|October 2nd, 2016|
Efforts to change this generally go under the banner of "transparency", and this is one of the components of the effective altruism (EA) movement, especially for EA organizations. GiveWell is especially known for putting this into practice but basically all EA organizations value transparency and prioritize it to some extent. Individual EAs do this as well; for example, as someone earning to give I keep a donations page and have posted several spending updates.
This puts the members of the EA movement in a position as consumers of transparency: people and organizations are releasing information because it benefits the broader community. This is information that they could easily keep to themselves, since as a practical matter everything is private by default and requires effort to make available. Writing a report requires taking an enormous amount of detail and deciding what to communicate, which means it's very easy through selective inclusion to hide mistakes and present yourself or your organization in an artificially posititive light. And not even intentionally! It's very easy to subconciously shy away from writing things that might make you look bad, or might reflect badly on people you on the whole think highly of.
So imagine an organization makes something public, and voluntarily reports some kind of failure that people outside of the organization wouldn't have known about otherwise. If people react critically and harshly to this failure, it makes them much less likely to be willing to be so transparent in the future. And not just this organization: others will also see that sharing negative information doesn't go well.
When people react negatively to an organization sharing an instance of failure one thing they're doing is putting pressure on the norm that organizations should be sharing this sort of thing. If the norm is very strong, then the pressure is not going to keep people from sharing similar things in the future, and it also means that seeing a failure from this organization but not from others is informative. On the other hand, if the norm is weaker we need to be careful to nourish it, not pushing it harder than it can stand.