Sam Sethi fired for not deleting a comment?

There is a post on the web2ireland blog claiming that Techcrunch UK’s Sam Sethi has been fired by Mike Arrington!

The post author, Paul Walsh is very close to Sam so I would put a lot of faith in this post.

My sources are telling me that Sam was fired for refusing to remove a comment from the TechCrunch UK site. The comment in question was one where Loic Le Meur called Sam an asshole for putting up a negative review of Le Web 3. The comment has since been deleted.

Sam put up a post on TechCrunch UK saying he and Mike had parted ways but that post has been deleted also. I found it in my RSS reader and it said:

Following yesterday’s post about Le Web and Loic’s retort. It seems Mike Arrington has disagreed with my post and opinion believing my actions to be vindictive towards Loic. What was said between Mike and I will remain confidential but suffice to say I can no longer remain with TechCrunch UK & Ireland. It is a very sad after all the work that has gone into TechCrunch UK and Ireland. I wish all of the UK and Irish entrepreneurs well. I will be personally blogging back at http://www.vecosys.com and looking for something new to keep me busy. Bye �

I was just starting to enjoy Techcrunchuk after a slow start and cant believe that Michael would come down on Loic’s side on what I thought was a very fair and balanced post regarding Leweb3

Sam seems to confirm this version of events on Twitter.

Sam doesn’t seem to be answering his mobile and I have emailed Mike to try to get his side of the story – if I hear back from either of them I will update this post.

I know both Mike and Sam and have a lot of respect for both of them so I find this particularly hard to believe.

[Update] – Mike has clarified his reasons for firing Sam on his Crunchnotes site:

The actions that resulted in his dismissal were additional comments he wrote on that second post, announcing “that TechCrunch UK will be doing a series of seminars and a conference next year as well as a series of smaller meetings in conjunction with friends & partners which have been in the planning for sometime now.�

These events were not discussed with me, and certainly were not approved. The fact that he announced and promoted them while trashing a competing event was a clear conflict of interest and was not appropriate. I do not consider this to be ethical behavior.

None of this had to be aired publicly, but Sam chose to write a final post on the blog after he was terminated stating incorrectly that he was being terminated because of the original post. He has also written publicly that he was terminated because he would not comply with my demand to delete a post. That is not accurate. This is driven entirely from Sam’s ethical lapse in trashing a competitor while simultaneously promoting his own events. That’s not acceptable – readers will not be able to determine if he actually believed what he wrote about the conference, or rather exaggerated his opinions to futher his own business interests.

4 thoughts on “Sam Sethi fired for not deleting a comment?”

  1. Tom, I was actually on a Skype call with Sam throughout this remarkable event. I synchronised my post on the web2Ireland blog with Sam’s last note – which itself has been deleted!

    This is on par with Tim O’Reily trying to stop you from running the non for profit, low cost conference in Cork 😉

    I think this is a sad day for blogging in general and leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth.

    Are these guys getting too big for their boots?

  2. Oh dear. Is this the beginning of the end? Blogging pros in row over comment deletion issue, blogosphere goes tits up.

    This is why we need Loic to legislate on comment deletion issues.

    See, this was always going to be a danger with the ease at which blogging and commenting makes publishing on the internerd.

    I think it’s time we examined the perceived etiquette of posting all comments and posts and not editing them etc etc.

    I personally think there’s too much crap on the internet and maybe everybody should get more brutal about what they allow to be posted to their blog – both in posts and in comments.

    If it adds value post it, if it doesn’t delete it.
    So, Tom I guess what I’m saying is you should delete this comment 🙂

    I’m not arguing one side or the other of this issue by the way, just ranting about the issues it raises.

    All the same to use this issue as an example, if Loic wants to call someone an asshole he should probably use the phone. Failing that he should do it on his own site. If his comment doesn’t add value to the post I think I’d be in favour of deleting it, while being open to the posting of negative comments which are reasoned rather than personal (I realise Arrington’s motives were most likely different).

    Was there, in fact, a policy in place at TechCrunch UK regarding the deletion of posts and comments?

    You know what? Forget I asked, let’s everybody suck it up and move on. It’s between an employee and his employer – if I understand correctly, so let them sort it out and let’s all get on with our own lives.

    The blogosphere is becoming so much navelgazing and infighting these days. And here I am contributing to it. So that’s me done on the matter.

  3. Tom will call you tomorrow. I decided that after the requested censorship from Mike that the best thing was to not agree which pushed the issue to closure. Mike says I was profiteering from Loic’s ill chosen words.

    Please read my posts again and make your own conclusion.

    Sam

    P.S I didn’t organise Le Web or the politicians nor did I make the wifi fail or call people an asshole.

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