Having an article published on The Huffington Post is like guesting on Rachel Maddow or the Daily Show—you feel lucky just to get exposure, right? That's the line that Arianna Huffington has been trying to sell for what feels like years now, and even more recently since she finalized a $315 million dollar buyout with the new AOL. While most of the unpaid contributors will just grumble and keep churning out content in hopes of some publicity (or a paying job), there's always a few who make the news for being indignant and demanding compensation for their copy.
The latest unpaid contributors who realized that they aren't getting a good deal are some producers who have declared that they will "go on strike." Echoing a now well-worn sentiment, writers at Artscene and Visual Art sources banded together for an announcement declaring that Huffington "cannibalize[s] the investment of other organizations" without properly providing compensation. "No more content from us will appear on the Huffington Post," they wrote, while entreating other unpaid contributors to join in on the strike.
But even as the Artscene and Visual Arts writers idealistically declared that it's "extremely unethical to not merely blur but eradicate the distinction between the independent and informed voice of news and opinion and the voice of a shill," they also conceded to the reality of the matter. Namely, they noted that "it wouldn't be a surprise" if Huffington responded by saying "Who needs these people anyway?"
For not technically being employees, they sure read their content overlord quite well. Asked about the "strike" at Paid Content's 2011 conference, Huffington promptly dismissed the event, reports The Wrap. "The idea of going on strike when no one really notices," Huffington answered. "Go ahead, go on strike," she said, before saying that it's "absurd" to compare the unpaid bloggers to her paid reporters.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.