Skip to content

Moguli de blogosferă

June 25, 2009

“Pe măsură ce fenomenul bloggingului devine tot mai important si mai sofisticat, acesta capătă caracteristicile unei adevărate comunități jurnalistice. Ceea ce îi lipsește însă e consensul privind regulile etice, aplicate de media tradițională.” (Deborah Yao, The Associated Press, 21 iunie 2009)

Ne criticăm anonim sau la vedere? Ne asumăm sau nu răspunderea pentru cele scrise? Respectăm sau nu un minim de reguli deontologice în blogosferă, fie ele și nescrise, sau profităm de libertatea de exprimare și cea a internetului, ca să inițiem acțiuni de discreditare, dezinformare, atacuri la persoană, adesea în folosul propriu, comercial sau de imagine, sau pur și simplu îndreptate împotriva concurenței?

Sunt câteva din întrebările pe care au început să și le pună tot mai frecvent bloggerii din lumea întreagă. Întrebări pe care am început să mi le pun la rândul meu, în momentul în care am devenit ținta unor atacuri electronice, pornite de la simplul fapt că am îndrăznit să solicit respectarea copyrightului în blogosferă, și a unui minim de deontologie profesională, atât ca jurnalist cât și ca blogger. În calitate de jurnalist, m-am pronunțat deja împotriva așa-numiților moguli de presă – nu e vorba de patronii de trusturi sau holdinguri media, ci de cei ce-și obligă angajații să încalce regulile deontologice. În calitate de blogger, mă pronunț împotriva unei categorii nou create – cea a mogulilor de blogosferă, cu pretenții de guru, formatori de opinie, evaluatori universali, care lucrează cam ca și mogulii de presă, promovându-se între ei, susținându-și reciproc interesele și eliminând din cercul lor orice intrus nu și-a adus, pe o cale sau alta, tributul cauzei comune. Mai ales când e vorba de autorul unui blog anonim, abia lansat, care nu trăiește din publicitate mascată sau nu, din banii niciunei asociații sau vreunui partid politic, și al cărui trafic nu crește pe măsură ce mai pupă-n blog câte-un mogul. Și mai ales, când bloggerul în cauză nu se lasă pus la zid din motivele enunțate.

Nu voi enumera deocamdată argumentele personale pentru inițierea unui cod deontologic al bloggerilor. Au făcut-o deja nume mult mai cunoscute, ale căror opinii le găsiți mai jos.

Discreditare pe blog

1. Readuc în atenție un caz intens mediatizat în luna martie. Kathy Sierra a fost obligată să-și suspende temporar cunoscutul blog Creating Passionate Users și să renunțe pentru o vreme la aparițiile publice, în urma unei adevărate campanii de amenințări și tentative de discreditare lansate împotriva ei de bloggeri anonimi. Poliția a deschis o anchetă în acest caz, iar numeroase alte investigații au fost declanșate chiar de bloggeri.

Kathy a fost de părere că declanșarea campaniei împotriva ei s-ar datora și faptului că evoluează într-un domeniu tehnologic în care femeile sunt deocamdată o minoritate.

Ea a lansat ulterior un apel pentru combaterea abuzurilor online, devenite o adevărată practică în domeniu. Iată ce scria Kathy pe blogul ei, înainte de a decide să-l suspende…

“Dacă vreți să faceți ceva în privința asta, nu tolerați genul de abuzuri care include amenințări sau chiar sugestii la violență. Nu-i înălțați pe un piedestal pe acești oameni. Nu-i lăsați să se eschiveze de răspundere sub pretextul că e vorba doar de comentarii sociale, opinii protejate (nr făcute sub rezerva anonimatului), sau de simple critici. “

Apelul ei a fost preluat de BBC, care a pus în discuție utilitatea redactării unui cod al bloggerilor, un cod cu valoare deontologică. În paralel, mai mulți bloggeri care au și statutul de persoană publică au atras atenția că, dacă acest domeniu va continua să funcționeze fără un minim de reglementări, mai devreme sau mai târziu riscă să fie reglementat cu forța la nivel guvernamental, prin emiterea unor prevederi cu caracter de lege.

