Wired editor Nicholas Thompson denied using information from a job interview last year with Mashable deputy teach editor Michael Nuñez in his cover story this month on Facebook, reports Michael Calderone of Politico.
Calderone writes, “Nuñez interviewed with Thompson for a job at Wired in late April 2017 and told me they discussed his Gizmodo coverage of Facebook’s Trending Topics, including the explosive allegation that contract workers suppressed conservative news stories. Nuñez recalled discussing his former roommates and ex-Facebook employees Ben Fearnow (who was fired for leaking to Nuñez, though not for the conservative news story) and Ryan Villarreal (who was fired for liking a Nuñez post). Fearnow, Villarreal and Nuñez appear prominently in the Wired story’s lead, prompting Nuñez to suspect information from the job interview played into the piece.
“‘There was absolutely nothing in that conversation that I used in my reporting,’ Thompson told me of the April 2017 meeting. Thompson said he’s sure the Gizmodo Trending stories came up, but said he had no recollection of Nuñez mentioning Fearnow or other sources. Thompson said he and Wired contributing editor Fred Vogelstein began reporting their cover story in late October 2017 and contacted Fearnow in early November. Thompson said someone else referred him to Fearnow, who had also already been identified in a New York Times article. Fearnow told me he gave his account of the Trending saga to Thompson in November.”
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