June 18, 2013

Vice #epicfail #woops

Today, Twitter is up in arms at the latest fashion shoot to have offended lots of women on the web, and the enraged tweets keep on rolling. This is how NOT to engage with a community of women, especially those who are fans of literature.

So, in the red corner we have famously outspoken and ‘hipster’ magazine VICE magazine, renowned for their edgy and alternative journalistic tendencies and explosive editorial calendar. Naughty Vice appear to really have gone too far in an attempt to take an arty spin on suicide. This time, the magazine is clearly in a bit of deep water following their decision to publish a series of ‘fashion’ inspired shots of models styled as famous historical writers. The offensive bit? The models have been briefed to pose as these famous writers right before they killed themselves.

In other fighting corner, we have the women’s blog Jezebel who describe themselves as a new-source for women but ‘without airbrushing’. These bloggers definitely are not afraid of telling us how it is which is why we love them so much. However, the Twittersphere is using their link to share and reshare this post thus becoming the source of this anger and outrage. Even though Jezebel highlight that they are against the published material, they have interestingly decided to post all of the offensive content onto their own blog. HOWEVER, I am definitely team Jezebel here and respect their decision to be open about discussing the content. Vice on the other hand have deleted said images (sadly it still exists in print). I always think its a bit of a dodgy rash decision when the editors literally just pull down the content – it’s the weaker option in my opinion. They’ve basically got “oh SHIT hide it all. just HIDE IT” written on their sweaty foreheads.

Newstatemen’s Deputy Editor Helen Lewis wasted no time in bringing her sparky  point of view to our attention (and she kind of had a point). With many of her followers mainly agreeing with her, comparing this to other the news sources who appear outraged to ‘dreadful sexism’ then go and link to images and video sources anyway. Is it ironic that blogs just reblog the same content that they are opposed to?

The confusion gets worse. Who’s in the wrong? Who’s content is bad here? Guardian Web Editor Jonathan Haynes explains the muddled territory of shared blog content.

Writer for The Nation Greg Mitchell is like, OK to Vice have removed it but Jezebel hasn’t. WHAT?

Mumsnet Editor Sarah Crown is not happy with this feature angle from Vice either although she links through to the Jezebel article. She shames the writer to tried using an ‘arty and on-trend’ hook in order to gather mass attention.

Vagenda magazine comment on the fact that fashion has too many close parallels with death. This cannot be healthy or good for fashion followers.

Sian Meades, editor of Domestic Sluttery cannot deny the image quality but this doesn’t deter her belief that they are damaging.

Guardian writer Hadley Freeman gives a good point to the argument. Vice actually most probably want this attention, she says. Potential Vice internal meeting discussion: “Any publicity is good publicity, right?” I don’t think it’s a sensible publishing model, personally. But I’m with you Hadley, don’t give them what they want!

Writer and light-hearted feminist Caitlin Moran eases everyone’s worry with a tweet confirming that she is safe. A popular response from Caitlin to brighten up the dark mood on Twitter.

Radio presenter and writer Lauren Laverne joins in the conversation with Caitlin to let us know she is also not planning to make any rash decisions anytime soon. They are SAFE.

And then on the other hand we have columnist at Yahoo! James Robins who needs the whole malarky explained to him. He doesn’t quite get it. Poor guy.

Will all crises we all know that we cannot please everyone. A writer from New York below explains why these things NEVER turn out well for those involved:

What do YOU think? Are you outraged by Vice’s editorial decision, are you equally baffled at Jezebel’s decision to publish the images?

  • It’s art at the end of the day, photography is art. It is supposed to controversial, I bet they loved the debate it caused! PR brilliance!

  • Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact
    was a amusement account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you!
    However, how could we communicate?

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