You all know Thought Catalog as a reliable source of nonsense ranging from “20 Things Only People With Really Curly Hair Will Understand” and “Thinking About Thinking and Not Thinking.” But did you know they are also a reliable bastion of sexist, homophobic, transphobic, and racist bullshit? Haha of course you did, but in case you’d stopped thinking of it for just one second, Thought Catalog hit you with a double whammy this week.
First, there was Gavin McInnes with another patented “edgy” take on how trans people are just the worst and it is totally cool to be afraid of them because nature says so and we are not going to quote it here because we’d rather slowly remove our organs with the edge of a rusty tin can. Feel free to go read it if you are made of sterner stuff.
After spewing out that puddle of vomit, Thought Catalog licked it all up and puked it out again in the form of “Ferguson, Missouri Looks Like A Rap Video.” Its racism is rivaled only by its incoherence.
So like a normal neighborhood dealing with the loss of someone they love, they started breaking into every shopping center plaza store and gas station. Newsreels yell “Riot!” “Looters!” As every stupid item gets stolen and the “looters” get to burning stores to the ground. You cannot find Jordans, rims, weaves or Quick Trips in Ferguson, MO.
We don’t know what the fuck he is talking about with the whole Jordans and rims thing. Perhaps he is trying humor or perhaps he is really that intensely stupid. Probably both. And “newsreels”? Maybe this was written by a time traveler from 1938? Whatever this Very Special Brew was, it was enough to send Twitter into full WHAT THE FUCK, THOUGHT CATALOG mode, and rightly so. And we did finally get an answer to one of our burning Thought Catalog-related questions, which is “how the fuck does that shit get on there anyway?”
In an email, Thought Catalog publisher Chris Lavergne told me that, in fact, “This particular piece was not screened by a producer.” The bar is extremely low for becoming an approved Thought Catalog contributor — “basically just email us,” according to Lavergne — and then you can publish whatever you want.
So was the outcry over their racism-fest enough to make them rethink that otherwise super-excellent publishing model? Most definitely. Now, they’re still going to let anyone publish any bit of garbage they can scrape off their shoes, but they are not allowed to push Tweet on the Twitter machine. That’ll learn ’em!
Today, in response, we deployed code that blocks community uploads from going straight to our social feeds without human approval. Only staff, independent contractors, and vetted community contributors will now be put into the SocialFlow queue.
Yes, you’ve got that right. Thought Catalog will still continue to be your daily source of unfiltered straight from the tap awfulness, but they won’t auto-tweet it. They may, of course, manually tweet it anyway, but at least then you’ll know that two phenomenally stupid people had to sign off on its Twitter existence – one to write it and one to tweet about it. Comfort yourself with that the next time they let Gavin McInnes say anything about anything.