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(10-27-2012, 05:01 AM)
aegies's Avatar

Originally Posted by braves01

I didn't follow the story very closely, so it's likely I don't have all the facts straight, but didn't MS fund $750,000 for a documentary about Polygon? On its face, that seems like a pretty major ethical issue.

Press Reset is sponsored by Internet Explorer. Which we disclosed from day one. As for the exact amount, I don't actually know it, and also, our ad rates and CPM, which factor into that kind of thing, are not public, as far as I know. Those are private information between our advertisers and Vox Media's ad sales team.

Originally Posted by ShockingAlberto

This is not particularly fair. Your definition of hostility seems to begin and end with ad hominem attacks on your person, which by and large I agree with your view, but they also seem extremely rare and are called out when they happen. So, as near as I can figure, you're extending that definition of hostility to, for example, questioning your journalistic integrity over things like Press Reset. Not just over that specific example, but things like that. Am I wrong? I don't have a good history with you answering questions I ask like this, but I am legitimately asking if this is what you mean and it will help clarify your position and my understanding of said position if you expound upon that.

Your hypothetical of calling someone out as a PR shill - has this been an issue in the past? Are you implying that a member of the press has been banned, or threatened with a ban, for exposing someone like this? Did they have proper evidence? What made them so sure? I want to make sure myself that this is simply not a hypothetical and that you have a reasonable expectation that you would in fact be banned if you participated in any such naming and shaming.

I am struggling to understand the hostility you feel. While I have no doubt that some people here can be insulting and overzealous, to even imply that's representative of any larger group, especially when the majority of people here are making pleas for sanity, is completely inaccurate. I feel like there's an inherent hypocrisy in what you're doing here and what you're accusing this board of doing.

If you think instances of ad hominem attacks on me on NeoGAF are rare, you're wrong. I get tweets from random people literally every time they happen, because some people want to be extra sure I see every negative thing someone says about me.

With regards to Press Reset, it's advertiser-sponsored content. Microsoft, via Internet Explorer and Windows, has sponsored hundreds if not thousands of television programs over the last 20 years with similar agreements, though in this case, they pitched us on the kind of thing we could make with the sponsorship deal. We've never hid that sponsorship. We don't think that's unethical, and we don't think it's in violation of our ethics statement. We do not cover that kind of thing, and even if we did, they have no editorial input on what we're doing.

Clearly, none of that is enough to dissuade you from thinking it's unethical, which is your prerogative. But I'm not obligated to come here every time someone brings it up like it's a scandal. We disclosed what we felt we should and were obliged to under our then-developing and now-current ethics policy. I'm not going to apologize for a non-endemic ad deal that most sites would kill for. That kind of advertising is exactly what people in here have been insisting that sites should have. The problem is that almost nobody can get them. They're the holy grail. Every site I've ever worked at and every writer I've ever talked to has spoken of them in hushed tones.

I've seen marketing plants active on GAF. I have never called them out. I have never seen anyone banned for it. It was a hypothetical, based on the premise that it would be seen as a personal attack.