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Editor’s Note: Encyclo has not been regularly updated since August 2014, so information posted here is likely to be out of date and may be no longer accurate. It’s best used as a snapshot of the media landscape at that point in time.

TechCrunch is a network of tech news blogs, owned by AOL, that focuses on web-based startups. It is one of the largest and most influential blogs on the web.

TechCrunch was founded in 2005 by entrepreneur and former attorney Michael Arrington as a way to profile new tech companies. Arrington quickly became well known for his feverish blogging pace and devotion to the tech startup scene, as well as the large Silicon Valley barbecues he hosted.

The TechCrunch network includes blogs dedicated to gadgets, mobile news, enterprise technology, as well as European, Japanese and French editions and a database of tech companies and people.

TechCrunch’s articles also appear at the Washington Post’s website through a partnership between the two organizations.

In September 2011, Arrington was reportedly forced out of TechCrunch by AOL executives, then left AOL, after he launched CrunchFund, a venture capital firm for tech startups. Arrington had long invested in some of the companies TechCrunch wrote about, a practice that had drawn questions about the integrity of TechCrunch’s reviews. The CrunchFund launch brought a fresh round of that criticism, as well as defenses of TechCrunch’s editorial process. Arrington returned as a writer for the site in 2012.

In 2008, Arrington announced he would no longer link to Associated Press stories, based on their history of suing aggregators for quoting from their stories. He also announced that year that TechCrunch would no longer honor any embargoes.

In 2009, TechCrunch published confidential documents from Twitter that had been stolen by a hacker, prompting a debate over whether the documents should have been published.

In 2010 TechCrunch and its network were acquired by AOL for an undisclosed sum. In writing about the deal Arrington said part of his motivation to sell was AOL’s ability to take care of technical issues that had plagued TechCrunch. In February 2011 Arianna Huffington became editor in chief of TechCrunch, as well as a number of other properties, after AOL purchased The Huffington Post.

TechCrunch integrated its comments into Facebook in 2011 as part of an effort to cut down on trolls, though it ended its use of Facebook Comments in 2013 because of an overall lack of comments through Facebook.

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Primary author: Mark Coddington. Main text last updated: January 24, 2013.
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