After a Twitter Storm, The Times and a New Hire Part Ways
By JIM WINDOLF
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On Tuesday afternoon, The New York Times announced that it had hired Quinn Norton, a journalist and an essayist known for her work at Wired magazine, as the editorial board’s lead opinion writer on technology.
On Tuesday evening, Ms. Norton said in a Twitter post that she would no longer be joining The Times.
Between the two statements, a social media storm had erupted, with Ms. Norton at the center of it, because of her use of slurs on Twitter and her friendship with Andrew Auernheimer, who gained infamy as an internet troll going by the name “weev.” Mr. Auernheimer now works for The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website.
The Twitter campaign against Ms. Norton focused on a tweet from October in which she said that “weev is a terrible person, & an old friend of mine.” It also turned up years-old tweets by Ms. Norton in which she used slurs against gay people and another in which she retweeted a racial slur.
James Bennet, the editorial page editor of The Times, said in a statement on Tuesday night: “Despite our review of Quinn Norton’s work and our conversations with her previous employers, this was new information to us. Based on it, we’ve decided to go our separate ways.”
Ms. Norton, who did not immediately reply to a request for comment, said in her Twitter post: “I’m sorry I can’t do the work I wanted to do with them. I wish there had been a way, but ultimately, they need to feel safe with how the net will react to their opinion writers.”
In a blog post on Tuesday published soon after the announcement that she would join The Times, Ms. Norton said those who had interviewed her for the position “made it clear that they weren’t going to get put off by a little weird.”
She added, “As for how weird, well, that’s for them to discover.”
A version of this article appears in print on February 14, 2018, on Page B4 of the New York edition with the headline: The Times and a Newly Hired Opinion Writer Part Ways. Order Reprints| Today's Paper|Subscribe