Content farm CEO: I didn’t know my writers were using fake names and credentials

The man behind content farm says he had no idea that his “journalists” were using fake names, stolen photos, and bogus job histories.

Radek Szlyk (that appears to be his real name) tells Romenesko readers:

Our company [Ruby Media Corporation] hires dozens of different journalists writing content for various websites. is only one of these. After posting a job offer on problogger we have received a single offer that provided services of a team of qualified journalists that we’ve decided to work with because their credentials seemed really good. Sadly, we were deceived and they turned out to be frauds. Our biggest mistake was that we didn’t verify their credentials thoroughly enough.

So Szlyk thought he was hiring journalists who had written for the Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Bloomberg, The New Yorker, and the New York Times. Also, he apparently didn’t know that his human resources manager and blogger “Julia Trello” was a fictional character.

His company’s statement says:

Ruby Media Corporation assures that the co-operation with all such journalists has been terminated and the company announced that a more thorough screening procedure for hiring future content providers is already being implemented. Additionally, the company contacted LinkedIn and requested for removal of all inaccurate data from the journalists’ profiles.

The company suggests that the reason behind fake journalist identities on problogger is most likely the fact that better credentials usually equal better pay for freelancers, hence many talented journalists provide fake work experience in order to earn more money.

Meanwhile, Kristen Ruby, president of the five-year-old Ruby Media Group, complains that she’s been ripped off by Szlyk’s Ruby Media Corporation. “I am currently pursuing legal action against this company, who has stolen my identity,” she writes in an email. “Look at my web site then look at theirs; look how similar their logo is to mine.

“I think their entire company is fake as well as all of the fake journalists you found. I continue to have people tag my company @rubymediagroup on these alleged infographics being made that we haven’t actually created.”

* CompareCamp parent says it was deceived by its writers (
* Meet the fake reporters of (