Jeremy, Hector, Seyvona, Darlene

Bloggers have the tendencies to receive free stuff from companies that want their products written about. They do this to get some publicity as well as a review for free. Bloggers oblige them and some have been known to skew their opinion because of the free stuff. Bloggers should disclose their “sponsors’ or companies they get free stuff from. If it is known who gives the bloggers their stuff, because then their posts can be taken with a grain of salt. The readership may not know unless they do research to see specifically if the blog was sponsored. It wouldn’t be fair to the readership if they didn’t disclose that information because it is pretty much the same thing as taking bribes, at least when you keep it a secret. It is essentially free advertising for the companies and is deceptive in a sense, if it is not blatantly out there. It would be betraying the trust of your viewership.

Bloggers should be held responsible for fact checking because putting information on the web for other people can read makes people assume what they are writing is factual. When you put information on an open channel it should be assumed that people will read it and take it as being true. It could be harmful to the readers if they read it and it is is mis/disinformation. As a blogger you have to be responsible for what you write. There have been court decisions that are requiring bloggers to be considered journalists in some circumstances. Journalists have to have integrity when they write so bloggers should be held accountable as well. Live blogging could be another source for misinformation. During a tragedy people sometimes resort to live blogging as a source of information. During these hectic times, some information might not be accurate. In times of low information people might take these live blogs as facts. This could prove to be dangerous for those following this information.

Ryan Spaulding is a writer of a music blog. He consistently gets free tickets and CD’s from artists. It steers his topics because that is what he writes about when they send it to him. He does not look at as payment he says that he uses it to get his job done. The reason why he has been outspoken on the matter is because he is reacting to the recent claims that bloggers should be publicly saying what they are receiving from companies. Spaulding made a point to reply to this because he feels that it is a necessary point that helps him do his job. We think that Spaulding should disclose this information transparently. Commercials are fine because we know they are an advertisement, blogs are seemingly free formed areas of interest that people look to for opinions, not advertising. It is misleading and unfair for a blogger to not disclose his “donations” which aren’t any less than payment. It is not a big deal if you disclose the information and review it objectively.