Techpreneur posts controversial BTC bounty in the campaign against Vox

Techpreneur posts controversial BTC bounty in the campaign against Vox

By Benson Toti - min read

Balaji Srinivasan promises a bounty worth $1,000 in BTC to anyone who can make Recode’s Kara Swisher “correct the record”

Balaji Srinivasan, a tech entrepreneur and Silicon Valley angel investor, has offered a $1,000 reward in Bitcoin to the first Twitter user who can get Recode, a tech news website owned by Vox, to retract a story on Silicon Valley’s ‘overreaction’ to the coronavirus in February.

The former Chief Technology Officer of Coinbase posted his offer on Twitter today and specifically targeted the co-founder and editor of Recode, Kara Swisher.

At the time of his post, $1,000 converts to around 0.11 BTC.

Srinivasan offers this bounty to anyone who is capable of providing “a timestamped reply from [Recode] agreeing to correct the piece” as well as a publication of the correction.

According to the techpreneur, the article was merely clickbait and conveyed the “wrong science.” It also featured tweets that he wrote regarding the transmission of the virus during the Chinese New Year celebrations.

The article was released on February 13 and Srinivasan immediately tweeted his claims that the article had,  “many statements that are false or omit so much context they mislead readers.” This included the claim that the risk in transmitting the virus around public settings was low and that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did not recommend avoiding the use of handshakes.

Shirin Ghaffary, the reporter behind the piece, made light of the actions taken by a partner at Andreessen Horowitz; like refusing to meet people who had travelled to China and ordering a hazmat suit with a respirator for protection.

While Recode did reach out to Srinivasan for an interview on the piece, Srinivasan reposted the message to his Twitter account and wrote that while he was “happy to engage if [he] thought it was in good faith,” he did not believe that this was the case.

In the months after this exchange, the techpreneur has stuck with his campaign against the news outlet. 

Reactions to the announced bounty were mixed, with many voicing their concerns that a prominent Twitter account would use such a term to describe an action against journalists.