Here’s a dilemma: The guy (”Hacker Croll”) who claims to have accessed hundreds of confidential corporate and personal documents of Twitter and Twitter employees, is releasing those documents publicly and sent them to us earlier today. The zip file contained 310 documents, ranging from executive meeting notes, partner agreements and financial projections to the meal preferences, calendars and phone logs of various Twitter employees. We’ve spent most of the evening reading these documents. The vast majority of them are somewhat embarrassing to various individuals, but not otherwise interesting. […] There is clearly an ethical line here that we don’t want to cross, and the vast majority of these documents aren’t going to be published, at least by us. But a few of the documents have so much news value that we think it’s appropriate to publish them.
So, you say this is for its “news value”. Fine. What’s the story? This documentation must be in support of some incredible revelation that the public simply must know about, right? For the public good? Twitter is going to sell all our souls to the devil, is that it? If there’s no story that needs to be told for the public good — to right some wrong — then there’s no reason to even think about publishing this private information, no matter how you got it. If there’s no news, then this is merely entertainment, and you are paparazzi. And paparazzi, Mike, are the scum of the earth.