Speaking as someone who lives in a glass house, the confession by InfoWorld that one of their writers was using a false identity and sometimes misrepresenting himself is great, along with the deletion of all his content. But it’s less great when it comes after you’ve been caught.
This is exactly the type of situation we wanted to avoid, and it’s the reason why we published the facts about the Daniel Brusilovsky situation as soon as we fully understood them. We didn’t publish the name of the writer because of his age until he admitted to the situation himself. And we didn’t publish the names of the companies involved because, frankly, they were the victims of the whole thing. But everything else was disclosed as soon as we were sure of the facts.
A lot of people criticized us for “throwing Daniel under the bus” and for otherwise handling the situation poorly. But anyone who runs a news organization knows that the truth tends to come out eventually. It’s best to just air everything out in the open right from the start. And hopefully our readers will know that there’s no funny stuff going on at TechCrunch. If there was, we’d be the first to write about it.
In this case InfoWorld may not have known what was happening until they read about it on a competing website. In fact, they probably would have terminated him as soon as they discovered what he was up to. But it’s not clear that they would have publicly acknowledged it afterwards. And since the story broke before they were able to tell their readers what happened themselves, we’ll never know.