Monsters of the 2010s: Men on Slack

SCROLL UP, you assholes.

Mother Jones illustration; Getty

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

The staff of Mother Jones is rounding up the decade’s heroes and monsters. Find them all here.

Plenty has been written about the pitfalls of Slack, the virtual workplace launched in 2013 that boasts something like 10 million daily active users and has largely replaced email in countless newsrooms throughout the country. Not nearly enough, however, has been written about the very worst users of the popular platform: men. 

Slack is where the very worst in a man comes out to play. Meet a mildly irritating man in person and know that his Slack presence borders on insufferable. When a fulfilled task feels unacknowledged, know that it was likely a man who forgot to say “thanks”—his willingness even to engage with you on the platform should be gratitude enough. If some form of debate is percolating and the channel features more than one man, know that your mood will instantly suffer. After all, men will invest the merest passing thought with outsized, embarrassing importance, and Slack is the perfect medium for them to gather and preen together. Distract together. Light up unnecessary notifications together. Force better colleagues to stand witness to bad jokes and overwrought opinions together. 

But the circle jerk does more than just annoy people. Too often on Slack, it quite literally blinds men to the ideas of others while valuable voices are shut out in the process. It’s become routine to watch men firing off messages, failing to see a woman’s response somewhere in the thicket of madly spinning dicks but of course taking notice later on when a man chimes in with the very same response. The man gets praised for his brilliance, while the woman gets erased, along with the credit due to her. When I die, I want “SCROLL UP” tattooed on my forehead. 

For every bad dude flooding the zone with his performances, his ego, his contrarianism, know that there’s always a woman behind the scenes doing the damn work and getting shit done, wishing the whole platform would just collapse from the weight of self-important men.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.