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RapGenius fires cofounder Mahbod for misogyny

Stashed in: @bhorowitz, Sexism, @semil, @a16z, Jerk Store, Narcissists!, Sociopaths, Rap Genius, Douchebaggery

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Cofounder/CEO Tom Lehman explains:

Mahbod Moghadam, one of my co-founders, annotated the piece with annotations that not only didn’t attempt to enhance anyone’s understanding of the text, but went beyond that into gleeful insensitivity and misogyny. All of which is contrary to everything we’re trying to accomplish at Rap Genius.

Were Mahbod’s annotations posted by a new Rap Genius user, it would be up to our community leaders, who set the tone of the site and our approach to annotation, to delete them and explain to the new user why they were unacceptable.

Were Mahbod’s annotations posted by a Rap Genius moderator, that person would cease to be an effective community leader and would have to step down.

And Mahbod, our original community leader, is no exception. In light of this, Mahbod has resigned – both in his capacity as an employee of the company, and as a member of our board of directors, effective immediately.

Mahbod is my friend. He's a brilliant, creative, complicated person with a ton of love in his heart. Without Mahbod Rap Genius would not exist, and I am grateful for all he has done to help Rap Genius succeed. But I cannot let him compromise the Rap Genius mission – a mission that remains almost as delicate and inchoate as it was when we three founders decided to devote our lives to it almost 5 years ago.

I thank Rap Genius for doing the right thing in asking Mahbod to resign.

Zero tolerance is the only right policy for misogyny in corporations.

Is this the same one who said he was a jerkoff because he had a brain tumor?... which has now been fully removed but I guess he's still a jerkoff...

Yes, that's the guy. I guess more of his brain than just the tumor was responsible for his bad behavior.

Btw he was fired:


Yesterday, Moghadam responded to the Gawker article with an apology, saying “I was fascinated by the fact that a text was associated with such a heartbreaking crime, especially since Elliot is talking about my neighborhood growing up. I got carried away with making the annotations and making any comment about his sister was in horrible taste, thankfully the rap genius community edits out my poor judgement, I am very sorry for writing it.” He’d also previously said that a brain tumor removed in October of last year was responsible for some his more objectionable behavior.

While the official line is that Moghadam resigned, it is likely that he was asked to leave by the company following his actions over the weekend. Re/code is reporting definitively that he was fired. Lehman’s own comments in his blog post seem to confirm this, as he states in his closing paragraph that he “cannot let” Moghadam “compromise the Rap Genius mission.” Former CTO and co-founder Lehman is taking over the CEO role, and fellow co-founder IlanZechory will stay on to help run the company.

Ben Horowitz says the other founders asked Mahbod to resign:

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