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At Vocus, we’ve always strived to deliver an online news distribution service that is unique and valuable to our customers, while also providing a reliable source of company-generated news for millions of readers. Earlier this week we distributed what turned out to be a fraudulent news story and fell short on this promise. We’re sorry for any frustration or embarrassment we caused to the people who rely on the news releases we distribute, and we’ve already made changes to do better going forward. To those who have asked about our process and our safeguards, I can tell you that we do have both. Yes, an editor does review every single news release that gets submitted for distribution. They check a variety of factors related to content and sender authenticity, they have personal interactions with our customers via telephone and email, and they take additional precautions for releases that contain ticker symbols. Obviously, the steps we took were not enough in this case. We also know there will always be disingenuous people out there who will attempt to circumvent these safeguards, which is why we constantly review and improve our process as we are doing right now. In addition to news coverage on the fraudulent release, this incident set off a broader discussion about the purpose of company-generated content, its place in the online news world and the role of news distribution services like PRWeb. Let me speak first as an entrepreneur who founded Vocus 20 years ago: Getting announcements and news about a company into the hands of interested consumers used to be very hard. I was told back then that my announcements weren’t “newsworthy.” As excited as I was about my new software release, the mainstream media wasn’t going to write a story about it. My announcements were not picked up because of this reason or that reason. But here’s what I did believe: I had news about my company I wanted to share and I knew there were people out there who wanted to read it. I also knew that going through traditional channels was not the way to do it.