So I’m going to do something stupid. I’m going to write while I’m mad. Not only that, I’m going to write a post on my blog that is read by almost no one against a behemoth tech company that I really like.
TechCrunch is a bully. Or at least they were today.
Earlier this evening, Anthony Ha, a person I’ve never met and someone I have absolutely nothing against, wrote one of the most painful articles I’ve forced myself to read. And TechCrunch gave him their front page. He is bringing your attention to someone you’ll probably never meet or come across, Shirley Hornstein, to tell you how awful she is. It’s like reading a middle school girl’s diary.
The article blatantly attacks Shirley for misrepresentation at best and accuses her of Silicon Valley whoremongering at worst. People I respect are now commenting, liking and RT’ing it out… Which puts me in an awkward position.
So here’s the thing. Let’s assume that Shirley is the worst person of all possibilities you could gather from this article. Let’s say she lies. It seems proven that that is true, and I’ve had friends on the receiving end of those alleged lies. Lets say she’s a bad photoshopper and that the Andy Samberg photo showed up on her Path even just this week. Say she claimed to have a higher connection with people with whom she had some loose affiliation.
Let’s assume it all.
The things that Shirley is accused of sound a LOT like the tech industry I’ve come to know. I hear so many conversations about relationships that tech industry B-listers have with top CEO’s. Seems like everyone is besties with Jack Dorsey and Dennis Crowley. Someone went to the same party, took a photo and regaled their friends about how “down to earth” person X was or how Person Y is just as much of an ass as all the rumors say. Reality is, there’s no relationship at all.
I don’t care how many people you have in your address book. If you can get a response from Zuck if you email his incredibly easy-to-decipher address. If Fred Wilson shook your hand and Peter Thiel heard about your idea from your “advisor.” Most of us are not as big of a deal that we convey that we are. 99% of the industry is guilty.
So I ask: Do we all want established media outlets to come sort through all of the claims we’ve made on twitter? I DON’T. I’ve exaggerated before. I’ll admit it. But so have you.
Shirley Hornstein is a human. She’s not evil. She has friends and people that love her. She has a future. She’s SUPER young (younger than you probably think). And she has the top media company in the tech industry trying to take her down. Sound fair to you?
So shame on TechCrunch for publishing something that belongs on TMZ. Shame on Anthony for smiling at all the retweets he gets tonight. Shame on the editors for allowing their bias to let something like this to ever go live, much less put it on the home page. And shame on my friends for enjoying such a hurtful piece.
We should want the best for people. Healing, reconciliation and health. Sure, there should absolutely be accountability for our actions. But Anthony’s article was not written in hope to bring something good about from it. He seems to have set out to destroy Shirley. I hope he doesn’t succeed.