1] Edwin, I don't work for Modest and have no insider knowledge on 1D but I do work in PR and the naivety of many fans never ceases to amaze me. To those who doubt the closet exists, who doubt that stories would be planted in the media, who doubt that two people might be "linked" for PR purposes and/or to hide the sexuality of one or both, who doubt that secrets would be hidden from fans - what do you think we DO? It's all about the image, darling.
2] I doubt my firm is unusual in how we handle our clients. Believe me, we spend a lot of time analysing social media and web forums. We spend a lot of time handling our clients little - and not so little! - indiscretions. I have personally offered a juicy story on one client to a tame journo in return for them not publishing something on another client. We take the public image of our clients very seriously because that’s what we’re paid to do!
I don’t work in PR, I work in government and I am involved in our trade Union, but we do the same thing to one degree or another. The actual truth is nowhere near as important as the public perception of the truth. And sometimes you need to knock someone under the bus; it’s just business. Christ, I’ve driven the bus more than once.