Schmidt’s Comments On Getting Facebook Data Disappear from WSJ (Update: No, they didn’t)

Update: It seems the WSJ has combined and merged two different stories. The quote from Schmidt is still there, though way below in the new merged copy. Thanks, Henry Blodget!

Yesterday, I wrote about Schmidt’s comments reported by the WSJ on wanting users’ Facebook contact lists. The post from WSJ appeared on Techmeme:

Techmeme Snapshot of WSJ

The quote from Schmidt in question, led to headlines like these, from Fortune:

Techmeme Snapshot of Fortune

Except, if you visit that WSJ story, it has been replaced with an entirely different one:

New WSJ Story

What’s up?

I tried searching for the old story on WSJ.com, but it’s not available anymore. I tried the cached version of that page from all search engines but couldn’t get the old story.

Strangely, Reuters reporting on the same event did not have the same quote from Schmidt that the WSJ had:

“The best thing that would happen is for Facebook to open up its data,” Mr. Schmidt said. “Failing that, there are other ways to get that information.” He declined to be specific.

At present, both the WSJ and Mr. Schmidt can deny these reports.

The only place I can find this story, with that quote, is on Voices on All Things Digital, which gets a syndicated feed from the WSJ. And in case that too disappears, here’s a snapshot for proof:

Schmidt Quote from WSJ

It is certainly strange that the Wall Street Journal should replace an old story with a new one with the exact same URL. Is there something going on that we are not supposed to know about?

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  • http://twitter.com/zseward Zach Seward

    Hi, Mashendra. Thanks for keeping us on our toes. I work at WSJ.com, so I was able to look into this a bit for you. But what quote are you saying disappeared? If it’s the one that begins, “The best thing that would happen is for Facebook to open up its data,” that quote is still in the article and always was. It did not disappear. Or am I missing something?

    As with a lot of stories, we posted an early version during the day (in this case, focusing on Google’s social ambitions) and kept updating it as the day went on. By the end of the day, we decided to focus on the privacy breach and firing, thus the change of headline and lede, but the stuff about Google and Facebook remained in the story, just lower down. The quote you’re looking for is in the 12th graf.

    Happy to discuss this further.

  • http://www.skepticgeek.com Mahendra

    Hey Zach,

    I have updated the above post and headline to reflect the change just before you commented. A lot of folks were indeed confused and hence I penned this down. Thanks for the response!

  • http://twitter.com/zseward Zach Seward

    Ah, cool. Thanks! I like the concept of version tracking that Mathew Ingram raised. It’s actually something we’ve discussed here and may pursue.

  • Anonymous

    I am pretty sure Google can figure whatever it wants to about Facebook considering it has 1,490,000,000 of Facebook pages indexed. site:facebook.com Google search http://bit.ly/cf55rc

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