Activision Blizzard‘s controversial CCO Fran Townsend has once against stoked the fires of controversy, this time with her behavior on social media. The ex-Bush administration counter-terrorism appointee, most known for defending the US government approval for the CIA’s use of torture during interrogations, recently shared an article decrying the practice of whistleblowing. Activision Blizzard it is, notably, currently facing allegations of widespread gender discrimination in part due to whistleblowers within the organization.
The tweet in question was shared on Friday on Townsend‘s verified Twitter account. She shared a link to an article in The Atlantic titled “The New Moral Code of America’s Elite.” In the tweet’s body, she tags the article’s author and refers to the article as “The Problem With Whistleblowing.” The article provides a rapturous defense of a woman named Amy Chua embroiled in controversy due to whistleblowers whose claims the article dismisses as no better than tattling. Suffice to say, Townsend believes the article to be somewhat of a condemnation of whistleblowing, which she seems to be endorsing.
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While The Atlantic’s article barely registered on social media, Townsend’s sharing of it has, as the internet now describes it, been “ratio’d.“He has 333 quote tweets and hundreds of replies, virtually all of which are incredibly critical. More, it’s being reported that multiple of the responses are from Activision Blizzard employees now claiming that Townsend blocked them for voicing their opinions.
Townsend’s stance on whistleblowers doesn’t paint her in the best light. That’s with regards to not only the ongoing California lawsuit alleging Activision Blizzard’s sexual discrimination, which makes it seem like Townsend is dismissing the allegations and employee requests for change within the organization, but also her role in the Bush administration’s approval of torture. That also, was only brought to light as a result of whistleblowers.
The post from Townsend comes in the midst of anger towards Activision Blizzard is rising not just within the greater gaming community, but among its own games‘ communities and among current and ex-employees. Some even believe Townsend, who was only brought into Activision months ago, is trying to draw ire toward herself and away from CEO Bobby Kotick and other executives at Activision Blizzard.
Townsend is also responsible for issuing an email to employees, since leaked to the public, that dismissed all allegations from California’s lawsuit against Activision Blizzard while calling the workers at the Department of Fair Employment and Housing behind it “unaccountable State bureaucrats.” Activision Blizzard’s CEO Kotick has since called this initial response to the allegations “tone-deaf.” He may end up needing to issue another apology to Activision Blizzard employees.
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