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Laid-off employees shut down liberal outlet’s digital town hall meeting by flooding it with thumbs down emojis

Disgruntled Vice Media employees shut down a company digital town hall meeting on Wednesday by flooding its chat with thumbs down emojis, according to a report.

Liberal news outlet Vice Media shut down its virtual town hall meeting early on Wednesday after several disgruntled laid-off employees flooded the chat with thumbs down emojis.

The incident was recounted in CNN's "Reliable Sources" newsletter, stating that the thumbs down emojis "became too much to ignore, flooding the screen for all to see," while Vice Media executives spoke.

The report detailed how laid-off employees invited to the meeting were the culprits behind the stunt, which resulted in the meeting being "ultimately scrapped."


Their sign of protest happened after Vice Media CEO Bruce Dixon announced last week that the company would lay off several hundred employees and shut down its news site. 

This announcement followed the company filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year and being sold for $350 million to the Fortress Investment Group. 

In a memo announcing the layoffs, Dixon stated, "After careful consideration and discussion with the board, we have decided to make some fundamental changes to our strategic vision at Vice. It is no longer cost-effective for us to distribute our digital content the way we have done previously."

He declared that Vice would partner with other media groups to distribute its content and "fully transition to a studio model."

"As part of this shift, we will no longer publish content on," Dixon said, noting that the company will be "eliminating several hundred positions."

"I know that saying goodbye to our valued colleagues is difficult and feels overwhelming, but this is the best path forward for Vice as we position the company for long-term creative and financial success."


Dixon described the scene at the town hall this week, saying it was "impossible to ignore the emojis."

The reactions flooded into the chat as company executives spoke, with CNN noting their flow peaked as chief operating officer Cory Haik talked about the company’s future.

Dixon stated that they would find another way to get their information to employees.

A Vice Media spokesperson told CNN, "It is unfortunate that employees remaining with the organization who greatly want to contribute to its success were sabotaged by a few bad actors."

"We understand that emotions are running high after such a significant change to the company and will continue to communicate. Our strategic vision moving forward is the right one for Vice," they added. 

Vice Media is one of several liberal media outlets that have either shut down or executed mass layoffs in recent months. Last year, BuzzFeed shut down its news department, BuzzFeed News, announcing that 15% percent of the company’s staff was going along with it. 

Vice Media did not immediately reply to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. 

Fox News Digital's Brian Flood contributed to this report. 

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