The Australian’s media editor lashes ‘parasite’ bloggers after professional identity theft


Davidson: “Too much of the blogging environment is poulated by parasites”

The editor of The Australian’s media section Darren Davidson has said the blogosphere is “populated by parasites” after someone using a fake email address contacted senior media executives to attempt to steal stories by pretending to be him.

Victoria Police are understood to have been called in to investigate the case which Davidson believes could have been going on for several months, culminating in News Corp lawyers sending a cease and desist letter to one of the owners of the DeciderTV blog, Kevin Perry.

Davidson told Mumbrella he was alerted by contacts that someone was using a false email address similar to his official News Corp one to contact executives at media companies in March. However, the offender had also paid to protect their IP address, frustrating efforts to track down the culprit by News Corp’s techies.

Things came to a head on mid-April when a PR person for Nine Network accidentally emailed an opinion piece by presenter Tracy Grimshaw defending the actions of the 60 Minutes crew in Beirut to the fake email address, instead of Davidson.

According to a report in The Australian’s Media Diary today:

“TV ­blogger Kevin Perry rang Nine to say he had been given the piece by a ‘source’. Grimshaw’s piece had been accidentally emailed to ­Davidson’s impersonator. Perry told Nine he was preparing to run it on his blog…DeciderTV. Clearly, the relevant email had gone to the ‘source’ or Perry.”

News Corp lawyers were called into action on the Sunday afternoon of April 17 and are understood to have sent a cease and desist letter to Perry, telling him he was handling stolen goods and would be in serious trouble if he published Grimshaw’s piece.

'No comment': Perry

‘No comment’: Perry

Perry declined to comment when asked by Mumbrella if he was behind the fake email account or knew who was. News Corp also declined to comment on whether there was any ongoing legal action against Perry.

Asked about his views on the issue Davidson told Mumbrella: “They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay, but stealing one’s identity and handling stolen material is a pretty serious criminal offence.

“It’s yet another example of why too much of the blogging environment is populated by parasites. A vast wasteland of low-end junk and meaningless, undifferentiated traffic based on endless recirculation and cheap social media tricks to game content aggregators and search engines.”


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