Extracting bias at TechCrunch [Internal]

Attn: TechCrunch editorial

In light of the new New York Times social media guidelines, we at TechCrunch are issuing our own set of social media restrictions resources.

Our new guidelines underscore TechCrunch’s pathological obsession with social platforms, but also call for our reporters to proceed with the utmost caution, expressing none of their rampant pre-existing biases, which they will maintain undetectably.

In the interest of a desperate attempt to appear nonpartisan, we have included our new guidelines below.

Key points

    • While it is tempting to use social media to build trust and familiarity with the communities you cover, instead please rappel into them from a great height, conduct your reporting and wait to be recovered by an extraction team.
    • If you have a race (i.e. non-white) or a gender (non-male) please downplay that bias in your profile picture. Our graphics team can assist you. If you have any other bias-prone identities, please reach out to our brand team about how to proceed.
    • Please do not narrate your experience of the world collapsing around or within you. Remember: The list of discouraged political opinions encompasses many categories of unavoidable thinking about these two spheres. This pertains particularly to: Science (divisive), Gender (divisive), Race (divisive!), Globalism and Football.
    • Please change your Twitter avatar to any from our approved list of users (men). An egg will also suffice but is less than ideal, given the extremely nonpartisan concerns about online Russian intelligence operations. It’s important to still display that you are internet savvy in spite of the new policy, so please refer to the list of pre-approved hashtags and tag your social media drafts with 3-5 of these: #notbiased, #viewfromnowhere, #objective, #trustednameinnews, #taketheOath.
    • If you’d like to express an inflammatory statement, please queue for an opening with our Opinion department. Your request will be answered in the order in which it was received if and when any old white guy ever dies.
    • We strongly discourage our journalists from criticizing brands on Twitter, unless they are AT&T, in which case please request one of our Oath-approved templates. Other forms of criticism can jeopardize access, which is paramount.
    • If you are harassed on the Twitter platform (rare), it is best to turn the other cheek and quietly wait for your personal identifying information to show up on 16chan before issuing a report to management or “making a scene” of any kind. Do not mute or block a user until your home is Swatted, at which time please document the event on the designated forms.
  • Treat all readers as potential investors. Do not imply that a reader has not “read your story” or impose any other undue burdens on readership.

Most important of all, please remember that this is for your own good. These efforts are a means to obscure bias and ease transparency, two methods which will certainly eradicate both bias and superfluous independent thought.

Ideally, please do not question any institution of power, including this one, in your personal voice. Moving forward, filter all voices through our anti-bias algorithm, part of a new partnership with Facebook, our esteemed partner.

In the next few days we will be rolling out a new anti-bias campaign as part of that partnership. Our algorithmic bias neutralizers are the best in the business, having been built by an elite team of diverse engineers who graduated at the top of their class from Stanford in 2015.

In 2017, it’s vital that we instill reader faith in objective news sources, a process that is going quite well here at the Green Lady.