as a result of our logo having appeared on the Gawker website, we received tweets that accused us of condoning bullying. One of our employees innocently responded to one of these tweets saying we don’t advertise on Gawker, that we asked them to remove our logo and that we don’t condone bullying. Unfortunately, that tweet was perceived to support Gamergaters and created a firestorm on Twitter. (For those who want all the details on Gamergate, see these articles from the New York Times & Re/Code.) Later that day we tried to clarify our position but clearly we were not explicit enough.

We continue to receive questions, and because it appears that our silence is causing more harm than good, here is our position clearly articulated:

We are not and have never been aligned with Gamergate. 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.

We have taken a strong stance against bullying through our support of the Ad Council’s anti-bullying campaign and, most recently, our own Bully Project Mural. We will continue to speak out against bullying and encourage everyone who feels strongly about this issue to stand up for what is right.

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