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This article was published on October 23, 2015

The Next Web has a xenophobe problem

The Next Web has a xenophobe problem
Matthew Hussey
Story by

Matthew Hussey

Commissioning Editor

Matt Hussey was the former Editor-in-Chief for The Next Web. Previously he worked on the launch of Wired UK, ShortList and Mr Porter. He's b Matt Hussey was the former Editor-in-Chief for The Next Web. Previously he worked on the launch of Wired UK, ShortList and Mr Porter. He's been an active contributor to GQ, FHM, Men's Health, Yahoo, The Daily Telegraph and maintains a blog on Huffington Post

Earlier today, one of our writers wrote a thoughtful piece about how Google was helping refugees navigate the bureaucratic chaos that has become the Greek islands.

Every country has a different application process for asylum seekers, and the vast majority are horribly understaffed and underfunded.

Upon fighting their way thousands of miles across land and sea, these people who have risked their lives and the lives of their loved ones for a chance, nay, a hope of escaping the unthinkable pain and suffering they’ve fled from are confronted with a mountain of red tape.

Credit: Malcolm Chapman /

Some have been told to wait for two years until their application process for asylum can be processed. Which is further complicated by the fact that they are not allowed to work while they wait.

That Google has made even a small attempt to streamline that process should be commended. But on our Facebook page I’ve been horrified by the levels of xenophobia and abject hatred about this story. Not only is the ire of our commentors directed at the asylum seekers, even Google gets a pasting for the audacity of even thinking up such a conniving campaign for PR.

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Of course, the internet is full of ignorance. This is hardly a new point. But as the Editor-in-Chief of a website that has millions of people looking to us to tell them about what’s happening in the world, I believe we have a responsibility to not stand blithely by and let people leave comments on a page we work really fucking hard to produce.

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I love this website, and the vast majority of the people who come and visit it. What I don’t like is a tiny, tiny proportion of our audience shitting on people for attempting to make something better of themselves.

So I’m going to make it my mission to make it as difficult as possible for people to use The Next Web brand as a spring board for their hatred. This is a place where we embrace all walks of life and the choices that people make. It is not a gathering round for dicks and arseholes.

You have been warned.