Milo Yiannopoulos at the moonwalk flash mob tribute at London Liverpool Street station
18 October 1984 |
Milo Yiannopoulos (born 18 October 1984), formerly Milo Wagner, is a British journalist and entrepreneur. He founded online tabloid magazine The Kernel, which he sold to Daily Dot Media in January 2014. He is a weekly columnist for Business Insider and Breitbart.com, and is currently writing a book, The Sociopaths of Silicon Valley, which will be published in 2015.
Yiannopoulos was named one of the 100 most influential people in Britain's digital economy by Wired UK in 2011 and again in 2012. He has been characterised as a "rising star of the Right" by The Spectator and the "pit bull of tech media" by The Observer.
Yiannopoulos studied philosophy at the University of Manchester and English at the University of Cambridge but did not graduate from either institution. He told Forbes, "I try to tell myself I'm in good company, but ultimately it doesn't say great things about you unless you go on to terrific success in your own right."
Yiannopoulos received criticism in 2009 for tweeting that he hoped the police "beat the shit out of those wankers" at the G20 protests, and then deleting the tweet after a protestor was killed. He later pointed out that he could not have known in advance about the death of Ian Tomlinson and that his tweet was sent in anger about another protester.
Controversy followed his appearance at the TechCrunch Europe GeeknRolla conference in 2009, during which he was criticized for remarking that he didn't see the need for more female representation in technology industries.
He has appeared on Sky News discussing social media, and on BBC Breakfast discussing Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the United Kingdom. As a gay Roman Catholic, Yiannopoulos has debated gay marriage on Newsnight, and on Channel 4's 10 O'Clock Live with Boy George. He later debated singer Will Young on Newsnight on the use of the word "gay" in the playground and Tinchy Stryder on the same programme in May 2014, about copyright infringement and music piracy.
The Telegraph Tech Start-Up 100
Yiannopoulos organised a technology start-up awards scheme, The Telegraph Tech Start-Up 100, in 2011. It operated through an events company, called Wrong Agency, that Yiannopoulos had started with David Rosenberg, a friend from Cambridge University. The company was dissolved shortly after the ceremony, with Mike Butcher of TechCrunch claiming the main prize had been given to music streaming service Spotify even though his casting vote had gone to short-term loan company Wonga. Butcher wrote that Yiannopoulos "was put in an incredibly invidious position [because] the legitimacy of the methodology behind the judging process ... was sat on, unceremoniously. I don’t think he should take the blame for this at all. He could only do what he could do under the circumstances given [the] overt pressure from his backer. I reached out to him about all this but he’s declined to comment—perhaps understandably." The Start-Up 100 did not return in 2012.
Together with university friends David Rosenberg and David Haywood Smith, journalist Stephen Pritchard and former Telegraph employee Adrian McShane, Yiannopoulos launched The Kernel in November 2011 to "fix European technology journalism". The Kernel was at that time owned by Yiannopoulos's company Sentinel Media. In 2012, the online magazine became embroiled in legal disputes with some of its contributors after it failed to pay money owed to them. German venture capital vehicle BERLIN42 acquired The Kernel 's assets in early 2013. The website displayed plans for a relaunch in August 2013 with fresh investment and Yiannopoulos reinstated as editor-in-chief. BERLIN42 founding partner Aydogan Ali Schosswald would join its newly formed publishing company, Kernel Media, as chief executive.
The Independent on Sunday reported that the relaunched publication, based between London and Berlin, would focus on "modern warfare, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, pornography and space travel" from August, but newsletter The Nutshell would not return. In 2014, The Kernel was acquired by The Daily Dot's parent company Daily Dot Media. Yiannopoulos stepped down as Editor-in-Chief but remained an advisor to the company.
Yiannopoulos is credited with early news coverage of the Gamergate controversy, criticizing the politicization of video game culture by "an army of sociopathic feminist programmers and campaigners, abetted by achingly politically correct American tech bloggers." Yiannopoulos also published correspondence from GameJournoPros, an email list where members of the video game press discussed industry matters. Kyle Orland, the creator of the list, responded to the leak on Ars Technica, admitting that he had written a message saying several things that he "soon came to regret", but also defending the list as "a place for business competitors ... to discuss issues of common professional interest".
Most members of the press saw the list as largely benign. Liana Kerzner criticized Yiannopoulos for leaking the GameJournoPros emails, and his criticism of the list as him pushing unproven allegations against figures within the gaming industry. However, Carter Dotson of pocketgamer.biz did acknowledge that the list was indicative of the echo chamber that the industry's press had become. Ryan Cooper of The Week criticized Yiannopoulos' involvement in the controversy, alleging Yiannopoulos "had little but sneering contempt for gamers" beforehand, a view echoed by Erik Kain who argued that Yiannopoulos' involvement had more to do with damaging his political opponents than video games. During the controversy, Yiannopoulos experienced harassment such as doxxing and receiving a syringe filled with an unknown substance through the mail.