O serie de bloggeri au decis să facă un prim pas pentru stoparea abuzurilor online, interzicând postarea comentariilor anonime.

Sub lupa autorităților

2. FTC plans to monitor blogs for claims, payments

By DEBORAH YAO
The Associated Press
Sunday, June 21, 2009 2:02 PM (publicat de The Washington Post)

— Savvy consumers often go online for independent consumer reviews of products and services, scouring through comments from everyday Joes and Janes to help them find a gem or shun a lemon.

What some fail to realize, though, is that such reviews can be tainted: Many bloggers have accepted perks such as free laptops, trips to Europe, $500 gift cards or even thousands of dollars for a 200-word post. Bloggers vary in how they disclose such freebies, if they do so at all.

The practice has grown to the degree that the Federal Trade Commission is paying attention. New guidelines, expected to be approved late this summer with possible modifications, would clarify that the agency can go after bloggers – as well as the companies that compensate them – for any false claims or failure to disclose conflicts of interest.

It would be the first time the FTC tries to patrol systematically what bloggers say and do online. The common practice of posting a graphical ad or a link to an online retailer – and getting commissions for any sales from it – would be enough to trigger oversight.

“If you walk into a department store, you know the (sales) clerk is a clerk,” said Rich Cleland, assistant director in the FTC’s division of advertising practices. “Online, if you think that somebody is providing you with independent advice and … they have an economic motive for what they’re saying, that’s information a consumer should know.”

The guidelines also would bring uniformity to a community that has shunned that.

As blogging rises in importance and sophistication, it has taken on characteristics of community journalism – but without consensus on the types of ethical practices typically found in traditional media.

Journalists who work for newspapers and broadcasters are held accountable by their employers, and they generally cannot receive payments from marketers and must return free products after they finish reviewing them.

The blogosphere is quite different.

“Rules are set by the individuals who create the blog,” said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet and American Life Project. “Some people will accept payments and free gifts, and some people won’t. There’s no established norm yet.”

Bloggers complain that with FTC oversight, they’d be too worried about innocent posts getting them in trouble, and they say they might simply quit or post less frequently.

Between ads on her five blogs and payments from advertisers who want her to review products, Rebecca Empey makes as much as $800 a month, paying the grocery bill for a family of six. She also has received a bird feeder, toys, books and other free goods.

Now the 41-year-old mother of four in New Hartford, N.Y., worries that even a casual mention of an all-natural cold remedy she bought herself would trigger an FTC probe.

“This helped us. This made us feel great. Will I be sued because I didn’t hire a scientist to do research?” Empey said.

Empey, whose blogs include New York Traveler and Freaky Frugalite, said she discloses compensation arrangements on a page on her blogs or through a “support my sponsor” logo. She said most of her readers understand that she sometimes gets compensated.

By contrast, a mommy blogger on Double Bugs praised Skinny Cow low-fat ice cream sandwiches and thanked a Web site called Mom Central for the chance to try them. But there’s no clue that Nestle SA‘s Skinny Cow division was giving bloggers coupons for free products.

Some bloggers believe more uniform disclosure and practices would help instill trust and make advertisers more comfortable working with bloggers. To them, the question becomes whether the FTC should be the one crafting standards.

“It would always be better for bloggers to self-police,” said Robert Cox, president of Media Bloggers Association in New Rochelle, N.Y. “We have laws on the books. They apply to everybody, not just people who write blogs.”

Yuli Ziv, who writes a fashion blog from New York, is working on one such effort at self-regulation, helping craft an ethics policy for about 15 Web sites as part of the Style Coalition started in January to help bloggers become more professional.

“It’s been an issue, regardless of the FTC,” she said. “It’s about trust.”

Existing FTC rules already ban deceptive and unfair business practices. The proposed guidelines aim to clarify the law and for the first time specifically include bloggers, defined loosely as anyone writing a personal journal online.

