As I’m sure you know, over the last 2 days, the gymnastics community has been up in arms over an article on Gymnastike. This article referenced stolen and/or fake pictures of McKayla Maroney nude and semi-nude. At the risk of beating a dead horse, some of your readers’ primary issues with Flocasts’s actions are:
-The original unedited post linked to the site that contained the nude photos.
-The photos are dated before Maroney’s 18th birthday, making them child pornography if they were indeed her.
-The article was posted without the understanding that many of your followers are also minors. No NSFW warning was put on the link.
-After hundreds and hundreds of disapproving tweets/posts from numerous individuals, including McKayla, the post remains up.
-Content director Joe Battaglia defended his actions by claiming that Gymnastike was “obligated” to post this. (While major news about the actual sport was completely ignored.)
Since the boycott began fewer than 48 hours ago:
-Gymnastike’s twitter account has lost 511 followers. These 511 followers included some of the most influential individuals in the online gymnastics community.
-The tweet “#BoycottGymnastike” has been tweeted 659 unique times.
-At least 278 people have publicly stated that they are boycotting due to Gymnastike’s poor judgement on this issue.
-16 people have personally shared with me that they’ve cancelled their Gymnastike Gold subscriptions due to this issue, costing your company between $2,400 and $3,834 in subscription fees over the next year.
-Numerous elite gymnasts, parents of elites and coaches have publicly acknowledged their belief that the choice to keep this post up is the wrong one. Notable objectors include Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Victoria Moors, Aimee Boorman & Jennifer Pinches. Do you think that your “journalists” will be allowed in the gyms of those who worry that they or their gymnasts may be exploited?
-USA Gymnastics shared with several concerned fans that they are "disappointed and disgusted with Gymnastike’s decision and lack of good judgment regarding this, and (they) are going to re-evaluate (their) previous decision to grant them access to (their) events."
I tweeted earlier today asking followers what it would take for them to ever return to Gymnastike. The vast majority of responses said that it’s too late; the damage has been done. This list is a compilation of responses from the other followers, as well as from others in the online gymnastics community. I don’t claim to speak for everyone but for many of us, we will never view ANY Gymnastike content in the future unless:
1. The article is immediately taken down from the Gymnastike website.
2. An official apology is made to McKayla Maroney.
3. A public apology is made to your readers, many of whom are underage.
4. Current Flocasts Content director, Joe Battaglia is removed from having any control over Gymnastike’s content in the future.
5. The staff of Gymnastike is permitted to express their own opinions on this matter without fear of retribution. Staff should not be forced to defend the poor judgment of others.
I urge you for the sake of Gymnastike, your readers, the gymnastics community and most of all McKayla— Mr. Floreani, take down this post.