This post has been updated with comments from TechCrunch.
Reflecting staff turnover and hinting at weakening global demand for obscene rants on tech startups, TechCrunch’s second-quarter adjusted F-bomb production fell 45% from the period last year. .
Excluding reader comments and a single extended quote from Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan which included the word ‘fuck’ 16 times, the Palo Alto-based tech blog owned by online content conglomerate AOL only featured 10 articles citing the words “fuck” or “motherfuckers” for a total of 11 uses of obscenity in the three months ending June 30.
In contrast, the word “fuck” was used or cited by TechCrunch editors 20 times in 18 separate articles during the quarter of last year, a historically slow period for TechCrunch editors’ use of obscenities. .
The use of other obscenities such as “bitch”, “asshole” and “bastards” also appears to be on the decline.
“Our disappointing second quarter 2012 financial results for F-Bomb and our outlook for the third quarter of 2012 illustrate that our F-Bomb business continues to be in transition,” said TechCrunch co-editor Eric Eldon via Facebook in response to questions from FORBES.
“Within our F-Bomb business unit, we have established early momentum with F-Bomb +, and we are increasing our investments in F-Bomb + to be successful in the market,” Eldon added.
The decline in obscenity production at TechCrunch comes after a year that has seen major changes on the blog and in the tech industry as a whole.
In September 2011, founder and editor Mike Arrington resigned. Over the next few months, Robin Wauters, Sarah Lacy, MG Siegler, Jason Kincaid, Paul Carr and Erick Schonfeld also left, moves that appear to have crippled the blog’s obscenity production.
In the quarter of last year, Carr used variations on the words “fuck” or “damn” 8 times in 8 separate articles.
Examples include the phrase “well… fuck them” in an April 10 article on gamification; the phrase “[h]fuck yes, “in an April 17 article on Cirque du Soleil; and” they think ‘yeah, fuck the man’ “in a June 26 article criticizing the media coverage of hackers.
Carr used obscenity twice in her September resignation letter, which was posted on the front page of TechCrunch.
TechCrunch continues to rely on Carr. One use of the word “fuck” in the last quarter of TechCrunch is a quote from Carr.
While Michael Arrington and Siegler both returned as columnists, neither appear to have used the word “fuck” or “whore” in the quarter ending June 30.
Other factors in the decline in the use of obscenities at TechCrunch include the departure of Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz and the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in October.
The site is now edited by Eldon, a longtime tech journalist; and TechCrunch veteran Alexia Tsotsis.
Tsotsis now accounts for 38% of the blog’s obscenity output.
“Assholes, I’ve been so sick of reporting on incremental tech news for two years now, so sick that I’m pretty much considering going back full time to fashion cover,” Tsotsis wrote in a June 25 article. “(Don’t believe me? Well, how amazing and beautiful is my ‘Clothes I Love and Want to Buy’ Pinterest board? Aka my biggest achievement in my life so far…). “
TechCrunch officials promise new products are on the way.
“We are also exploring ways to better position the new brand, F-Bomb +, for the current market opportunity – one name under consideration is F-Bomb U, which we believe will appeal to a younger demographic,” said Peter Ha, editor-in-chief of TechCrunch. said in a statement.