Huffington Post In a Panicky Retreat
I didn't expect to continue to write about the Huffington Post Troll Scandal, but the fall-out continues.
First, after I had unmasked the HuffPo Troll they locked me out from the site, which in the Internet world means that you are fired.
Then, they did what I had recommended, and Jonah Peretti declared that "The staff will not post any critical comments in the future. --JP"
And now they have just deleted all "Readers' favorite comments" and removed the button to vote for a favorite comment.
Arianna stated "We've looked at the data logs and Yaco-Mink's comment got the most "best of" votes from different, verifiable IP addresses. There was no manipulation."
So of course there was no reason to disable this system, since it was fair and impervious to manipulation.
Not so. The fact that "Readers' favorite comments" have been deleted can mean only two things. HuffPuff learned the system was easy to game, which many readers also showed in their replies to this site. Or HuffPuff couldn't stand all the comments criticizing my termination being voted to the top. Or both.
No matter what is going on here, HuffPuff is in an uncoordinated, panicky, retreat mode; rarely seen in the blogging world.
The irony of all this is that HuffPuff partner Jonah Peretti is supposed to be an expert in "viral marketing" and he didn't stand a chance when bloggers and readers he had intended to "viral market" using spam e-mails turned on him like a tsunami.
In conclusion, the juveniles running HuffPuff have made several serious errors in judgment, errors a professional organization with more experienced managers would have been less likely to make.
These were my parting words to HuffPuff:
"Seriously, I have loved working with you, and I just have to tell you personally, since I have done marketing and crisis management for my entire live; HuffPo has made a critical, amateurish error in judgment. You really need to get professional advice."
Perhaps the PR and advertising professionals at the WPP Group and JWT will now help them clean up their mess.