“It’s sort of a recognition that word-of-mouth marketing in whatever form, whether electronic or not, is a significant part of the marketing strategy of modern companies,” Cleland said. “Because it’s new, I think it is imperative that we provide some kind of guidance.”

If the guidelines are approved, bloggers would have to back up claims and disclose if they’re being compensated – the FTC doesn’t currently plan to specify how. The FTC could order violators to stop and pay restitution to customers, and it could ask the Justice Department to sue for civil penalties.

Any type of blog could be scrutinized, not just ones that specialize in reviews.

So parents keeping blogs to update family members on their child’s first steps technically would fall under the FTC guidelines, though they likely would have little to worry about unless they accept payments or free products and write about them.

But they would need to think twice if, for instance, they praise parenting books they’ve just read and include links to buy them at a retailer like Amazon.com Inc.

That’s because the guidelines also would cover the broader and common practice of affiliate marketing, in which bloggers and other sites get a commission when someone clicks on a link that leads to a purchase at a retailer. In such cases, merchants also would be responsible for actions by their sales agents – including a network of bloggers.

Amazon declined to comment.

Cleland said the FTC would likely focus on repeated offenses that continue after a warning to stop.

Still, the agency has a big job ahead as new communications channels continually emerge. Advertisers now are paying some Twitter users to post short items through the increasingly popular messaging service. The FTC says the guidelines would cover such arrangements, regardless of the medium.

Even before the FTC commissioners vote on the final guidelines this summer, some in the blogging world have taken pre-emptive measures.

In May, IZEA, an Orlando, Fla.-based firm that matches advertisers with 265,000 bloggers, began sending reports to advertisers on whether hired bloggers are disclosing compensation arrangements, as IZEA requires. Such bloggers are paid as much as $3,000 for a 200-word post.

Over the holidays, IZEA ran a campaign in which bloggers who don’t normally shop at Sears Holdings Corp.‘s Kmart stores were given $500 gift cards and encouraged to write about their experiences in the stores. To reduce the chance of a bad review, the retailer said it avoided bloggers who previously made negative remarks about the company.

Meanwhile, a blogger on TravelingMom was whisked away on a free Disney cruise in January. She stayed in an ocean-view stateroom, where she was greeted by Champagne on ice and a plate of cheese and fruit. Later in the trip, she and other bloggers basked in the sun on Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island.

“I’ve been on cruises before, but never like this one. The Disney Wonder (cruise ship) is … well … wondrous,” she gushed on her blog.

She did disclose the free trip.

Mandatory disclosures could change how reviews are perceived online because many Internet users might never imagine that bloggers get compensation.

“I don’t think, for the average reader of a blog, it immediately comes to mind that they actually have a relationship with the company,” said Sam Bayard, a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. “You think about (blogs) as personal, informal, off the cuff and coming from the heart – unfiltered, uncensored and unplanned.”

Obligația de a spune cine ești

3. Payola bloggers, FTC is watching you

I think requiring disclosures by authors could be useful. It would help readers differentiate news/opinion from publications that may be biased in favor of their supporters. Reading both can still be useful, but at least you know where the author stands. Readers could choose to frequent sites that provide it & ignore the sites that do not. This is not much different than having to disclose your holdings in stocks, when you are giving investment advice.

Federal Trade Commission

Advertisements
19 Comments leave one →
  1. June 25, 2009 3:07 pm

    Problema acestor “moguli “este ca pe zi ce trece “imperiul “lor devine tot mai mic , odata cu aparitia a noi bloggeri , care isi dau silinta sa raspunda nevoii de informare a cetatenilor !

  2. June 25, 2009 3:52 pm

    Blogosfera e un spatiu liber. De ce-am avea moguli si aici? Ii criticam cumva doar ca sa le luam locul pe alt segment? Asta nu inteleg, printre altele. Cum nu inteleg nici aerele elitiste pornind de la nimic…

  3. June 25, 2009 4:02 pm

    Aerele alea aerisite ale mogulilor de blogosfera , miroase pe zi ce trece tot mai tare !

