Michael Arrington is “shaken” and has dismissed 17-year-old tech wunderkind Daniel Brusilovsky after information emerged that the kid was demanding shiny new tech toys in exchange for TechCrunch coverage.
In a post publicly flogging the “unnamed” minor (easily discerned due to his notability and some identifying information) Arrington says all of Brusilovsky’s contributions have been deleted and that he hopes the intern will develop into a person who can “be more welcome in this community.” Ouch. After rescinding Daniel’s seat at the cool kids table, Arrington goes on to link to the boy’s blog, where Brusilovsky apologizes for the kickback-demands and says the word “amazing” about 35 times. To imagine how this boy must be feeling, take any of your high school gym class mortifications and multiply it by about a million. Then post it on the internet.
Of course, I’d imagine that no matter how clever a high school kid sounds or how impressively tech savvy he is, it might be a good idea to implement some oversight before turning out his work to the tech blogosphere unchecked. It’s likely he had a pretty good idea of at least the basic integrity related issues that surround receiving kickbacks for placements, but when I was seventeen I wasn’t allowed to work the fryolater alone at Roy Rogers, much less disseminate information to a large pool of readers that could make or break a fledgling company.
Generally, when kids screw things up on a large scale, they get in some trouble, but ultimately the adults in charge of them have to answer too for not keeping a close enough eye on the little bastards. Seventeen is still seventeen, and if the internet had been anything more than AOL over a carrier pigeon dial-up connection when I was that age, I imagine I would have gotten up to scads more idiocy. What really sucks is that what probably didn’t feel like too bad of a decision at the time will probably follow this kid for far longer than he could have imagined.