What is the Jeremy Clarkson Effect?
The Jeremy Clarkson Effect is a phenomenon that strikes all kinds of communities, including workplaces, sports teams and of course, online communities. It begins with something great, a contributor in the community who provides great value of some kind. Maybe that contribution is great salesmanship, the ability to play a sport well or a unique facility for accurately comparing the engine noise of a car to some kind of wildcat. Either way, these contributors are highly desirable for the community.
The problem occurs when that contributor either turns toxic, or shifting cultural trends render their existing behaviour unpalatable. The effect is named after the ultimate example of this, BBC scion Jeremy Clarkson. Host of a globally popular TV show, a string of gaffes of escalating severity rendered him into a toxic presence in the BBC. Corporation bosses were left with a stark choice, to fire him and lose an extremely lucrative talent or to appease him and allow the situation to deteriorate further. The Jeremy Clarkson Effect is when a toxic presence in a community has value too high for them to be easily removed.
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