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I think this highlights a big difference between media and tech (or at least big tech companies). In tech, leaking is a cardinal sin. Foer chose to send information about a customer pulling an ad campaign to a friend, who then "excitedly" forwarded it to the New York Times. Foer was using internal company information as a weapon in a personal crusade.



You call it leaking, I'd say it's whistleblowing in abusive practices meant to stifle criticism. Same as the red flags raised about Uber's cultural environment can hardly be considered "leaks".


Are you saying that an advertiser deciding not to feed the hand that bites it (wait, that didn't work out right) is somehow the same as institutional employee abuse?

Every newspaper, every news magazine has had this same tension between the advertising department and the content department. Every advertiser should understand that; every editor certainly does. This isn't new.


The fact that this isn't new doesn't mean we have to condone it.

If we do (or are) then all a large corporation has to do to stifle most MSM criticism is to push enough money into advertising with those platforms. Of course we already have cases in this area [1], but hopefully the proposition as a whole sounds as ridiculous to you as it does to me.

[1] - https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/aug/30/new-ameri...


No one condones it.

However, the solution that was well developed in the 20th century, the "iron curtain" between the advertising and news departments of a publication, worked reasonably well (with editors being put into difficult positions periodically, though). Up until, that is, advertising dollars for news publications dried up almost entirely, creating an existential threat to the news organization.

Now, we are back in the pre-20th century world, where every publication is owned and published by someone with a particular viewpoint.


Don't bite the hand that feeds you, especially if you are not someone in charge.


Don't lick the boots that stomp on you, either.


I don't work for people who stomp on me.


So never reveal abusive practises ever if it's by someone who employs you?


Amazon didn't employ him.


You can go Tony Li on a door.


It looks more like a precipitate and emotional response that handed the initiative to his opponents. Whistleblowers have to be careful to not let their outrage get the better of them.


It may have been a "crusade", but it does not seem to me it was personal.


this is kind of irrelevant. why do you bring that up?

yes, he might get even more retaliation. but we should care about his message here, that Amazon control the news.

NYT could have reported that there is no longer Amazon ads on the magazine that told truths about them, like it used to have before. without ever receiving the "leak".

the "leak" just stated the obvious that everyone could see anyway.


> Why do you bring that up?

Perhaps as a something to learn from? Foer appears to have let his feelings of outrage get the better of him, and went off half-cocked with a pointless and ill-advised gesture that only benefitted his opponents.


Aren't we having this discussion here because of his actions?

I think he got what he wanted.

Some people are OK giving up a little comfort for a better world, you know?


I greatly appreciate the fact that he made a stand, but he may have rendered himself less effective in doing that by forwarding the message to someone whose judgement he thought he could trust. Maybe the leak turned out to be the best outcome anyway, given the New Republic is still publishing.




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