Dear Longleaf Review readers, contributors, and especially all those at our most recent virtual launch party —
I’m writing to express my sincerest apologies for what happened that evening. A night to celebrate our recent contributors’ success and the launch of our latest issue turned into an absolute nightmare when random trolls crashed our Zoom party and interrupted our readers with pornographic videos and images.
I recognize that the images they showed—and their intrusion without all of our consent—were an insult at best, and highly triggering at worst.
Sadly, I was completely unprepared for something like this to happen, and we weren’t able to remove these people from the party soon enough.
I want to particularly apologize to our writers, their families and friends in attendance, and our volunteers. All of you deserved a night of celebration, community, and dignity. The actions of these trolls were disgusting, and I should have never allowed it to happen.
To my Editor-in-Chief, Stephanie — I am so sorry you had to endure this as the face of the journal. You put so much love into these issues and these events, and this night should have been your night, too. Thank you for handling it with such grace and dignity.
As the publisher, I should have anticipated that something like this could happen, and I should have had measures in place to protect the sanctity of the space we hold here for our writers.
I hope that all affected can forgive me for my oversight, and I promise to do better.
After discussion with my Editor-in-Chief, Stephanie Trott, we’ve decided to take the following precautions for all future Longleaf events:
- We will prevent all attendees from unmuting themselves unless they have been invited or asked to do so by the meeting host (including readers).
- We will prevent all guests from sharing their screens. This means that the host will be the only screen shared, other than spotlight readers.
- We will only be allowing readers to rename themselves.
- We will start embedding the invitation link directly onto our website so that the link is not so easily found by trolls and potential intruders.
- We will have an additional Longleaf staff member as co-host and chat monitor for every virtual event moving forward.
Again, I am deeply sorry. If anyone wants to speak with me further about what happened or has any recommendations for how I could have handled it better, please reach out to me at email@example.com. I am so angry and ashamed over what happened, and I never want it to happen again.
Publisher & Founding Editor