“Got kitesurfing on the mind, mixed with some search & classification tech, and a dab of political ranting”

Megan McCarthy: The Reason The Blogosphere Is Seen As Having Few Scrupples

Posted by direwolff on April 12, 2007

Pretty pathetic to read in Valleywag’s own Web pages that one of its research assistants was unabashed about admitting that she snooped through someone’s mobile phone sitting on a table at a booth at the STIRR industry event last night:

Valleywag’s Megan McCarthy was spotted scrolling through the doughy entrepreneur’s cellphone contact list. “Yes,” Megan confessed to me. “If I find an unattended phone, I’m going to pick it up and look at it. It’s not a Valleywag thing, I’m just that nosy.”

That she feels comfortable admitting that this is justified behavior because she’s “nosy” falls right in line with the behavior that justifies people threatening Kathy Sierra. One can argue about the severity of the act, but in both cases these are violations of other people’s personal spaces and rights of privacy. Leaving one’s cell phone, even in a crowded space, next to where you’re demoing your application, does not surrender the owner’s right to privacy nor indicate consent for someone else to start going through the address book. If it had been my PDA she had rumaged through, I’d feel very violated. That Valleywag tolerates such behavior from their staff is deplorable and somewhat surprising considering I’ve always considered Nick Denton to have a sense of integrity. What’s worse is that she even tries to justify her act per a misrepresented 3 year old story about Kevin Burton that appeared in Wired and has since been resolved in his favor.

Something to keep in mind the next time you see someone with a badge saying they’re from Valleywag. Sad.

Perhaps the real question here is was she looking for Kevin’s phone number to call him for a date? Hmmm…

(4/14/07 UPDATE: According to reliable sources, the phone had to forcibly removed from Megan’s hand. Now she’s a liar too.  Just great.)

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