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Take this job and love it: How to quit classy
A high-profile social-media star gets fired, then shows that there’s an alternative to Twitter wars with your ex-employer.
When word spread that Mashable editor-at-large Ben Parr had gotten fired, the cynical assumption was that we’d see a war of tweets unfold. Surely Parr, a high-profile San Francisco tech reporter known for his role in leading a protest against Facebook’s News Feed while in college, would spar online with his ex-boss, Mashable founder and CEO Pete Cashmore.
Alas, anyone who microwaved a bowl of popcorn and fired up their laptop would have been sorely disappointed.
Not that there wasn’t material for, as AllThingsD’s John Murrell put it, “‘he said, they said’ exchanges.” Business Insider’s Matt Lynley reported last week that Parr had gotten a pricey deal—between $100,000 and $300,000 to stay at Mashable. A source told Lynley that that article, in turn, prompted Parr’s firing, based on the apparent assumption on Mashable’s part that Parr or someone in his camp had leaked word about the deal.
But leaving bridges aflame isn’t how the relentlessly nice Parr built his 35,000-plus followers on Twitter, and it’s not true to the brand he now plans to leverage on his own. So instead of leaving a trail of wreckage behind him, Parr machine-gunned thankfulness into the Twittersphere.
For an Internet inured to ingratitude, it was so classy it was kind of shocking.
Owen Thomas was the founding executive editor of the Daily Dot before becoming the editor in chief of Read Write. A former managing editor for Valleywag, Thomas also was an executive editor for VentureBeat and now serves as business editor for the San Francisco Chronicle.