Transparancey - RC Groups
View Poll Results: Should RCGroups disclose commercial interests or paid comments
Yes - This is a must for a community forum 4 66.67%
No - They are a business, they should be able to do as they like 1 16.67%
Not good Enough - I though this was already case and is expected! 1 16.67%
Voters: 6. You may not vote on this poll

Thread Tools
Oct 16, 2017, 07:55 PM
Professional UAV Services
Redemptioner's Avatar
Suggestion

Transparancey


I notice a trend lately to put paid for advertising into the main thread sections, this really needs to stop and be placed under the respective vendors boards.

At the very least it is misleading and clogging actual relevant forum boards, at worst it is a deliberate act and being sold as part of the advertising contracts and providing unfair bias to certain companies (one in particular). This kind of advertising has to disclose the fact that there is a commercial interest in our country and that transparency should be part of the fabric of this forum. It is not an unreasonable thing to expect the forum "administration/management" to respect their members and do the same thing and provide the same level of transparency to their members. What does this mean, well if you get something for free from a vendor, or they ask you to do something for them as a favour or do it as part of a contractual or commercial obligation then you need to declare the fact and post it in the Vendors section or under advertising and not under the other boards like it is some kind of actual forum contribution when you know it is "cash for comment".

I understand in the past there seems to be some difficulty from the "admin" team understand what cash for comment is, I see the definition in the USA legislation is very similar to ours, pretty much listing any form of direct benefit, arising from a comment on a product, irrelevant if actual currency was exchange, as cash for comment. In other words, if you get sent free stuff or have a commercial arrangement between the forum and vendor (irrelevant if that commercial arrangement is for "cash for comment") and you then jump on a standard forum and start sprooking the product (in the form of a review or or news etc ) then you are receiving "cash for comment" and need to clearly disclose this right at the outset of the thread (ie. in the title).

Please do the right thing and start labelling these threads appropriately and start placing these types of post (especially from Forum administration and management) into the appropriate, relevant boards (advertising or vendor). As for vendors themselves, they should only be allowed to sprook this stuff under the vendors tab so it is clear that they are a vendor and are clearly represented as being such.
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Oct 16, 2017, 08:41 PM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Thanks for the comments. While most of our reviews are sent free of charge as part of the vendors marketing efforts, (some are items the reviewer has purchased themselves) the reviews are not part of any advertising contract with the vendor. Banner ads are a separate thing and not related to reviews. Our reviewers provide the content in the relevant forum section and give their objective opinion on the product. I know most of the reviews do state when the item is provided, but perhaps we can discuss making that required. Thanks for the suggestion.
Oct 16, 2017, 08:42 PM
Professional UAV Services
Redemptioner's Avatar
I see the site was sold to a commercial entity looking for a return, this explains a lot.

Are you selling our contact details as well?

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...f-RCGroups-com
Oct 16, 2017, 08:43 PM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
RCGroups is a business. The staff running the site has not changed and neither has the policies.
Oct 16, 2017, 08:48 PM
Professional UAV Services
Redemptioner's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Cole
Thanks for the comments. While most of our reviews are sent free of charge as part of the vendors marketing efforts, (some are items the reviewer has purchased themselves) the reviews are not part of any advertising contract with the vendor. Banner ads are a separate thing and not related to reviews. Our reviewers provide the content in the relevant forum section and give their objective opinion on the product. I know most of the reviews do state when the item is provided, but perhaps we can discuss making that required. Thanks for the suggestion.
You just don't seem to get that it is cash for comment if there is any commercial contract between you, especially if it is advertising the vendors product despite the fact it is not contracted directly for the comment. If you get free stuff from one of your vendors/advertisers, with an expectation to make a review then it is cash for comment end of story, you can't tell me that there is no expectation to put a review up on RCGroups after you get the free gear and you certainly can't tell me that you would put up a negative review from one of these companies if the product did not perform.

Have a chat to anyone working in this area and I am 100% positive they will tell you it is cash for comment......
Oct 16, 2017, 08:53 PM
Professional UAV Services
Redemptioner's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Cole
RCGroups is a business. The staff running the site has not changed and neither has the policies.
Except for the fact a Commercial entity, with share holders expecting a return on their investment, needs to make as much money as possible rather than just cover the running costs. You might not have change any of the documents or main staff, but you certainly change the purpose and company operational model ....

From you own policy
Quote:
Our intent is to provide fair and unbiased reviews so that consumers can make informed decisions regarding new products. Some things you should know about our review process:
So you are saying completely independent and unbiased in the first breath

Quote:
When a conflict arises between a review sponsor and a reviewer (which is rare), RCGroups attempts to work out a satisfactory solution for all parties. In some cases, this may mean that a finished review will go unpublished, or be subjected to editing for technical accuracy. RCGroups reserves the final say as to whether an article is fit for publication.

It is always our intent to provide a place for honest and open commentary, and to put the needs of our visitors first. If you feel that something we've published is inaccurate, please let us know using the contact form.
Yet in the next breath you completely disregard the independence and unbiased parts and move straight to conditions for the "cash for comment" review and if "independent" reviewer does not comply with the Vendors expectations for the review then you either edit it to meet that expectation or don't publish it. The fact RCGroups has the "final say" means it is absolutely cash for comment as you have a set of conditions/agreements on the transaction of the review for the free product.

seriously guys....?

P.s. Lets be clear, we are not talking about our well know and loved fellow hobbiest out there doing reviews on items they have bought with their own money or from the odd people who have been sent random samples to "test" from a vendor with no ties or obligations to the reviewer (and happy to put up negative reviews). We are talking about either RCGroups admin or users not disclosing they are tied to a vendor.
Last edited by Redemptioner; Oct 16, 2017 at 09:04 PM.
Oct 16, 2017, 10:50 PM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Thanks for the comments and we certainly do appreciate your thoughts. That's something we will discuss.