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NTHellworld.com founder takes job with NTL

Poacher turned gamekeeper?

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NTL has hired the founder of the NThellworld.com to create a new customer help site for the cableco.

It's expected that the new NThelpworld.com will go live in around a month's time, providing Web-based support for the cableco's customers.

However, the recruitment of Frank Whitestone - whose site has become a thorn in NTL's side after being a focus for disgruntled customers and employees - has split many who use the Nthellworld.com Web site.

Either people back Mr Whitestone's decision to work for the company, believing that his move will help customers or they claim he has switched sides and is now faced with a major conflict of interest.

"Personally I feel Frank should make a commitment one way or the other," writes one contributor to the debate.

"Either he devotes his time and energy to his new job and hands over nthellworld to someone without a foot in both camps or he hands in his notice and concentrates on his own creation."

Another writes: "I'm left wondering how you [Mr Whitestone] will reconcile your 'position' with ntl (if I understand correctly) with some of the less supportive (of ntl) comments that appear frequently on this (your) site????"

Others believe Mr Whitestone's decision to help NTL and its customers is a positive move.

Said one supporter: "Fair play mate to you mate - the best of luck! In terms of being a cop out - that I don't understand... I think the decision to join 'them' would have to be a very brave one indeed. Far easier to sling mud from a distance as some seem content to do. But to put your money where your mouth is and try and do something about it can't be argued with."

Matters are complicated still further since nthellworld.com has also been a forum for disgruntled NTL employees to complain about their company and also leak confidential information.

Now, some have expressed fears that their anonymity might be compromised - something vigorously denied by Mr Whitehouse.

Wrote one unnamed employee: "When I read through the first few posts on this thread, I have to admit that my first thoughts were 'oh crap' and began to worry about the info you have access to about myself and other members of staff who post. I am sure that the same worries will have occurred to others.

"To the best of my knowledge none of us have had any reasons so far to doubt your integrity, so I for one will continue to support yourself and the site."

While opinion is split Mr Whitestone is certain that he can continue running the site and not be forced to hand it over to someone else.

He told The Register: "People are entitled to their opinions... but there is no conflict of interest."

Asked what he would do if some sensitive confidential information damaging to his employer was posted on the Nthellworld site, Mr Whitestone said: "I'll cross that bridge when I come to it."

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