Who’s Right: TechCrunch or Twitter?By: Jeremy Muncy - July 21, 2009
This past Wednesday it was made public that 300+ confidential documents from Twitter had been stolen. While most industry related sites chose not to post these documents, a few did, most notably being TechCrunch.
Was TechCrunch wrong or right in publishing the stolen documents? Tell us.
To say Twitter is unhappy with TechCrunch would be an understatement. But, why is Twitter so angry? According to TechCrunch, Twitter had given them a green light to post the information:
"It’s important to note that we have been given the green light by Twitter to post this information – They aren’t happy about it, but they are able to live with it, they say (more on why they did that in our later post)"
"…the publication of stolen documents is irresponsible and we absolutely did not give permission for these documents to be shared."
On Wednesday, this author wrote an article giving Biz’s response to various security concerns after the hack. He briefly touched on the legality of posting such documents:
"We are in touch with our legal counsel about what this theft means for Twitter, the hacker, and anyone who accepts and subsequently shares or publishes these stolen documents. We’re not sure yet exactly what the implications are for folks who choose to get involved at this point but when we learn more and are able to share more, we will."
TechCrunch has been receiving some serious flak for posting the stolen documents. Some loyal Twitter users have even began spreading the word that they’re boycotting TechCrunch from now on:
InformationWeek has taken the TechCrunch vs. Twitter debate to a much higher level, asking Michael Arrington, founder TechCrunch, to step down.
"By publishing documents stolen by a hacker, Michael Arrington has proven he doesn’t have the judgment necessary to run a news organization. He should have the decency to step down."
TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington defends his publication of the docs:
"There is clearly an ethical line here that we don’t want to cross, and the vast majority of these documents aren’t going to be published, at least by us. But a few of the documents have so much news value that we think it’s appropriate to publish them."
So, what are your thoughts on TechCrunch vs. Twitter? Let us know what you think.