Hailie Jade Mathers

March 17, 2011 by Post Team 

Hailie Jade Mathers, AOL’s pop culture blog Gossip /, Popeater, filed a ton of employees last week. I do not know how exactly, but at least four of their résumés have landed on my desk last week, if that tells you something.

The reform of writing AOL is not new, of course. CEO Tim Armstrong is a great believer in Neighbourhood Watch-esque, “hyperlocal” amateur journalism outpost patch; he bought the plant for Huffington Link Dump and 315 million killed in the first AOL Fanhouse quarter of this year alone.

So when Popeater scored them a scoop yesterday by revealing that Eminem’s daughter Hailee was secretly Twitter, I thought, “Good for them! The layoffs are difficult, but at least they kept their core reporting team in place. “As with any story that AOL points of their traffic firehose, this” scoop “traveled all over the internet, and I have no doubt that millions of people read this story (or at least read the title).

Well, it turns out that today was a big hoax. Popeater / AOL had not done their homework by acting on a tip and report the story, but rather, they took an informant for the word (always a good idea!) Click on “Bars” and put their advertising / syndication wheels in motion. It was not until other outlets (a rare pat on the back for E!) made some reports and discovered the account was a fake that Popeater released a lightweight “Ha ha fool us! ” Retraction.

Why does this matter? Of course, it is not “matter” at all of Eminem’s daughter is not really on Twitter. However, what matters is that AOL has positioned itself as an outlet for new and spent a ton of money / resources web surfers convince their network of sites are something that people should be trusted to get the latest news. And phasing seasoned professional writers (they are “journalists,” bloggers “or whathaveyou) from their payroll, the probability of these errors arise no doubt increase, thus compromising their value and reliability.

Even more afraid, however, is that the next time something like this happens under the AOL, he probably will not be a story on harmless gossip nonexistent interpolation Twitter. There is a very real possibility that the screw-up question will be related to something that really matters.

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