We did NOT fire him today, and absolutely did not and would not fire anyone for posting a rumor. This afternoon, I received an email from someone on my staff about some issues CrazyAce had with GotApex in general and other staff. I asked them what this was about, and they responded that it was about the issue of plagiarism with respect to Mike. I decided to then temporarily stop CrazyAce's news and email access, so that I could read up on all of the pertinent information, as well as talk directly with CrazyAce and get his side of the story. This made the most sense with the information at hand. This was the first I had heard of the issue of VE and plagiarism.
Let me get this clear, right from the beginning. At the time I temporarily froze CrazyAce's account, the issue with Mike was still a largely unsubstantiated rumor. Regardless of whether or not it was a rumor however, obviously no one would get fired for posting once thing like this. I'm sure CrazyAce knew this, as I know him to be an obviously intelligent individual with a firm grasp of common sense.
Between the time I temporarily froze his account (4:52pm) to when I spoke with CrazyAce (6:17pm) was when RIPDOTCOM decided to post this misinformation all over the place.
Where does it stand now? I told CrazyAce basically what GotApex is doing with news and what we are trying to accomplish, sitewide. I told him that it would be his decision whether or not he wanted to post news for us. He said he did not think he would have as much fun posting with so many rules, but would consider it and get back to me later. On our side, I take full responsibility for not having a news policy written up earlier. I know much of the misunderstanding could have been avoided if I had had this done.
We never tried "covering up the fact that Mike stone works for" us. Why? Mike posts news for us every week, week in and week out. Trying to cover this up would be stupid and futile. Besides we are not planning to cut ties with Mike. Yes, what he did was wrong. However, I can tell you that I've screwed up many MANY times in my life and could not and would not in good conscience axe someone for something like this.
I'm not going to touch the issue of "censorship" and deciding "what's news and what's not" because it is unnecessary. That has nothing to do with the situation with CrazyAce; it is a completely separate issue. I think most people are smart enough to realize that Brent is telling the truth about how media is handled in a business setting.