  4. June 25, 2009 5:26 pm

    *miros 😦

  5. June 25, 2009 9:19 pm

    romania inedit – parfum de blog?

  6. June 25, 2009 9:43 pm

    Cam asa ceva , sau pe aproape !

  7. magdalena permalink
    June 25, 2009 11:42 pm

    Cine inventeaza tampenii in blogosfera? Ce-s alea reguli? Ne luam dupa trafic, dupa vechimea blogului? Daca-i asa, atunci sa facem si carte de munca cu vechimea pe blog, sa dam bloggerilor spor de vechime, de influenta, de periculozitate daca-i ameninta cineva ca nu le place ce logo si-au pus pe site sau ce poze. Astea sunt criteriile? Ma rog, fiecare se refuleaza cum poate, zoso si gramo sunt doar cateva mici exemple. Cand n-ai nimic de spus incepi sa faci reguli si sa scrii despre cum te scobesti in dinti, cum iti aranjezi frizura, mouse-ul, ce ai visat azi noapte, etc.

  8. June 26, 2009 7:04 am

    magdalena – ăsta a fost un adevărat rezumat al situației actuale!

  9. laura c. permalink
    June 26, 2009 9:20 am

    Nadia, stii ca domeniul meu de baza e cu totul altul decat externele. Dar ma intreb si eu, desi n-am inca blog dar citesc blogosfera noastra, daca n-ar trebui sa avem si aici un minim de reguli deontologice. Altfel poti sa faci orice. Poti edita un film compromitator la adresa cuiva, poti prelucra poze care sa-i dauneze la imagine, poti posta tot ce vrei. Ar trebui sa existe un grad minim de responsabilizare. Altfel o sa ne discreditam si noi, jurnalistii care ne vom face blog, si cei care au deja.

  10. June 26, 2009 10:36 am

    @ Laura, eu am scris despre bloggerii jurnalisti si bloggerii fripturisti !
    Usor, usor, bloggerii fripturisti o sa cam dispara, care pe la puscarie, care pe la coada vacii ! 😛

  11. June 26, 2009 10:44 am

    Vad ca deja i-am deranjat pe mogulii blogosferei. Ce sa mai spun? In curand poate aflati ca nici nu exist…

  12. June 26, 2009 10:51 am

    Nadia , asta inseamna ca nu esti zero in online si ca ai atras atentia , mai ales ca si Google te iubeste !

  13. ariane permalink
    June 26, 2009 7:24 pm

    Draga Nadia,
    Nu exista moguli ai blogosferei. Ci oameni care au muncit (unii multi ani sau cateva luni) sau au fost haraziti, cu sansa si talent, sa fie cocotati intr-un clasament subiectiv sau obiectiv (whatever!) al accesarilor !
    Conteaza ceea ce transmiti! Si reusesti pe zi ce trece! Continua, cred in tine! Nu exista nici un zid si nici un prag!

  14. ariane permalink
    June 26, 2009 8:04 pm

    “sansa” instead of “sans”
    “obiectiv’ instide of ” obectiv”. Sorry for any inconvenience in typing error!

  15. June 26, 2009 9:34 pm

    ariane – astfel de comentarii ma incurajeaza sa continui! Multumesc mult…

  16. May 4, 2011 9:46 pm

    I intended to draft you the very little note to help say thanks the moment again on the extraordinary tactics you’ve contributed on this site. It is really wonderfully open-handed with you to allow without restraint all that many people would’ve supplied as an e book to end up making some profit on their own, and in particular considering that you could have done it if you desired. The tips in addition worked as the easy way to realize that other people online have a similar passion much like mine to realize a lot more related to this matter. Certainly there are millions of more pleasurable sessions in the future for people who view your website.

Trackbacks

  1. Ştiri scurte : Reporter Virtual
  2. Moguli si creduli | ROMANIA INEDIT

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s