AOL Higherups OK’d Search Record Release

The AOL company researcher who released the data is one Abdur Chowdhury, pictured at right, looking like a douche.

A fellow researcher of his and coauthor of several search optimization papers, Eric Jensen, told NYT, “Their [AOL’s] response has served to inflame the situation rather than address the problem…I think that rather than making scapegoats out of people, you could have explained what this data was for.”

Gee, firing the people directly responsible and blaming it on them without addressing underlying issues, where have we heard that one before?

Jensen added, “he had been told that the posting of the data had been approved by all appropriate executives at AOL, including Ms. Govern.”

AOL: We care when the media makes us.


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  1. AcilletaM says:

    To read without registering, from
    user – goaway147
    pwd – goaway

  2. AcilletaM says:

    We know what the data is for and I don’t think you would get a lot of people arguing that there are not things a search company or marketing company could learn from studying the data. The dumb thing, the fireable offense, is releasing the data to the public.

  3. Mauvaise says:

    “AOL: We care when the media makes us.”

    I think you should add that to your T-shirt slogans list.

  4. Spiny Norman says:


    You’re right, that’s what got them fired. The crime is that we have no idea how often AOL *sold* this kind of data to anyone who came knocking.

  5. Triteon says:

    I sometimes wonder what happens (professionally) to people who are responsible for these colossal screw-ups. The company always “wishes them well in their future endeavors” or some other corporate-speak. What is that next interview like?
    “Ms. McGovern, why did you leave AOL?”
    “You mean you didn’t hear?”