Links are allowed here. If something is quoted, then the link for that quote is appropriate - and even a journalistic requirement. And if such a link is outside the Google Forum Charter [webmasterworld.com] description, then so is the quote.
This article appears here: [launch.is...]
The article is irresponsible reporting and yellow journalism, just part of a publicity war. It's a perfect example of why we didn't used to allow links to any blogs at all. The only reason I allowed this thread is that the article seems to be getting mainstream coverage. And that shows you where mainstream news is headed.
So Matt Cutts denied that Google's ability to take manual action is frozen. I have no reason or evidence that this is anything but the truth - does anyone else? In fact, we've seen some very public manual steps in recent weeks.
Why shouldn't that be the end of the matter? The "Launch" team has already edited their article. Now they should either put up the evidence if they have it) or shut up. My advice - don't spend your valuable time and resources on reading junk like this. Improve your website instead.