Epixtar to PTB: delete that comment.

Epixtar has been doing rounds among Filipino blogs to check for an alledged comment exposing salary information of top executives of the firm.

Migs and Gary got the email first and have since deleted the said comments on their blog. We got the same letter a couple of days ago :

To whom it may concern,

My name is Jeff Myatt, from Epixtar Corp. I write to address the “œEpixtar hunting blog comments on salary info “ thread on your “œPinoy.Tech.Blog” website.

We at Epixtar would never wish to interfere with the free flow of thoughts and ideas on your blog website or elsewhere on the internet. This principle applies with equal force to postings that may portray our Company in an unflattering light.

We must, however, respectfully direct your attention to the January 26th, 2006 posting in this “œEpixtar hunting blog comments on salary info “ thread, which purports to list salaries of many named Epixtar employees.

This personal salary information was obviously misappropriated and posted on your site by an unidentified individual or individuals. This salary information is proprietary and not public, and not intended for publication by Epixtar. It is also materially inaccurate. This information was disseminated unlawfully by whoever posted it on your website.

We must accordingly request that you immediately and fully delete this posting from your website and or “œfriends” websites. Please note that we do not take issue with anyone stating any perceived issues concerning Epixtar; however, we must take issue with the posting of such personal and proprietary information, concerning our business and our employees.

I hope this issue can be resolved in a swift and amicable manner.

If you have any questions or issues regarding this matter, I would welcome the opportunity to address them personally.

Jeff Myatt
SVP, Client Services
Epixtar Corp.
(305) 503 – 8600

First, he mentions about a blog entry title that was never posted on this blog (It was on my own blog and that entry did not contain any comments on the salary info). He is referring to PinoyTechBlog for this comment, of which we have still to decide to remove or not. Our resident lawyer thinks there was nothing illegal about that post. They’re just embarrased. If they have any beef with it, they better take it up with the one that posted it. Secondly, if the information there was inaccurate, what is there to be concerned about?

If Epixtar is approaching the issue this way, they’re just going in circles. What’s preventing the guy who made the comment to open up dozens of free blog accounts all over the net (or forums, yahoogroups, etc.) and post the same info?

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  • he (the letter sender)is obviously referring to the comment that provocatively suggest personal info of their company.. he asked politely and i think its just decent that the comment, not the whole post, should be taken out..

  • Hi Abe,

    IANAL so I’m curious about what “materially inaccurate” means. Does that mean some parts are accurate?

    Are there any privacy issues involved?

    And, how can they take it up with the anonymous poster?

    (If you do decide to keep the comment up, it would be interesting to see if Epixtar will actually take legal action. That would be a first in Philippine blogging history.)

  • yeah you’re not obliged to delete that comment

  • Want me to write them, for real?

  • I’m no lawyer but I also don’t think you are obliged to remove article. You made no claim on the authenticity of such a comment, and if epixtar is so worried about this, then it may have some truth in it.

    Epixtar should simply remain quiet or publish a disclaimer. But to ask to remove such a comment lends more credibility to the comment.

  • think of it this way, you own epixtar, and somewhere across the net posted are some very private information that MAY put your employees in jeopardy.. this information might even put those names in danger, making them vulnerable to threats, extortion, or whatever stuff you want to associate with money sucking jerks / psychopat.. they are worried because those infos are true, and if your name is included on that list, would you be happy to let the whole world know how much money you are earning..?

    you are not obliged, yes. however, youve read about that guy microsoft puts in jail for selling codes that leaks from them..? this is the same case although you ddnt post it yourself, refusing not to take it off after they have requested it spells conspiracy..

  • wrencelot, good point. I guess it becomes more on the sense of responsibility of Pinoy Tech Blog. True, PTB may not be legally “obliged” to delete, but it could be the more responsible thing to do . . .

  • “would you be happy to let the whole world know how much money you are earning..?”

    wrencelot, we’re not obligated to make Epixtar employees “happy”.

  • obviously you’re not “listening” to what im trying to point out here.. im not asking you to make them “happy” and wherever you got that impression is certainly not what im trying to say..

    one piece of advice: learn to read

  • okay, i know my last comment is harsh, and i apologize, but i stand my ground..

    since you put it that way, if youre not oblige to make them “happy”, can you at least help make them safe..? thats my point..

  • if youre not oblige (sic) to make them “happy”, can you at least help make them safe..?

    We’re not their bodyguards.

  • Keyser Soze

    I visit this blog occasionally and have even posted comments in the past and I would just like to say that I am deeply disappointed in the way Pinoytechblog has handled this situation.

    A month ago, a friend started work in a new company. Since she wasn’t yet set up to receive her salary through the ATM, HR cut her a check and carelessly placed it in the department’s outbox. True enough, the messenger picked it up and delivered it to her. And you know what he said? He said, “Ma’am, ang laki pala ng sweldo ninyo.” Immediately, she rang up HR, who in turn, realizing their glaring mistake, began to profusely apologize. They should have delivered that check personally or secured it accordingly before dispatch. And anybody who has ever worked for a company (and I am referring to you people), should realize that employee compensation is a highly confidential matter.

    Also, just because Epixtar considers the information inaccurate, does not mean it should be none of their concern. The fact that it is being purported as such (it being accurate) demands their attention and also of yours. Do you really want to disseminate false information? Or worse, disseminate information that is not even appropriate and legal for you to do so? And don’t you wash your hands by saying you were not the comment’s author. If this blog entry was about the evils of pedophilia and somebody posted a comment with links to child pornography sites, passing them off as references, would you treat it nonchalantly as you have treated the salary info? Would you be comfortable keeping the comment on the grounds it was not your own and because such information is readily available in the world wide web anyway ? Think about it and you would see the absurdity of your position.

