Newsweek: "We published the story because we felt it is an important one."
Newsweek has stood by its story and has now issued an official response. "We published this story because we felt it is an important one," the publication wrote. Newsweek also pointed out that Leah Goodman, the author of the story, was motivated by a "search for the truth surrounding a major business story."
"Ms. Goodman’s research was conducted under the same high editorial and ethical standards that have guided Newsweek for more than 80 years," Newsweek added.
The American news magazine, now owned by IBT Media, is now being criticized for publishing a story that lacked facts to support the claim that Dorian Nakamoto is indeed the father of Bitcoin. Felix Salmon of Reuters, for example, whipped Leah McGrath and Newsweek for presenting the story as a fact, rather than proposing a theory.
"It would have been less satisfying, for Newsweek, to leave a bit of wiggle room — to present the Dorian-is-Satoshi theory as just a theory, rather than as fact. But it is only a theory," Salmon wrote.
Newsweek was quick to respond, explaining that "many of the greatest journalistic scoops have prompted similar reaction."
"Newsweek is committed to furthering that spirit of open discourse. At the same time, Newsweek encourages fellow members of the press and the public at large to focus on analysis of the facts at hand rather than rush to assumptions or resort to emotion," the publication retorted.
Meanwhile, a fundraising campaign has been launched for Dorian Nakamoto. Leading the initiative is Andreas Antonopoulos, a popular Bitcoin supporter and currently the Chief Security Officer of Blockchain.info.
In a post on Reddit, Antonopoulos said that the purpose of the campaign is to support Nakamoto's medical and legal bills. According to Newsweek's story, Nakamoto has a prostate cancer and is very sick.
"Most of all, it serves to soften the damage caused by irresponsible journalism and to demonstrate the generosity and empathy of the community, which I know is huge," Antonopoulos said.
As of this writing, the campaign raised over 18 Bitcoins, roughly $11,000.