Sam Faulkner Biddle is an American technology journalist. He is a reporter for The Intercept, and was formerly a senior writer at Gawker, the editor of the news website Valleywag, and a reporter at Gizmodo.
Biddle was formerly the editor of Valleywag, a technology news website owned by Gawker Media. In October 2014, he announced that he was leaving Valleywag and taking a sabbatical, after which he took another reporting position at Gawker. His writing focuses on Internet issues, such as cybersecurity and online political activism. In 2014, he was one of Vanity Fair's "News Disrupters," a "new breed of journo-entrepreneurs [striking] out on their own, cutting to the chase and influencing the masses without (much of) a filter."
Biddle's articles have often been controversial, at times criticizing and making fun of technology companies and affluent people in the San Francisco Bay Area. New York Magazine has referred to Biddle as "perhaps the most hated journalist in the Bay Area", while an article in PandoDaily attacked him as a "grotesque hypocrite".
Biddle and Gawker have been targets of the Gamergate controversy, an Internet campaign related to feminism and ethics in video games media. In response to tweets by Biddle saying "Bring Back Bullying", and "Ultimately #GamerGate is reaffirming what we’ve known to be true for decades: nerds should be constantly shamed and degraded into submission," Gamergate supporters posted a list of Gawker's advertisers online, and contacted them in a campaign to force them to pull ad campaigns from Gawker websites. Adobe Systems then pulled its sponsorship in response.
Justine Sacco incident
Biddle played an important role in the online shaming of Justine Sacco in December 2013 after Sacco had tweeted "Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just Kidding. I’m white!" to her 173 twitter followers. Sacco attempted to defend herself, offering weakly that she (a South African) had intended her tweet to "mimic—and mock what an actual racist, ignorant person would say of South Africa." Biddle posted her public tweet to Gawker.
Sacco was fired, and for a time became one of the most hated people on twitter. In January 2014, Biddle said "It’s satisfying to be able to say, ‘O.K., let’s make a racist tweet by a senior IAC employee count this time.’ And it did. I’d do it again." In June 2014, when Sacco found a job at Hot or Not, Biddle wrote: "How perfect! Two lousy has-beens, gunning for a comeback together."