    Furthermore, I have been reading the different trackbacks and I am puzzled with the persecution and oppression themes running through them. Let me just say that for every supposed overbearing American, there is a Filipino with a big chip on his shoulder who picks fights needlessly and considers polite requests as rude attacks prematurely. True, maybe Epixtar is truly the big, bad wolf of a company it has been presented to be, BUT, it does not mean that when Pinoytechblog deals with their requests, that you should do so unobjectively.

    What REALLY gets me though, is that you allowed (and are continually allowing) the posting of salary information. You do not even need a letter from Mr. Myatt to see that this is unacceptable. But the thing is, you did, and still do not, consider this inappropriate.

    And that is something I do not understand.

  • Keyser,

    Taking the example you cited, and substituting the characters with the Epixtar incident (i.e., HR = Epixtar, messenger = PTB, friend = Epixtar employees), then what should have been done was for the Epixtar employees to chasise Epixtar, NOT PTB. Your friend did the right thing in scolding HR. If the info is true, then accountability in this incident is Epixtar because they allowed the info to leak to an employee and for this employee to publish it in the net.

    Since this is a “blind article,” the authenticity of the information is already dubious. The fact that it can be posted by anyone does not help its authenticity. But because Epixtar decided to ask PTB to retract (and they even asked it in writing!), it then added to the controversy.

    And please do not compare salary information to child pornography or pedophilia. The latter is clearly ILLEGAL. For PTB to allow a blind article to be published, the jury is still out on that one . . .

  • Keyser Soze


    You know what the messenger should have done if he had his wits about him? He should have immediately handed the check back to HR and told them that he shouldn’t be privy to such information. But he didn’t, because he is a simple messenger who quite possibly, barely finished gradeschool.

    PTB, however, is not a messenger that barely finished gradeschool. PTB has the strength of 15 intelligent individuals behind it, one of whom is no less a lawyer. Therefore, using my example, and following your lead, if the messenger was PTB, then it is disappointing to find out, given the exposed check situation, that no alarm bells sounded in their collective heads. I bet the messenger in my friend’s story has been advised to refrain from talking about the salary amount he saw, in the same way that I HIGHLY recommend that PTB take down the comment that is currently in dispute. We should keep in mind, that it is not solely the HR’s (Epixtar) responsibility but also that of the messenger’s (PTB) in safeguarding my friend’s (Epixtar employees) information.

    Blind article? I don’t consider something blind if it is being put across as something real with alleged real names and real salaries being exposed to the public. Also, what is wrong about making a request in writing? That is how things are done in the real world. You do not ask somebody out to coffee, hold their hand and ask them to take something down, especially if you are an institution or a business entity. You get things in writing. You document everything.

    You said so yourself, the responsible thing to do is for PTB to delete the comment. You even agreed that my friend did the right thing. So you understand the value of keeping compensation information confidential but in the same breath, still consider the jury out when it comes to publishing illegally obtained salary information on the web? How can you even reconcile the two?

    As for my example, maybe it was too strong for your tastes, so here’s a few more:
    1) A blog entry on terrorism with somebody posting a link to building instructions for a pipe bomb.
    2) An article on an anonymous child kidnap or rape victim with somebody revealing the subject’s name in the comment section.
    3) An entry about the Magdalo escapees with a comment indicating their whereabouts.

    In each of the above instances, can a blog owner simply let things be by virtue of these comments not being his and that any attempts to delete them would only be futile?

    Don’t tell me that spam comments are handled more stringently than inappropriate comments such as these.

  • Ray Meyer

    They’re keeping it here for ADCENTS. PTB is a SELLOUT!

    I wonder how Abe Olandres and this ‘nary rank-and-file CSR Mike Abundo would feel if a dossier on them is being circulated via email.

  • Ray,

    We do get a lot of those here everyday. Thanks for taking your time and leaving a comment. 🙂

  • Keyser,

    Well nothing really wrong about putting in writing, but it would have been handled better if there was a talk first—either through a phone call or a face-to-face meeting. In every dealing or negotitation, the proper thing is you first start off with a talk. Writing a letter is a form of escalation. And if you write something, chances are it can be made public. Now that a letter has been written, if one party decides to have a talk, then it gives a signal that that party is on the defensive. It’s just one of those few subtle things that mean a lot.

    Anyway, back to the meat of the discussion, there is a difference between what is meant by being responsible, being ethical, and being legal. Take abortion in the U.S.—while we may say that it is unethical, it is still considered legal in the U.S. On the flip side, some of us may say that euthanasia is ethical if the patient is in horrendous pain, but it is still illegal.

    So case in point, all the examples you mentioned are clearly illegal activities. But is publishing confidential information illegal? If the person signed a non-disclosure agreement, then the answer is yes. But is allowing a comment to remain in the blogsphere considered illegal? I don’t think so. Even PTB’s laywers say that.

    PTB is not legally bound to retract the comment; but, in my opinion, it may just be the responsible thing to do.

  • gie

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    guys wag kayo paapekto sa mga balita madami callcenter sa pias if hindi na kayo pinapasahod saka lang kayo umalis eh sumasahod nman tayo ng maayos keber!………………..magsara sila kung gusto nla basta wre doing our part…..god bless

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  • very good posting. i liked it. keep going. 🙂


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