Think Twice, Publish once

Oh, look, a giant shit storm is brewing on the Internet. HP released a new, obvious knock-off of the iMac.

Marco Arment is upset about the coverage The Verge is giving the computer because their article doesn’t draw attention to its obviousness knock-offness:

Maintaining these relationships while retaining credibility isn’t always an easy choice for many sites, and many choose poorly.

John Gruber linked to Marco’s post, while adding the following:

it’s about not pissing off the vocal anti-Apple contingent of their readerships

Exactly. Why bother, after all?

Topolsky responds, calling bullshit (and he’s kind of right). However, he’s pissed off, taking it as personally as I would, and arguably going a little far.

Then, of course, Marco responds back, claiming that Topolsky is personally attacking him.

Here’s the key thing about Topolsky’s post, though:

Obviously people rip off Apple. It is not news.

The Verge reports news and everyone knows that everyone rips off Apple. The Verge has no stake in pissing off its readership, Gruber is right. However, The Verge isn’t avoiding the issue out of a sense of appeasement; they just don’t have a stake in this fight, so why bother?

Of course, now here we’re in a massive pile of vitriol and bloggers.

Did this have to happen? Of course not.

What we say on the Internet matters. This is not an abstract space entirely without consequences. It’s easy to forget that.

People will take things personally, and I would have thought that everyone in this situation would have realized that. Maybe next time we can all just cool off before hitting the “Publish” and needlessly hurting someone’s feelings.

Or maybe I’m just being too Canadian. Can’t we all be friends?


Posted on September 10, 2012