Should TechCrunch Publish Twitter Secrets

Yesterday, a hacker named Hacker Croll sent 310 confidential documents that he or she stole from Twitter to various web sites.

Since it happened, TechCrunch founder and editor Mike Arrington has written two posts discussing the documents that he will publish – financial projections, product plans and notes from executive strategy meetings – and what he won’t publish – information that’s embarrassing but not really newsworthy. The blog Mashable said it will not publish any of the documents.

It raises an interesting ethical dilemma, should these documents be published?

Now, for sure, this is not always a dilemma. News organizations often post documents often post documents and information that have been leaked by employees, interested parties or people in government. And Arrington is arguing that what he’s doing is no different.

But a number of commenters on TechCrunch are saying that it is different for mostly two reasons – all three of those entities (employees, interested parties, government) presumably had legitimate access to that info in the first place and then decided to leak it, and that information about a small company, albeit an ultra-popular one, isn’t newsworthy enough to warrant this disclosure, unlike something like the Pentagon Papers.

It’s hard to argue that Twitter isn’t newsworthy, even though it’s a tiny company. It’s growing exponentially and has changed social networking and the web. Plus, it’s impossible to know whether the disclosure was newsworthy or not until it’s published. But publishing these documents also gives the hacker the validation that he or she set out for when the documents were sent to TechCrunch and will probably spur other hackers to do the same for other companies.

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Bestbuy Abuses Social Networking

Word on the street is that Bestbuy is now requiring applicants to not only be on Twitter – but to have at least 250 followers, as well. When I read this, my mouth hit the floor. In effect, the company thinks that hiring people with a large Twitter following will garner more business for them. How ludicrous is this? It’s not up to an employee to send out tweets and bring in business to a company like Bestbuy. For one thing, what if a person chooses not to have that many followers? Not everyone is on Twitter to see if they can win the race for having the most followers. Some people actually use it only to follow interesting people and entities themselves, not caring whether others follow them back. Some of those same people never even update their own timeline. They choose, instead, to simply use Twitter to read the latest news, and keep up with what’s hot in the marketplace.

I cannot begin to understand why a company would require something like this, If a person’s job were going to be something along the lines of “Social Media Director”, I might be able to see the need for the applicant to already have some sort of following, establishing them as “social media savvy”. Beyond that – I’m just lost.

Follow me on Twitter: @dalesio

Pirate Bay Sells to Swedish Software Firm

Swedish software company Global Gaming Factory X AB said on Tuesday it had agreed to buy free file-sharing website The Pirate Bay, and that it would find ways to compensate copyright owners for downloaded material.

The four Swedish men behind the website were sentenced in April to one year in jail and ordered to pay damages of 3.6 million dollars for running the site, which is one of the world’s largest for downloading files on the Internet.

The buyer said the website, for which it would pay $7.7 million, was viable based on plans for a new business model that would satisfy both content providers and copyright owners.

Music and film companies including Warner Bros, MGM, Columbia Pictures, 20th Century Fox Films, Sony BMG, Universal and EMI had sought damages of more than $12.6 million to compensate for lost revenues.

The verdict has been appealed to a higher court

Iranian Protest Video

This is a crazy amount of supporters. Stay Strong!

Twitter Delays Downtime for Iranian Protest

Twitter had been planning to have a 90 minute downtime tonight for maintenance. Given what’s going on over in Iran right now, that was a problem. And so Twitter has decided to reschedule the maintenance so the protests can go on.

This is a good move by Twitter. It clearly didn’t want to have to move the maintenance window that it calls a “critical network upgrade,” but the users made it pretty clear that they don’t want the service going down at all during this important time. So Twitter worked with its network partner NTT America to reschedule the maintenance for 2-3 PM Pacific, which will be 1:30 in the morning in Iran, rather than during the day.

Twitter uses the rest of the post to praise NTT America for its flexibility, but really this is all about Iran. The people over there are using Twitter as a tool of choice for spreading info about what is going on, even as other outlets for communication are being blocked

I Love College

This song was just too good not to mention:

Afternoon Delight!

So my friends and I are always up to no good after school. Today, a few of them just randomly broke out into song.