When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

08 August 2006

When you hit bottom, stop digging

AOL, also known ruefully in the financial community as "the worst acquisition in modern corporate history" (having destroyed $200 billion in Time Warner shareholder value - source) would seem to have screwed up, comprehensively, in just about every way that a company can screw up.

But no. Here's a helpful reminder that it can always get worse:

AOL removed a list of the Web search inquiries of 658,000 unnamed users from a public Web site over the weekend, after bloggers complained that the information was so detailed and personal that it could compromise the users’ privacy.

AOL said the publication of the data was a violation of internal policies and issued a strongly worded apology.

“This was a screw-up, and we’re angry and upset about it,” a statement from the company said. “It was a mistake, and we apologize.”

Memo to AOL: When your company starts behaving essentially like an abusive drunk sending flowers to the wife he beat up the night before, it's time to pull the plug.

AOL Removes Search Data on Group of Web Users - New York Times

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