Gawker editor in chief resigns after controversial post gets taken down

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Gawker editor-in-chief Max Read is stepping down in protest of a decision by Gawker Media's leadership to take down a controversial post.

"This was not an easy decision. I hope the partnership group recognizes the degree to which it has betrayed the trust of editorial, and takes steps to materially reinforce its independence," Read wrote in a memo posted on Gawker's website.

The resignation follows a tumultuous weekend for the online media company. On Thursday evening, the website published a story that claimed that a Conde Nast executive attempted to solicit a gay escort.

A day later, after a firestorm of criticism, the founder of Gawker, Nick Denton, issued a notice saying that the post would be taken down. Denton said that the decision was made by the managing partners of the company, which includes business side employees, by a vote of 4 to 2.

"Gawker is no longer the insolent blog that began in 2003. It does important and interesting journalism about politicians, celebrities and other major public figures ... It is the first time we have removed a significant news story for any reason other than factual error or legal settlement," Denton wrote.

In the resignation note posted on Gawker on Monday, Read stated in a note to other edit employees: "Ultimately my decision is about the process by which this happened. If the partnership had not conducted some kind of utterly opaque backroom vote to delete it -- if we had simply posted Nick's note, as much I disagreed with and disliked it -- I think this Monday would be very different."

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