CEO and founder of the Web Summit Paddy Cosgrave
Adrian Wreckler, on Independent.ie, reports:
Paddy Cosgrave’s Web Summit has secured a whopping €110m from the Portuguese government to stay in Lisbon for the next 10 years.
The company had been engaged in “a competitive tender process” with other European cities over the last year.
The deal also includes what the Web Summit describes as a “€3 billion buyout clause”, should another city want to tempt the event away from Lisbon.
From top: Marine Le Pen; Jerome Riviera, Paddy Cosgrave
Email from Luan McKenna, of the Web Summit, to Mr Riviera, spokesperson for Marine Le Pen’s party (click to enlarge)
Yesterday, The international spokesman for Marine Le Pen’s French far-right party National Rally, Jerome Riviera, tweeted an email he received from Luan McKenna, of the Web Summit, on July 18, 2018.
It was a follow-up to an email Mr McKenna had sent two days previously in which he outlined the Web Summit’s plans for Ms Le Pen to attend the event in Lisbon, Portugal, later this year.
On July 18, Mr McKenna essentially resent his initial email which included the line:
“You mentioned that Marine would be interested in talking about ‘fake news’ and the responsibility tech companies have in stopping the spread of it. This is a very important topic for me and I would love to have Marine speak about this.
“In terms of format, I mentioned on the phone that I would like to have Marine do two items. One would be a keynote address and the other would be a panel discussion. I would obviously check with you to make sure Marine was happy with any other panelists we suggest.”
After it was reported earlier this week that Ms Le Pen was lined up to speak at the Web Summit, and the decision was heavily criticised, it’s co-founder Paddy Cosgrave initially posted a blog post defending his decision.
“Web Summit is a place where people should be prepared to have their opinions deeply challenged, and in turn to deeply challenge the opinions of others.”
“…these speakers are not invited to deliver an uncontested address, but are instead invited to have their views thoroughly challenged and scrutinised by a professional journalist.
Moreover they sit on a panel, surrounded by authoritative and alternative voices who will openly contest the extreme viewpoints of these speakers. This has always been the case, and will be the case with Marine Le Pen.”
On Wednesday, Mr Cosgrave rescinded the initiated to Ms Le Pen.
Previously: Le Plonker
Morning #BKNT listeners!
After yesterday’s ill-informed shit sandwich, you might want to read this on free speech, Le Pen, and why “The Sound Of Music” should have been an hour longer so we could all learn something important. https://t.co/lWzH0CoxFN
— Philip O'Connor (@philipoconnor) August 17, 2018
OK, there is a big, big problem here with Web Summit and Le Pen (and no, bros, it’s not about “freeze peach”).
Either the organiser(s) is/are so dumb that they didn’t know in advance what the reaction would be (unlikely, but not impossible), or we’ve been played. Neither is good.
— Philip O’Connor (@philipoconnor) August 15, 2018
Web Summit CEO Paddy Cosgrave, rebranded logo on twitter and tweet from journalist Philip O’Connor
Paddy Cosgrave has withdrawn his invitation for French far right politician Marine Le Pen to speak at his Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, in November.
In a series of tweets, he explained having Ms Le Pen at the event would be “disrespectful” to “our host country”.
Last night, he wrote a blog post defending his decision to invite her, saying
“…the easy decision for Web Summit is to shirk robust debate with those who hold extreme views of this nature. The easy decision for Web Summit is to rescind Marine Le Pen’s invitation.
“But for now we have chosen not to because we believe banning or attempting to ignore these views, which have been fanned in our view by technology, does little to furthering understanding.”
This afternoon, he tweeted the following…
Nice work, brah.
Earlier: A Limerick A Day
Charlie Taylor, in The Irish Times, writes:
For anyone hoping the organisers of the Web Summit might fail dismally in Lisbon and end up back in Dublin with their tails between their legs, think again.
The Web Summit is bigger than ever and the talk from attendees there this week was how well everything worked. Now in its second year in the Portuguese capital, the event has bedded down and has become what its organisers always really wanted it to be: an international conference.
In doing so, the Web Summit has certainly given up trying to retain an Irish identity. There may still be plenty of attendees and speakers from back home, and many of the crew involved in putting on the event are also from Ireland, but it has moved on.
…Overall, the Web Summit is a shiny, happy place and, while concerns over where tech might be leading us were being expressed, they were largely outweighed by one dreamer or another trying to sell you their latest “life-changing” solution.
Previously: How The Web Summit Was Lost
Previously: How The Web Summit Was Lost
Thanks Laura Gaynor
— Andy O’Donoghue (@ADODonoghue) November 7, 2016
The first day of the Web Summit from broadband-friendly Lisbon, Portugal.
Previously: Web Summit on Broadsheet
Oh god… Paddy Cosgrave is doing a "Look how the wifi is working" thing on stage, but it's not working. Awks. #websummit
— Jess Kelly (@jesskellynt) November 7, 2016
— Adrian Weckler (@adrianweckler) November 7, 2016