No Techcrunch I won’t delete my Twitter message

After I retweeted something from Pat Phelan about James Whatley quitting Spinvox I got this email from a Techcrunch staffer:

Mate would you mind deleting that tweet? We wrote a pre-emptive story based on an unconfirmed rumour. No idea how it ended up in our RSS feed and James could lose his job.

All best,

Techcrunch who published all those docs on Twitter yeah? And made a big deal about them being allown-up journalists yeah? Yeah, fuck off. Others seem to have gotten shut down on this. Not here. Screenshot too:

No thanks techcrunch

More detailed screenshot.

Google has it too, I expect they’ll get a DM too from Techcrunch.
No thanks techcrunch II

Update: The Techcrunch apology to James Whatley.

30 Responses to “No Techcrunch I won’t delete my Twitter message”

  1. Ian Healy says:

    Heh πŸ˜€ Too right!

  2. Sean Derrin says:

    There’s a pair of you in it, if you ask me. Them… for ‘preparing a pre-emptive story based on a rumour’ What next? A banner in tomorrow’s ‘Irish Sun’: ‘World to End! – God’? You… for your bad language and your typical ‘I am a blogger so I must be always right, even if it hurts other people’.

  3. Ian Healy says:

    Ah now,sometimes you can only express your true feelings with a good ole “Fuck”. What do you mean by him thinking he is always right? He has the right not to delete one of his own tweets. Its their cock-up,not Damiens

  4. Jim says:

    Not really. Your argument that you are going the exact same thing that TechCrunch did is just not true.

    “We’ve spent most of the evening reading these documents. The vast majority of them are somewhat embarrassing to various individuals, but not otherwise interesting. An example – there are a number of documents showing the names of people who interviewed at Twitter for various senior level positions so publishing their names would obviously be distressing for them. Most of these people remain in their current jobs. Some documents show floorplans and security passcodes to get into the Twitter offices. We’re not going to post any of those documents.”

    I’m pretty sure this falls under the category of “distressing” for Mr. Whatley.

  5. Stephen says:


  6. Experience brings wisdom doesn’t it Bernie?

  7. Sabrina Dent says:

    The problem here is not Damien, nor was this problem caused by Damien. Any damage done here has been done by TechCrunch; that RSS feed goes out to very nearly 3 MILLION people.

    If James Whatley gets canned over this, or his professional reputation is impinged, the door to go knocking on is marked TechCrunch, not Mulley.

  8. neuro says:

    Who the hell sends a message like that starting with “Mate”? The correct response is absolutely “Mate, fuck off. Ta.” Techcrunch is the worst example of tech journalism right now, and they need to go away. Perhaps this will finally be the catalyst since the Twitter debacle didn’t tip them over the edge hard enough.

  9. Pot Noodle says:

    What neuro said. TC UK–I mean TC UK–I mean TC London–has been a right shambles under Butchers watch and this is the least of it. They don’t like it up ’em.

  10. I’m so glad Damien Mulley upholds higher standards for online communications than others who might just be learning how to publish.

  11. Well you can say they were not professional but a more serious tone would have gone down worse if it was me. It was a request, not a order. Sure they cocked up but at least they didn’t just post a lame apology. Pretty big cock up though, keep it Notepad next time lads πŸ˜€

  12. Mike Butcher says:

    Just to clarify, the post went out on TC Europe, which is somewhat smaller than Please read our post on the incident for what we think happened:

  13. Branedy says:

    I didn’t know that you could preemptively delete radio waves, sound bites and ethernet packets after they have been broadcast. And they talk about stealth, this would be great technology. But don’t they already have a name for this, like “The Cat’s out of the bag now!”

  14. The Streisand effect in full swing.

  15. Mike Butcher says:

    Yep, cat’s outta the bag indeed. Serve us right for trying to stop a guy having to be hauled in by his boss of a Monday morning.

    Anyway, thanks for publishing my comment Damien, and as I said on email and Twitter to you last night (still waiting for a reply btw), the offer’s there if you want to actually talk on the phone some time and hear your criticisms of TCEurope direct. Thanks.

  16. Pretty snarky, Damien, to do this, isn’t it? TCE fucked up hugely, to be sure, but all you’ve done is highlight @whatleydude’s distress.

    I just noticed that I have a copy of TCE’s ‘oops’ post in my RSS reader which arrived when it updated the TCE feed last night. I have a screenshot but i haven’t posted it anywhere. What for? What would that achieve?

    In any event, love the discussion here.:)

  17. Mike, you’ve bitched about me in public and behind my back for a long time and even last night I would wager and now you want to have a chat? Had I not pointed out you and your crew wanted to smother conversation about your incompetence there’d be silence from you. It’s interesting that only when this post happens that you now want to know my criticisms of Techcrunch London. It’s a shame this is how you work with people. I don’t care about Techcruch “Europe” and how it’s run. What I do care about is when, even if politely, you ask me to delete history and communications. This crap about giving a fuck about James’ career is saddening too. If you really did then sucha post wouldn’t even be drafted and the apology would have been written and published first, not DMing people asking for takedowns.

