TechCrunch Posts Leaked Twitter Documents, Twitter Not Happy

Last Thursday, TechCrunch posted a multitude of proprietary information belonging to Twitter. Some 300 confidential documents arrived in the tech blog’s inbox the prior Tuesday, from someone known as “Hacker Croll.”

The documents include employment agreements, calendars of the founders, new employee interview schedules, phone logs and bills, alarm settings, a financial forecast, a pitch for a Twitter TV show, confidentiality agreements with companies such as AOL, Dell, Ericsson, and Nokia, a list of employee dietary restrictions, credit card numbers, Paypal and Gmail screen shots, and much more.

TechCrunch published some of the documents, though they first filtered through them and withheld some that they felt they shouldn’t publish.

Twitter, suffice to say, isn’t too pleased about TechCrunch’s decision to publish said material, much of which is critical to their plans to grow and monetize their business. The microblogging giant is considering filing a lawsuit.

Evan Williams' tweet to TechCrunch

It is my opinion that TechCrunch should not have posted the documents. They were were never meant to be made public, they were obtained by illegal means, and they don’t reveal some sort of internal Twitter scandal or anything. The only thing achieved by publishing the documents is Twitter’s business plan is now publicly available to any company wishing to compete against them.

  • deansaliba

    It seems like TechCrunch are slowly turning into the blog equivalent of a tabloid newspaper.

    • redwall_hp

      Yeah, kind of. They've always had some sensationalist tendencies, but they're really pushing that end now.

  • Evan

    I really got turned off to TC a while back, when it posted an accusatory article without any verification, which, if I recall, didn't have much merit. I only go there now if I see a link to one of their articles show up elsewhere. A commenter on my site argued that journalists get info in shady ways all the time (he was just playing devil's advocate). I think the difference is there was nothing "for the public good" in these documents, like with Watergate or something like that. On the This Week in Tech podcast this week, they mentioned that TC even posted some documents showing some not-so-nice things that Twitter execs said about others, such as a Google executive. No reason for that at all.

    • redwall_hp

      You've summed it up right there. Yes, journalists do get information in shady ways, but TC didn't do it "for the public good," they just did it because they could; because they thought they'd look cool.