There are just some things you do not post in public. One of those things are private messages. If someone sends you privileged information in private, you must – without a shadow of a doubt – keep that information private, unless you have explicit permission from the source that you can share that information with the public.

Nintendo posted the full transcript of a private message sent to him via Threadwatch from Adam Lasnik of Google at ThreadWatch (which was pulled), at DigitalPoint forums and at Google Groups. I will not quote it here, but the context is not relevant to my point. The private message was sent privately to Nintendo and was not understood to be posted in a public setting.

Adam replied in the Google Groups area;

Encouraging further e-mails to my personal address and e-mail subjects with my name in ’em probably isn’t the most scalably-smart thing to do ;-).

Before Threadwatch deleted the conversation from their site, I caught a few responses from both Matt Cutts and the founder of Threadwatch, NickW.

Matt Cutts said;

I’m also surprised that you’re quoting a PM from Adam Lasnik. Doesn’t PM stand for “Private message”? Most people I know dislike having private replies quoted without asking.

NickW said:

Obnoxious little shit Nintendo, you are a fuckwit of gargantuan proportion. You snivelly, sneaky little whining shit. How disgusting to post privately communicated info in public, and how much worse to then continue your obnoxious teenage footstomping after being told your a dickhead (in politer terms, but that’s what Matt meant.). You twat. PS: Why the fuck is this on the homepage? Hellllloooo…. anyone paying attention?

Now, that is why I have a published Search Engine Roundtable Code of Ethics which I and the authors at the Search Engine Roundtable are required to uphold.

Trust is just so important and it only takes a second to lose it. Be careful!

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