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in Tech rumors - 08 Apr, 2013
by Tech Journalist - no comments
TechCrunch, Michael Arrington Conflicts of interest, Favoritism, Bias, Abuse of power & Abuse of women

TechCrunch is without any doubts one of the most popular tech news sites technology blogs,  founded in 2005 by Michael Arrington & Keith Teare as a tech blog, and sold to AOL in 2010 for  $25 million.

 

Michael Arrington considered himself a blogger, he never claimed being a journalist, which makes some behavior acceptable, even-though it’s unprofessional. He was and probably still is one of the most influential people in the world in general, and in the tech industry in particular.

 

 

Michael Arrington Favoritism:

Several months ago, we received a detailed mail accusing Mike Arington of favoritism, it seams that Mike have favoritism towards a religious community he belongs to, and thus it was much easier to get Techcrunch love for your company or start-up if you belonged to this faith.

We decided to just ignore these facts and proofs, because we knew that as a blogger, Michael was not bound by Journalism ethics and standards.

An extensive search of the his Tech news site (following the tip we received) have revealed that Mike have used his website to cover more than startups and tech news; On one hand he was very vocal against anything he considered as antisemitism,  and on the other hand he was very supportive to some events that can be considered  islamophobic; So clearly he was not using his tech blog to defend what could be considered a tolerance agenda, but rather he was favoring according to his convictions and own agenda.

 

Michael Arrington Conflicts of Interest, Bias :

In 2011, Mike founded a venture capital firm called CrunchFund, before creating the VC, he was an angel investor in several tech startups including Dogster, Omnidrive, DanceJam, Seesmic, Zaarly and many others. Obviously these startups would get extensive TechCrunch coverage, but Mr. Arrington understood that in-order to make these startups successful they needed to be mentioned repeatedly, and that’s exactly what he did and instructed his team to do!

in Sep 2011, Loic Le Meur, posted a blog defending Michael Arrington who was an investor in one of Loic failed startups (seesmic),  Loic Says:

I have read so much B-S- about Michael Arrington’s supposedly displaced integrity as a writer that I thought I should set the record straight. Mike has been an investor in my company Seesmic since day one, here are some of the posts Mike wrote about Seesmic:

“Don’t Screw Your Partners Over A Marketing Promotion”

“Developers In Denial: The Seesmic Case Study”

“Thank You Seesmic for Sucking Less”

Loic was complaining that Michael, an early investor in Seemic was being hard on the company, in reality none of the above articles had any reason to exist, except of course press coverage.

Loic adds: I am sure some of you will read me saying “right, but he asked his team to write about Seesmic”. Yeah, right, if that’s what you’d think then you don’t know MG, Erick, Leena, Alexia, Jason, Sarah, Butcher, Robin and all the members of the team. Sure thing, they wrote a lot about Seesmic, but so did many other sources when we launched hot products and did not write, as they should not, when we did not.

Again, Le Meur is getting it wrong, the other sources wrote about Seesmic because Techcrunch did, that’s how the game is played, the more you get techcrunch coverage the more other tech sites and newspapers will be interested in you (i have personally seen a single TC article get the guest writer an interview on CNN).

Probably most of  Techcrunch readers haven’t yet discovered how this tech news blog works, but some have, here’s some responses that Loic Le Meur article got:

  • What’s much worse than “negative” coverage is your competitors’ coverage.. that is, none at all. Is Mike disclosing all the companies that he didn’t cover, because they compete with his investments?
  • A  TechCrunch articles search for Seesmic give 4210 results. While TC search of major player like Tweetdeck give 2580 results, HootSuite give 468 results!  Why is Seesmic getting so much more coverage, even-though it’s not even a major player?
  • Frequent mixed coverage of a startup is as good as any investor can hope for. Staying in the press is critical to attracting new users. Even if that press isn’t always glowing.No one said Arrington would be dumb about how he pimps his investments through his blog. The sheer volume of posts on Seesmic is clear indication of bias.
  • Seesmic didn’t deserve that much press, good or bad.
  • In the attention economy there is no such thing as bad publicity, if Mike had never published a story about Seesmic your other unnamed investors would be livid.  Isn’t this blog post just another commercial?

  • Fine, let’s say Mike isn’t a journalist. He’s a blogger and the strict rules of old media don’t apply to him. Even still, as a person of influence, people will speak up when they perceive a conflict of interest.
  • It’s journalism 101. There is a perceived bias when he runs a site called tech crunch and a fund called crunchfund. If Mother Teresa did the same thing she’d get called out for it too. It’s a tall order to ignore the history of Journalism and make an exception for one guy.

Our opinion on Mike bias is that being a blogger and investor, He can write about whatever and whoever he wants. The only issue is with the media & press that relies on TC for tech stories. Mikael Arington have successfully created an illusion that TC is a tech news site instead of a tech blog (and the difference between news and blog is huge).

 

 

Michael Arrington Abuse of power & Abuse of women :

There’s no doubt TC founder used his techblog popularity to rant about different things, including political events, Airlines …. but the main point is that being a blogger gives him the right to write about whatever he wants on his blog, yes he was able to intimidate alot of people and companies but nothing denies him the right to use his blog as he sees.

The problem here is about the public perception of TC not the blogposts of it’s founder, people should keep in mind it’s a blog not news outlet.

Concerning Women Abuse : charges of violence & rape against his ex-girlfriend and attempts to rape a coworker, and the other cases of violence and sexual harassment popping up against him … are not in the scope of our site!
We will not cover this part because it has nothing to do with either technology nor journalism, it’s a private matter that should be kept private, but we have created a nice video about Mike a long time ago and it perfectly suits the occasion:

 

 

 

Further readings:

 

Concerning the  bias : http://arabcrunch.com/2011/09/under-arrington-techcrunch-was-biased-anti-islam-spreading-zionist-propaganda-did-it-favor-jewish-startups.html

 

Concerning the conflict of interest: http://valleywag.gawker.com/michael-arrington-a-crooked-judge-since-2011-1308682362

 

 

Mike Arrington TechCrunch busted

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