Fox's publicity department have told a Dollhouse fansite to stop reporting rumors, because doing so harms the show. Which, of course, made said site go public with the request. Result? Bad publicity for Fox. Oops.
The request came when Dollverse reported that the series' "missing" episode, "Epitaph One," would probably air this summer after all, something that Fox have not commented on, and asked to be corrected. But the otherwise reasonable (if terse) email to the site, from Fox's publicity director Todd Adair, has a surprisingly harsh ending:
Clearing up your misperceptions of the show has become very time consuming and frankly takes away valuable time that could be spent actively marketing the series in the proper way.
To me, that seems like an overreaction; not to put down Dollverse, but surely fans can tell the difference between fansite-sourced rumors and official network-released news to a degree that it wouldn't take that much longer than, say, writing a press release to correct misinformation? Kevin from the site, of course, sees things in a much more confrontational fashion:
The email was CC'ed into other staff at FOX. I tried replying to everybody to clarify to the issue; however nobody at FOX chose to respond. As far as I am aware, this is the first time a US network has tried to exert specific editorial control over a fan site, and I think deserves a debate. As fans, do we want to hear news FOX wants us or approves us to report about a TV show we watch? ...[W]e'd never demand FOX do... things differently. Because we can't. Because we're viewers. FOX can not also demand we don't cover certain subjects on the site. We might only be fans, but we're also viewers, and that gives us the power to be a fandom.
No-one from Fox has (publicly, at least) responded to the site making the issue public, and officially, "Epitaph One" has not been announced as airing on Fox in the US.
"Epitaph None" - FOX and Dollverse [Dollverse]