Matthew Keys caims he was caught up in a Catch-22 situation of Reuters' devising
Reuters has fired suspended Deputy Social Media Editor Matthew Keys for tweeting about the Boston bombers' manhunt.
Keys, under federal conspiracy indictment for allegedly working with hacking group Anonymous to alter a headline on the Los Angeles Times website, announced his firing Monday in a tweet and then in a blog post.
A spokesman for Thomson Reuters confirmed that "Mr. Keys is no longer with the company, effective today."
In the blog post, Keys said he was told his tweets violated a written warning from the company, the company's “Trust principles,” and were seen as being associated with Reuters. In some of those tweets, Keys detailed traffic on police radios about the search for the bombers.
Complaining that he was in a Catch-22 situation, Keys said Reuters requires its employees to identify their Reuters affiliation when tweeting, but then it fired him because it objected to his tweets being associated with Reuters.
Keys still faces charges in connection with the Dec. 14 and Dec. 15, 2010 incidents in which an L.A. Times story and headline was changed to read, “Pressure Builds in House to Elect CHIPPY 1337.”
The incident happened after Keys was discharged by a Sacramento television station owned by the Tribune Co., which also owns the L.A. Times.
The three count indictment alleges that after his exit from Sacramento, Keys helped Anonymous hackers obtain access to the L.A. Times website.
Keys was charged with engaging in a conspiracy to damage a protected computer and could face up to 10 years in jail and a fine of $250,000 for each count.