Moira Donegan is still haunted by the repercussions of her decision last October to publicly disclose a crowd-sourced list of “S—ty Media Men” whom anonymous women said had committed various forms of sexual misconduct.
“This is something that was online for less than 24 hours and it has dominated my life for the three months,” said Donegan in a view interview with the New York Times published late Thursday. “Some of the incidents that were described there, gave me nightmares. Some of them were really very violent.
The list became a cause célèbre after BuzzFeed reported on its existence in October; multiple BuzzFeed employees were on a copy of the list obtained by TheWrap.
“By the time I was forced to take it down, which was about 12 hours after I created it, there were more than 70 men named and 14 had their names highlighted in red to denote that there were more than one woman who were accusing that person of violent physical assault,” said Donegan, a New York-based writer.
Donegan had initially decided to remain anonymous after the list went mega viral. That changed after news that Harper’s Magazine was planning to out her in an upcoming article by reporter Katie Roiphe. After causing a minor viral stir, Donegan ultimately outed herself in a lengthy essay in TheCut.
“I was incredibly naïve when I made the spreadsheet. I was naïve because I did not understand the forces that would make the document go viral,” she wrote.
“I was naïve because I thought that the document would not be made public, and when it became clear that it would be, I was naïve because I thought that the focus would be on the behavior described in the document, rather than on the document itself. It is hard to believe, in retrospect, that I really thought this. But I did.”
Several of prominent media men who have since left the industry over sexual misconduct were first broadly identified on Donegan’s list.