On Monday evening I received a phone call from someone I trust who told me that one of our interns had asked for compensation in exchange for a blog post. Specifically, this intern had allegedly asked for a Macbook Air in exchange for a post about a startup.
After an investigation we determined that the allegation was true. In fact, on at least one other occasion this intern was almost certainly given a computer in exchange for a post.
The intern in question has admitted to some of the allegations, and has denied others. We suspended this person while we were sorting through exactly what happened. When it became clear yesterday that there was no question that this person had requested, and in one case taken, compensation for a post, the intern was terminated.
This was not one of our full time writers, and so the frequency of posts was light. Nevertheless, we’ve also deleted all content created by this person on our blogs. We are fairly certain that most of the posts weren’t tainted in any way, but to be sure we’ve removed every word written by this person on the TechCrunch network.
Our attorneys have advised us not to disclose the name of the individual because the person is not a legal adult. We also think that, given the intern’s age, it may not be appropriate to make their identity public.
We are all shaken here at TechCrunch – this is someone who was our friend and who we trusted to be honest with our readers. Our hope is that the intern learns something from this experience and grows into the kind of person that will be more welcome in this community.
I apologize to each one of you. I promise that we will always maintain complete transparency with you on how we operate, even when it isn’t such an easy thing to do.
Update: Daniel, the intern in question, has decided to talk about this situation publicly on his blog. I’m glad that he has. You can read his thoughts here
I paste the content in full, since I think TechCrunch wouldn’t mind that this is fully circulated.