A co-founder of Rap Genius, the service that allows users to view, annotate and discuss the meaning behind song lyrics, news and other types of writing, has resigned after he annotated an alleged mass shooter’s manifesto with grossly insensitive comments.
ValleyWag had reported on the annotations that Mahbod Moghadam made on the 141-page manifesto written by Elliot Rodger, who is alleged to have murdered six people in a seaside college town in California — including a guess that “his sister is smokin hot”.
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In a statement, Rap Genius co-founder and CEO Tom Lehman said that Moghadam “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.”
In light of this, Lehman said that Moghadom has resigned with immediate effect.
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.
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