Employees of a media company that owns Sports Illustrated and Maxim are demanding that the publisher shut down “Blue Lives Matter,” a website reporting on law enforcement news.
The Daily Beast reported that the call to pull the plug on Blue Lives Matter, came during a staff meeting Friday where Maven Media Brands announced an across-the-board 15% salary cut to counter the deep losses in advertising revenue triggered by the coronavirus.
The nationwide George Floyd protests were cited as the reason behind their demand along with what was referred to as “racist” comments in the comment section of the site.
Maven’s CEO and founder James Heckman acknowledged the concerns but also stressed the company’s mission to promote an open dialogue.
Heckman told the workers that he would ask Maven’s board to remove the Blue Lives Matter website.
While an announcement has not been made on the status of the popular website, it appears that content has halted and their website says the following:
We launched Blue Lives Matter a few years ago with the vision of honoring the lives of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty and celebrating the many acts of heroism, kindness and public service to our community.
The name of our site came to be interpreted by some as something it wasn’t intended. Additionally, our community forum — as the last two weeks painfully illustrated — has been overrun by people more focused on division and hate rather than constructive, civil conversation.
We have millions of participants on our website each month who are respectful and committed to civil discussions, and our journalists have worked very hard, for years, to report fact-based stories that were not otherwise available. Unfortunately, especially with recent events, it has become impossible to manage the influx of others who have come here to spew racist comments and encourage violence. They have, quite frankly, destroyed the vision and intent of our media platform.
Additionally, we joined Maven because we bought into the vision that diverse voices on the issues should come together into a civilized coalition of professionals, so consumers could participate in meaningful and respectful discussions and learn from reading stories from every possible point of view. Outside forces have ruined the opportunity for our community.
As a result, we are taking a temporary step back on the website and are making new plans and tactics to move forward and fulfill our original vision and mission. Our plan is to return on a separate platform, but with a new name, new controls on community moderation and a new focus on guardrails to allow for free but civil speech. To that end, we will need volunteers to help us moderate our community. Please submit your e-mail below if you are interested in helping.
Hate has no place in the hearts of Americans, and we will continue to fight against it in all of its forms. Right now we believe it’s important to take a pause, but you’ll be hearing from us soon.
Blue Lives Matter has been a partner and friend to Law Officer for the last two years. Their staff are nothing more than remarkable and we are saddened that in the midst of the hate and discrimination in our country, that their platform has been removed.
Two weeks ago, Law Officer began receiving a series of coordinated attacks in an attempt to take our website offline. Thanks to our fantastic tech team and along with some money we had to spend, we have been able to sustain these attacks.
Blue Lives Matter resided on a media platform that, unfortunately, they did not control. Our friends at Blue Lives will be back and better than ever and we wish them well.
They are actively looking for volunteers to assist them as they transition to a traditional server. You can go here to help.