  18. Neville, I think you know me by now and my feelings on people asking me to take stuff down from any of the channels I communicate on. Maybe you can offer Techcrunch the basics on how to deal with online communications because they need them. I’ll have to disagree strongly that all this blog post does is highlight Whatley’s distress, I think a story seen in a few 1000 feedreaders did that and the reaction to the cockup was one of shutting it down not correcting it. There wasn’t going to be an apology to James until people started blogging about Techcrunch asking for history to be deleted. There was no apology or admissions on the Twitter accounts until people started complaining about Techcrunch asking for deletions. Your screenshot, like mine shows the public what was made public and then deleted from Techcrunch and other places after pressure from Techcrunch. Imagine if Techcrunch had the moral fibre to admit a fuckup, apologise right away to James and then let people decide whether they should propogate something completely untrue? Why doesn’t Techcrunch trust the public?

  19. Mike Butcher says:

    Damien, we admitted the fuck-up, took down something we thought was not right an potentially damaging to someone’s career, as fast as we could asked others if they could help us, apologised to James and contained within that apology was the substantial story that we had a the time but which had gone off half-cocked. Yes, we should have just let the post run, put out there what we thought we knew was the story – we know that now with hindsight – but the story was never meant to be published in that form. We screwed up because of some crap WordPress plug in on a Blackberry which set the post to go live without us knowing it, seriously. BTW, I’ve spoken to James Whatley and he’s actually praised us for this response. Ask him yourself.

    Damien, I bitched about you in public on Twitter like once, as far as I can remember (I think it was 2 years ago?), because my *first* encounter with you was so unbelievably vile that I was completely taken aback. I’d frankly never met anyone like you on Twitter (is that a badge of honour for you? maybe?), which till then had seemed a pretty positive place. Yo literally attack me from the word go. If I have subsequently “bitched” about you privately, it’s to not to bitch but to ask your colleagues in Ireland and at Irish companies simple questions like “What on earth is it with Damien Mulley? Why is he so vehement? And what did we do wrong? How can he be in Communication? PR?” I still don’t know what the answers are. And BTW I only ever ask once in a blue moon, when I meet the guys who know you. People just shrug and say Damien’s just “this guy”. These are people you know Damien, people you probably respect. It’s basically a mystery. And you’ve *never* actually outlined anything to me other than what boiled down to basic insults.

    I only want to know your criticisms of “Techcrunch London” (such a thing does not exist BTW, we now have contributors from all over Europe, though I’ve struggled to find anyone willing in Ireland, takers anyone?) because I’m attempting to *engage* with you. Yes, it’s bad timing but frankly the only time you ever seem to want to engage with me is to have a go, so here I am, trying once more.

    Because here’s my offer. Call me up and say all of this to my face, or at least my ear. Bawl me out. And, please, come up with something more substantive. Because I can tell you you can’t insult me. You can’t hurt me. With my wife surviving cancer and my kids being ill, I’ve been through far more than you could ever hurl at me, seriously.

    My mobile phone number is on TechCrunch Europe under About. Your choice. If you don’t call me then I’ll just take a hint, that’s fine. But it will speak volumes about you if you don’t.

  20. All that text but your final line sums up who is Mike Butcher.

  21. Mike Butcher says:

    Oh, the pain! Ok, forget the semantics and call me you old tease.

  22. Roger says:

    damian, sent you email on what butcher is like and how he plies his “trade”. eyeopening.

  23. I didn’t make my earlier comment clear, Damien, sorry (heh, I’m a communicator remember?).

    It’s not about deleting your tweet or the screenshot – and I support you 100% in refusing to do that – it’s the posting of the screenshot in the first place. What does that achieve? Not essential to any of the points you or anyone is making about TechCrunch’s gaffe.

    And I’d agree – for the moment, the discussion focus is shifting to TechCrunch Europe asking people to take stuff down. Not smart. (Shel Holtz and I discussed this in today’s episode of the FIR podcast, btw.)

  24. lol @ Neville. I get ya now.

    @Roger To be frank, I don’t care, take it up with Mike. Hiding behind a proxy doesn’t instill confidence.

  25. Des says:

    Would someone please think of the children ?

    Imagine if Techcrunch could have done an Amazon on it….

  26. Sean Smith says:

    I wonder if Mike’s wife and kids are happy to be used in such a cynical way? The thread was dealing with how a company went about its business and has nothing to do with who had cancer or how many kids were sick…

  27. maffa says:

    This all appears to be a very unfortunate media mistake which really does seem to have developed into somewhat of a keyboard based duel between Mr Butcher and Mr Mulley, which has some historical context to it. A melting pot of social media tension.

    However that is actually a smoke screen – analysing the responses, to and fro, i believe that Mr Mulley is in fact in love with Mr Butcher’s hairstyle, Mr Butcher knows this and as a result Mr Mulley can’t bear to see it on anyone else apart from himself. It’s a classic case. Unfortunately there is no known cure, so i suggest we just put this one down to experience and leave it there.

    In otherwords this is all a load of bollox. Someone made a mistake and tried to sort it out the best they could.

    Maybe i could suggest a nice walk in the summer air for all?

  28. Great post, Great comments, Good to see your still causing trouble Damien! πŸ˜‰

    And @maffa your comment has to be the best comment I’ve seen in a while! Wait to break the tension πŸ˜€

  29. […] yes. That was kind of my reaction too. First the tweets started flying in, then the blog posts followed and then, two hours later, an apology from TechCrunch Europe (a career highlight I promise you […]