Carbonite is suing a vendor over some equipment
that we bought back in 2006 and 2007 (see posts below). From a news
standpoint, we thought that this was an inconsequential story about a
minor trade dispute. Wrong. It has turned into a PR fiasco for
Carbonite, and highlights the danger of Internet "news" where every
writer is just copying what he or she has read elsewhere and NOBODY is
doing what a real reporter does: check the primary sources.
of blogs sensationalized our lawsuit by implying that 7500 Carbonite
customers had lost data (the real number was 54) and that it is a
current ongoing problem (it was over a year ago and we no longer buy
servers from Promise).
Throughout all of this, NOT ONE person
bothered to pick up the phone and call me to get the facts. Few if any
read what was actually in the lawsuit. The story simply passed from one
blogger to another, getting juicier along the way.
have been folding up around the country. If all we're left with are
Internet bloggers who get their material by reading what others have
already said, who is actually going to do the investigative reporting?
Who is going to call the parties involved and ask, "Is this true what
I've read on the Internet?" Where are the newsroom editors who will
redline a reporter's story, asking "What is your source?" While I don't
believe there was any malice regarding Carbonite, what's to stop
someone from starting a malicious rumor that spreads like wildfire?
email address is right on our web site. It wouldn't have been hard to
call or write asking for comment and a copy of the actual lawsuit. News
on the Internet is free, but it's pretty clear that you get what you
I would like to commend one tech writer who had the good manners to post an apology on my blog.
I received an email from Dave Friend today regarding a post on my technical blog (http://techtips.timlaytonllc.com).
I had written a brief article about the loss of data for 7,500
carbonite.com customers. I first learned of the data loss via my
Twitter feed (twitter.com/timlaytonsr) and then I performed a google
search confirming the story. All of the various stories basically read
the same so I felt comfortable publishing my article based on the vast
number of what I believed to be reliable sources that I found via the
After reading Dave's email in detail we exchanged several conversations
back and forth. I quickly realized that I had not gotten the full story
via the many sources that I used to research my article.
I have lived long enough to realize that there are usually two sides to
every pancake. It is very unfortunate when hard-working reliable
organizations like Carbonite experience negative and damaging press
when all of the facts were clearly not reported by the masses.
I am writing today to offer my humble apology to Dave Friend and the
Carbonite team. I learned a valuable lesson today — so thank you...
Thank you Tim.