TechCrunch Rumor Control Failure Brings Out the Torches

Filed as News on February 24, 2009 2:57 am

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TechCrunch is feeling the heat from Erick Schonfeld’s story on Last.fm handing over data to the RIAA. Which got a pretty harsh denial, and to TechCrunch’s defense, they did update the post with more and more information. Most people are pissed, however, and rightly so. The story was false, and although it is presented as a rumor, it could be hurting Last.fm. As it were, I think TechCrunch is taking a bigger hit, in credibility, despite a surprising defensive post from Duncan Riley. See also Matthew Ingrams post on the topic, pretty sober as well. For more, check out Techmeme.

How much has this hurt TechCrunch, a blog with a lot of haters in the first place, and what could they have done differently? Do share your thoughts in the comments.

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  1. By tosh gary posted on February 24, 2009 at 4:13 am
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    Those bloggers who work to make money by misleading are so 2003s. Twitter is making people to raise awareness and raise voice.
    Fresh and neutral journ here to stay.

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  2. By Four Eyes Squad posted on February 24, 2009 at 9:03 am
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    It may hurt a bit but in exchange, techcrunch got the publicity. Good or Bad, in the end its how popular the site is.

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  3. By Kathy | Virtual Impax posted on February 24, 2009 at 10:38 am
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    Techcrunch did what they should have done – reported the story and then CORRECTED that report when more information became available.

    Watergate started as a “rumor” – so did the infamous “DNA on a blue dress” a few decades later.

    I agree that fresh and neutral journalism is the result of web 2.0 – but we must also recognize that no one gets it 100% correct 100% of the time – especially when a story is “breaking”.

    What we MUST expect is for the source to update the information as it becomes available. What killed the credibility of CBS when they broke that horribly misleading “news story” was how long they “ignored” the “facts” of the story.

    Techcrunch did NOT ignore the facts and when they became available – they updated. Bravo to them! (Oh, and yeah – I agree that there is no such thing as “bad publicity” so it’s a double win for them!)

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  4. By Michael posted on February 25, 2009 at 12:59 am
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    Let’s be honest, it isn’t going to hurt TechCrunch much, but it should. TechCrunch gets things wrong too often and its amazing how much they get away with. Way too often they write a horrible headline accusing someone or some company of doing something terrible but make it all ok by adding a question mark to the end of it.

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  5. By Mike posted on March 10, 2009 at 8:43 am
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    I completely disgaree with Kathy.

    TechCrunch is a cowboy in the Wild World Web. They shoot from the hip to get crappy press and this time it bit them in the butt. Good. About time – someone has deep enough pockets to say – This isn’t right. I LOVE Last.fm’s response on their blog.

    TechCrunch was rated the most overrated blog by TIME magazine for a reason. TIME also stated “stick a fork in them – they’re done”

    Get back to reporting REAL NEWS rather than conjecture and tabloid headlines.

    Kathy – wake up crap like this is no where near watergate – TechCrunch isn’t even close to the same level.

    But I agree with Kathy on one point only and that is if TechCrunch wants to be known as the National Enquirer of the Web then they are headed in the right direction.

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