In case you haven’t heard, tune in quick to the Cooks Source story on the internet. The story is developing by the hour. See short introduction. Read original post that kicked off the internet firestorm.
Summary in one run-on sentence: magazine lifts entire article without permission, author complains, magazine sends multiple condescending replies, author posts story to blog, posting goes viral, several thousand harsh comments posted to magazine’s Facebook page, most of internet world lashes magazine, bunch of advertisers pull ads, crowd sourcing identifies dozens of other apparently stolen articles, crowd sourcing accumulates the results on-line and starts notifying the original authors, Washington Post/MSNBC/LA Times start reporting, there are
15,600,000 hits 295,000 hits from searching the magazine’s name, reputation of magazine and editor completely destroyed.
All this has happened in the last 36 hours!
You can find
a few million articles several hundred thousand articles on the story, so my thoughts will be few. Some observations:
- Look how fast this has blossomed – from first post to 15M hits in 36 hours
- Watch what you say in e-mails – they can come back to haunt you – how many dozens of times do we need to hear that before we all learn?
- Get proactive with bad news – several rounds of lousy replies to a problem can destroy you
- Keep on top of social media – a few hours out of the loop has destroyed the reputation of this magazine
- Power of crowd sourcing – there is already a long list of other articles matched to original sources, with the list posted to publicly available spreadsheet and original authors being notified, some of which have lots of attorneys on staff and reputations of using them
There will be lots of lessons for us to learn from this disaster. Stay tuned.