Robert Scoble’s weekend war with Twitter

scoble vs twitterRobert Scoble has no problems with confrontation and doesn’t have to be asked for his opinion twice – or even once for that matter. The blogging titan has been known to enlighten and enrage within the same breath, and in an altogether expected turn of events he managed to reinforce that reputation this weekend.

On Saturday, Scoble claimed that inside sources told him Twitter’s internal relations stood on some shaky ground. He revealed that a few important Twitter staffers would no longer be working at Twitter, which turned out to only be partially true. Scoble went on to say that Twitter was “really messed up internally,” something a variety of sources told him.

He made a handful of observations about relationships between other digital companies, but kept returning to the fact (which has since been contested) that the Twitter team was struggling and that investors might be nervous. Understandably, Twitter investor Chris Sacca took serious offense to these allegations.

Sacca lashed out at Scoble via Twitter (naturally), accusing him of being so “negative these days that you can’t be bothered to write actual facts” and pretending to have sources. In addition to his aggravation at Scoble’s attacks, he also pointed out that the blogger was wrong. Not all of the people he had listed as having left Twitter have gone, and as Sacco put it “claiming people don’t work somewhere that they do is messed up. He should be embarrassed.”

And he was. Apparently Sacco shamed Scoble into fessing up. “I’m sorry for the harm that careless journalism did,” he said in an apology post. Scoble admitted he checked the “first few” allegedly ex-Twitter employees, and when they were correct figured the rest also were. He isn’t hanging his head too low though, saying Sacco is somewhat out of line. “It’s unfair to blast one of Twitter’s longest-running users…I’ve put literally thousands of hours into Twitter in my life and will continue to do so.”

So just for the record, @stevej and @robey remain at Twitter, in case you were wondering. Are there internal issues at Twitter? Those rumors persist, but the entire episode is just one of the many lessons to be learned in making bold assertions based on questionable claims. Couple that with the digital celebrity Scoble has accrued and you deserve whatever e-lashing comes your way.


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