Brooke, Carmen, Rebecca & Valeryia
We think that the bloggers should mention whether they received a product for free or not, as long as that is not the main focus of the article. Readers deserve to know if the person found this “great product” on their own or if it was provided for them to advertise. Readers tend to look at blogs to get information from real users of the product, and if that basic prerequisite is falsified, then the blogger is in many way lying to her readers. Additionally, paying for something, such as $50 for a foundation, gives you a slightly more critical perspective of the item’s quality than getting the same thing for free. We think there is nothing wrong with advertisement, as long as the writer is honest about it. The blogger at 15 Minute Beauty Fanatic uses a good system of images at the bottom of her posts showing whether the items discussed were bought, sent for review, or sponsored.
We also think that bloggers should be held responsible for fact checking, but not to the rigorous level that journalists are held. This is as much for the reputation of the blogger as for the need to have truthful information available online. Readers who see that a blog they follow has posted obviously falsified information, they will stop following that blog and readership will be lost. Having a reputation as a reliable source for information is both powerful for a blogger, but it’s also a delicate reputation to uphold, and one incorrect or poorly checked fact could break that.