AOL/HuffPo streamroller shuts down Download Squad

The iron fisted AOL-HuffPo combo has squashed yet another unfortunate victim, with the Download Squad uncermoniously being forced into early retirement

“In a world where software is moving towards ubiquity, AOL-HuffPo has seen fit to shut down the best software blog on the Web,” editor Sebastian Anthony sadly tweeted.

“[This is truly] insane.” 

When AOL and HuffPo merged, Arianna Huffington became Editor in Chief of more than 56 sites.

Of these 56 sites, AOL asked Huffington to axe 30 of the blogs or merge them into other properties that she deemed “stronger.”

Last week, the AOL/HuffPo hammer came down upon all freelancers at their business and finance sites who were not gainfully employed as full time workers.

In addition, AOL TV bloggers received an email stating “Many of you will be receiving an email saying your services will no longer be required.” But thankfully they were invited “to remain as part of our non-paid blogger system.”

Oh, yeah, sure AOL! I’d just love to work for free!

It also worth noting that former HuffPo blogger Jonathon Tasini recently filed suit  on behalf of more than 9,000 bloggers in a $105-million class-action lawsuit against AOL and Huffington Post.

Tasini told Forbes, “bloggers have essentially been turned into modern-day slaves” and that he and his fellow bloggers “are going to make [Huffington Post co-founder] Arianna Huffington a pariah in the progressive community.”

Besides downsizing, breakup via email, and not paying for content, could the rampaging AOL-HuffPo tag team be bad for journalism?

Many say yes, mostly because as the corporate machine turns, objectivity is lost. Our hearts certainly go out to the Download Squad and the other casualties of the AOL/HuffPo.

(Via ZDNet)