MEDIA
08/13/2014 12:24 pm ET Updated Aug 13, 2014

Gawker Responds To Jezebel's 'Rape Gif Problem' With New Commenting System

Gawker Media

Gawker Media has responded to Jezebel's open letter about violent rape-themed GIFs on its website by bringing back a more selective commenting system.

In a post titled, "We Have a Rape GIF Problem and Gawker Media Won't Do Anything About It," the entire Jezebel staff revealed a trend of "violent pornography" in the discussion area of its stories and called out higher-ups at Gawker for doing nothing to solve the problem. Gawker's CEO Nick Denton, in particular, has a strong belief that user comments are a vital part of online news and a key factor in the success of his websites. But the Jezebel team said that the gifs were "impacting our ability to do our jobs," and it was time for a change.

"In refusing to address the problem, Gawker's leadership is prioritizing theoretical anonymous tipsters over a very real and immediate threat to the mental health of Jezebel's staff and readers," Jezebel wrote Monday.

On Wednesday, Jezebel's Jessica Coen wrote that Gawker has responded to the issue, and will be implementing a "pending comment system."

"We have Gawker HQ's attention," she wrote. "We're finally at the top of to-do list."

The system will ensure that only comments from approved commenters can be seen. Comments from unapproved commenters will be held in a "pending comment queue," which can only be seen if a user chooses to see them by clicking a "see all" button. Responses to comments will also not be automatically visible.

Coen said she and the Jezebel staff are "lucky" to work for a company that delivered results, but not before taking one more dig at the "trolls" who have been flooding the site with such disturbing images.

"The mouth-breathing asshole or assholes behind this deserve a reluctant congrats: A+ trolling job, many headaches induced, ruined a lot of peoples' days, etc.," Coen wrote. "You've given us a stunning example of just how unfathomably ugly the internet can be."

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