New York Times hires a writer to cover “the consequences of technology,” burning for her tweets hours later

The New York Times has fired an opinion writer it hired only a few hours previously, stating her past tweets.


Just a few hours after The New York Times heralded the hiring of a lead opinion writer to cover the “power, culture and the impact of technology on Tuesday, the paper fired the new writer — quote, in an ironic twist, her past tweets.

Quinn Norton, who has written for such publications as Wired and the Atlantic ocean was brought on to help readers with the feeling of the ‘ deep uncertainty about the role of technology in our lives,” according to a Times statement, issued early Tuesday.

Norton immediately celebrated the news on her blog on the crowdfunding website Patreon on Tuesday, writing that the Times had first approached her in January — and remained interested despite her misgivings.

.@quinnnorton has joined the @nytimes editorial board as a lead opinion writer on power, culture, and consequences of technology. Read in a comment of @jbennet, @katiekings and @jimdao

— The New York Times Communications (@NYTimesPR) February 13, 2018

Even after she admitted to the Times that the job may not be a good fit and that they are “strange,” she wrote, “they kept talking to me,” ultimately leading her to take the job offer — and stop accepting donations from fans on Patreon.

“On a more practical note, I will not collect from Patreon funds for the foreseeable future. I’ve arranged for money,” she wrote.

But Twitter users quickly called foul on a large number of online messages they discovered by Norton, including one in which she acknowledged she was “friends with several neo-nazis”, even though they “never agreed with them.”

In other posts, Norton, or vulgar terms themselves, or retweeted others do. Norton account once retweeted a word that was derogatory to African-Americans.

“I wish there was a way, but eventually, they have to feel safe with how the net will react on their opinion writers.”

– Fired NYT writer Quinn Norton

The Times in a statement Tuesday evening announcing that Norton was fired.

“Despite our review of Quinn Norton’s work and our conversations with her previous employers, this is new information for us,” read a statement from the editorial page editor James Bennet.

After her termination, Norton called the situation a “context collapse” on Twitter, what her views are misinterpreted.

“[N]o harm, no foul,” Norton wrote on Twitter. “I’m sorry, I can’t do the work I wanted to do with them. I wish there was a way, but eventually, they have to feel safe with how the net will react on their opinion writers.”

On her Patreon, which was open for donations on Tuesday night, Norton added: “Well, that was fun. Ignore the last post. I go to bed.”


Gregg Re is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @gregg_re.

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