The women's interest site Jezebel is complaining about the constant offensive images that continue to appear in the comment section below its stories, saying that its parent company is doing nothing to prevent it.
Owned by Gawker Media, Jezebel staff members have asked its New York-based parent site to block users' ability to post these offensive images that have to be removed manually.
In a memo titled "We Have a Rape Gif Problem and Gawker Media Won't Do Anything About It," the staff complained that they had to deal with a "barrage" of "excessively violent" pornographic images each day for months.
They blame the problem on the Gawker-owned software called Kinja. Kinja doesn't ban individual Internet protocol (IP) addresses, even though this could prevent a person at a specific computer from commenting with graphic images.
"Because IP addresses aren't recorded on burner accounts literally nothing is stopping this individual or individuals from immediately signing up for another, " the Jezebel staff writes.
The disturbing images include "gory images of bloody injuries emblazoned with the Jezebel logo."
The excessively violent images are not only upsetting to the readers of the site, but also to the staff that are the ones who have to delete the comments and "by default, now required to view and interact with violent pornography and gore as part of our jobs."
The site was created in 2007 and now has approximately 8.5 million monthly readers in the U.S. The staff's memo received over 250,000 views and 1000 comments in just four hours after it was published.
While Gawker was aware of the problem, Jezebel staff members say nothing has changed.
"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," they write.
Gawker wants their readers to remain anonymous so that they can leak documents and send tips, hence they are reluctant to monitor IP addresses. Gawker editorial director, Joel Johnson took to Twitter to support the staff writers, but said he doesn't yet have a solution.
"I'm in the middle of this company tech thing," Johnson writes in the comment section of the memo, "but I want to say this: this is exactly the right thing to do when people aren't paying proper attention to a real problem; it's not something I completely ignored but I obviously didn't give it proper attention, and I'm sorry about that; give me about 24-48 hours to figure out some sort of fix. It'll involve more than just me to fix it so I need some time to get the right people involved (Tech, etc.) ... Proud to work with you all."
Many people in the Twitterverse commended Jezebel for calling out their bosses and standing firmly against sexist and violent imagery. If Gawker wants to maintain its image as a cutting-edge and progressive media platform they better figure out a fix soon.