Patch's request to its hundreds of local editors not to comment on Jim Romenesko's reporting on Patch is just the latest example of a big media company trying, and failing, to control its people's participation in Internet conversation.

On Friday, Romenesko published a memo Patch's PR head, Janine Iamunno, sent to editors after they chimed in on his coverage of  rumored layoffs and refocusing at the AOL-owned local news network. "Believe me when I tell you, I hate this BS as much as you do. If you only knew," she wrote, after asking them to please let Patch editor-in-chief Brian Farnham's rebuttal to the story stand as the outfit's official statement. "You can see that Patchers’ comments are just fueling the fire of inaccurate speculation and Patch-bashing – which means those comments meant to help us are actually hurting us, and weakening our public position."

Of course, someone immediately leaked the memo, so, it's clear the message did not hit sit well with all its recipients.