A New York Times writer has been fired over homophobic and racist tweets just hours after she was hired.
Quinn Norton was announced as the publication's "lead opinion writer on the power, culture and consequences of technology" around midday on Tuesday (February 13).
However, hours after the initial announcement, Twitter users began to unearth tweets in which Quinn had admitted to being friends with "neo-Nazis"and having used racial and homophobic slurs.
By 9pm that same night, Quinn tweeted: "I'm sorry I can't do the work I wanted to do with them. I wish there had been a way, but ultimately, they need to feel safe with how the net will react to their opinion writers."
In one tweet from 2014, Quinn, who described herself as a queer activist, claimed she's friends with Andrew 'Weev' Auernheimer, a notorious neo-Nazi hacker who co-runs the Daily Stormer website.
In another tweet, she wrote: "Weev is a terrible person, & an old friend of mine. I've been very clear on this. Some of my friends are terrible people, & also my friends."
James Bennet, the Times' editorial page editor, told the Huffington Post: "Despite our review of Quinn Norton's work and our conversations with her previous employers, this was new information to us.
"Based on it, we've decided to go our seperate ways."
Following news that she had been dropped by the New York Times, Quinn defended herself in a series of tweets. She wrote: "When I speak to communities, I used their language to do it" before explaining: "I only used [faggot] in the context of my work with anons."
I only used it in the context of my work with anons. I used it occasionally when amongst gay friends in our community. That's not really your business, though.— Well that was fun. (@quinnnorton) February 14, 2018
Speaking about a tweet in which she used a racial slur, Quinn explained she had retweeted someone else "using offensive language in a sarcastic tweet that was meant to slap back at racists after Obama's first election."
She also addressed criticisms of her friendship with Auernheimer and tweeted: "Weev doesn't talk to me much anymore, but we talk about the racism whenever he does. My door is open when he, or anyone, wants to talk, but we're talking about the stupidity of racism and the people in my life know that to be true."
Weev doesn't talk to me much anymore, but we talk about the racism whenever he does. My door is open when he, or anyone, wants to talk, but we're talking about the stupidity of racism and the people in my life know that to be true.— Well that was fun. (@quinnnorton) February 14, 2018
She later tweeted that there's "no harm no foul" by the decision.