Yiannopoulos hosted the Young Rewired State competition in 2010, an initiative to showcase the technological talents of 15–18-year-olds, and organised The London Nude Tech Calendar, a calendar featuring members of the London technology scene to raise money for Take Heart India. He also organised the moonwalk flash mob tribute to Michael Jackson in London's Liverpool Street station shortly after Jackson's death in 2009. He explained that the idea of a flashmob as a tribute to Jackson was originally a humorous suggestion on Twitter, but then decided to make it happen, inviting people via social networking websites.
He is a self-professed "proper nut-job groupie" fan of pop singer Mariah Carey. In 2014, he wrote a column for Business Insider explaining why he flew to Berlin to purchase Carey's album, Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse five days before it was available in the UK and US.
- "Crunchbase Profile".
- Arthur, Charles (12 September 2012). "The Kernel sued by former contributors for non-payment". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- "Milo Yiannopoulos". Retrieved 2014-03-19.
- Hicks, Jennifer (19 December 2012). "Digital Media's Citizen Kane". Forbes. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
- Steerpike (26 July 2012). "Homophobe of the year". The Spectator. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
- Dowell, Ben (8 July 2012). "Milo Yiannopoulos – meet the 'pit bull' of tech media". The Observer. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
- "Twitter mishaps and netiquette for journalists". journalism.co.uk. 30 November 2009. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
- Yiannopoulos, Milo (22 April 2009). "Men perform better in many technology jobs. Must we apologise for that?". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 17 February 2013.
- "Just a Girl – Why we put on the "Balancing Tech Culture" debate @GeeknRolla". TechCrunch Europe. 23 April 2009. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
- Sky News, 19 November 2010, BSkyB, distributed by Fox International Channels.
- BBC Breakfast, 13 August 2010, BBC Television, distributed by the BBC.
- Newsnight, 15 March 2012, BBC Television, distributed by the BBC.
- 10 O'Clock Live, 17 February 2011, Channel 4.
- "Wonga won the Startup 100 awards, not Spotify". TechCrunch Europe. 17 May 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
- Butcher, Mike (17 May 2011). "Wonga won The Startup100 awards, not Spotify". Tech Crunch. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
- Yiannopoulos, Milo (10 November 2011). "It's time to fix European technology journalism". The Kernel. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- Williams-Grut, Oscar (19 December 2012). "The Kernel's back to make new enemies". Independent on Sunday. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
- Williams-Grut, Oscar (2 June 2013). "The Kernel's back to make new enemies". The Independent.
- The Kernel acquired by The Daily Dot publisher; founder and editor Milo Yiannopoulos to move on
- Yiannopoulos, Milo (2014-09-01). "Feminist bullies tearing the video game industry apart". breitbart.com. Retrieved 2014-10-25.
- Griggs, Brandon (2014-10-16). "Behind the furor over #Gamergate". CNN. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
- "GamerGate – what is it, and why are gamers so angry?". Metro. 2014-10-15. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
- Johnson, Eric (2014-10-10). "Understanding the Jargon of Gamergate". Recode. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
- Lirios, Dino (2014-09-19). "Scandal in the Gaming Community: Elite Gaming Journalists Collude to Censor Stories". ChinaTopix. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
- Orland, Kyle (2014-09-18). "Addressing allegations of “collusion” among gaming journalists". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
- Kain, Erik (2014-09-20). "The Escapist #GamerGate Forums Brought Down In DDoS Attack". Forbes. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
- Cooper, Ryan (2014-10-07). "Intel's awful capitulation to #gamergate's sexist thugs". The Week. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
- Kerzner, Liana (September 29, 2014). "The Darker Side of GamerGate". MetalEater.com. Retrieved September 30, 2014.
- Dotson, Carter (2014-09-26). "Escaping the echo chamber: GamerGaters and journalists have more in common than they think". Retrieved 2014-10-25.
- Cooper, Ryan (October 7, 2014). "Intel's awful capitulation to #gamergate's sexist thugs". The Week. Retrieved October 9, 2014.
- Kain, Erik. (September 4, 2014). "GamerGate: A Closer Look At The Controversy Sweeping Video Games", Forbes. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- Bokhari, Allum (2014-09-25). "#GamerGate – An Issue With Two Sides". Retrieved 2014-10-19.
- Young, Cathy. "GamerGate: Part I: Sex, Lies, and Gender Games". Retrieved 2014-10-19.
- Totilo, Stephen (2014-10-12). "Another Woman In Gaming Flees Home Following Death Threats". Retrieved 2014-10-19.
- "Techno teens design public websites". MSN. 25 August 2009. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
- Arthur, Charles (18 November 2009). "London Nude Tech calendar: unclothed geeks (and ladygeeks) in a good cause". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
- "Moonwalking Jackson Fans Mob London Station". Sky News. 27 June 2009. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
- "I Had To Buy A$1,200 Plane Ticket To Get Mariah Carey's New Album, And It's All The Record Label's Fault". Business Insider. 23 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
- "Some Guy Spent $1,200 on Mariah Carey's New Album". Gawker. 23 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2012.