Earlier today, we
aggregated curated an Ad Age post by Simon Dumenco, where he described how Huffington Post’s aggregation of his article gave it only a meager bump in traffic, calling into question HuffPo’s rationale that aggregation drives major traffic to smaller sites. FishbowlNY itself noted that HuffPo’s aggregated version of Dumenco’s piece was around 250 words long — and the original article was about 676 words — so we weren’t surprised that HuffPo’s near full-on rewriting enticed only a few to check out the original piece.
HuffPo took notice. Poynter has posted an email to Dumenco from HuffPo Executive Business Editor Peter Goodman, in which Goodman apologizes for this “unacceptable” occurrence (great!) and adds that “the writer of the offending post has been suspended indefinitely” (what?!) The full email is below the jump.
This has struck some as an extreme, even aggravating reaction. For one, many who might want to speak publicly about their experiences with HuffPo may now prefer to hold back out of fear of getting a writer — who seems to have just been doing her job — fired. Choire Sicha writes at The Awl, “This is along the lines of arresting hookers instead of johns, or drug users instead of drug importers, or something.” He goes on to write:
The writer, who seems to be Yale class of (something fairly recent), Amy Lee, was doing pretty much what she’d been trained to do, either overtly or covertly, and she took the fall for the HuffPo, which is so obviously baloney… So the Huffington Post thinks it gets off clean from these entrenched practices by temporarily canning a smart young person who’s doing one of their terrible jobs as a way to get into writing and as a way to pay bills. It shouldn’t.