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Old October 6th, 2012, 04:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Are there policies regarding lobbying at this site ? Such as lobbyist, or those that have a financial interest to support lobbyist ? Such as technical, back office , fund raising, marketing, support, etc.


The key word, is financial interest. Does this site require disclosure ?

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Old October 6th, 2012, 08:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Are there policies regarding lobbying at this site ? Such as lobbyist, or those that have a financial interest to support lobbyist ? Such as technical, back office , fund raising, marketing, support, etc.


The key word, is financial interest. Does this site require disclosure ?
Interesting query. Do you suspect something?
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Old October 6th, 2012, 08:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I strongly doubt it. It's not like this is a politically affiliated site in any way. It's a technology site that just happens to have a political discussion subforum. I see no reason why anyone should be required to disclose any financial interests they may have.
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Old October 6th, 2012, 08:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Interesting query. Do you suspect something?
Apple secretly funds this site to find out why those who have Android phones don't have iPhones instead. That is my personal theory.
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Old October 6th, 2012, 11:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Interesting query. Do you suspect something?
No, just because the viewership (P&CA) is so small, it wouldn't be cost effective. There are some folks that do put in time, i.e. moderators, so if viewership increases it may become cost effective.

I would put in a disclosure rule, lobbyist could still post as long as profile reflects such. For those that don't disclose and are found out, causing damage to the reputation of the site, then the owners of the site could claim damages from the non-disclosed lobbyist.

There are some sharp cookies that post here, including those that have opposing views from myself, so wouldn't want the exchange of view points to become suspect.
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Old October 7th, 2012, 05:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I don't believe disclosure is needed or relevant. As razor points out, this is primarily a tech site, that just so happens to have a politics and current affairs forum to cater for the relatively small part of our user base that wants it.

If it became apparent that people were trying to use this site for political lobbying or whatever, we would take that on a case by case basis, discuss it amongst each other and deal with it appropriately.

Does that help?
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Old October 7th, 2012, 12:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I strongly doubt it. It's not like this is a politically affiliated site in any way. It's a technology site that just happens to have a political discussion subforum. I see no reason why anyone should be required to disclose any financial interests they may have.
Unless one of the AF owners posted as a regular Joe and praised the products advertised on this site to drive sales. Or they allowed an advertiser to post about their products without disclosing that he or she also sells/manufacturers the products.
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Old October 7th, 2012, 12:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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We have shills for various products stop by all the time and don't disclose that they are associated with a particular product. Not sure why a rule for political disclosure would even matter.
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Old October 7th, 2012, 02:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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... As razor points out, this is primarily a tech site, that just so happens to have a politics and current affairs forum to cater for the relatively small part of our user base that wants it. ...
Which brings up the point, the techie's are a market one would want to influence, as they are often the leaders or at least knowledgeable in technology.
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Old October 7th, 2012, 03:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Which brings up the point, the techie's are a market one would want to influence, as they are often the leaders or at least knowledgeable in technology.
I think the word Lobbyist is the problem. To some of us, a lobbyist is connected with PACs rather than what we are likely really discussing.

Perhaps "Plants" would be a better word? Or Shills, perhaps.

Shills: "An accomplice of a hawker, gambler, or swindler who acts as an enthusiastic customer to entice or encourage others."
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Old October 7th, 2012, 07:06 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Lobbyist "The key word, is financial interest."

Nomenclature is not as important. I prefer lobbyist as they work for many types of entities, not just Pac. Plants or shills can be a tool used by lobbyist.
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Old October 7th, 2012, 09:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I'm unsure what difference it makes. Let's say for the sake of argument that AF is a political forum. Let's say it's the biggest political forum on the 'net and has tens of millions of users. Now this is sure to attract the attention of the social media peeps on both sides of the aisle.

So let's say someone comes on and claims that Candidate A is the shiznit and everyone should vote for him. Does it really matter if that poster works for a company that is going to profit from that candidate's election? Or if he works for that candidate himself?
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Old October 7th, 2012, 10:37 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm unsure what difference it makes. Let's say for the sake of argument that AF is a political forum. Let's say it's the biggest political forum on the 'net and has tens of millions of users. Now this is sure to attract the attention of the social media peeps on both sides of the aisle.

So let's say someone comes on and claims that Candidate A is the shiznit and everyone should vote for him. Does it really matter if that poster works for a company that is going to profit from that candidate's election? Or if he works for that candidate himself?
Let's assume AF obtains a reputation as a citizens forum, not corrupted by paid spin doctors, just us unpaid political junkies. Let's also assume the site attracts more viewers due to this reputation and advertisers take notice and pay higher prices to be seen on this site.

Then it is found a paid spin doctor is found to be posting without disclosing same. Scandal results, less viewers, less paid advertisement, less money for owners. I'd make sure I had some recourse to claim damages.
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Old October 8th, 2012, 08:20 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I would like to think that AF has a reputation as a citizens forum for tech and not corrupted by paid spin doctors. You know as well as I do though that some of the posters on here are devs who don't disclose the fact that they're a dev or people who are actually making the phones/tablets/widgets that they hype. They don't disclose the fact that they financially profit by getting you to buy device X. I don't think the forum here or the conversation here is hurt because of that.
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Old October 8th, 2012, 08:32 AM   #15 (permalink)
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We have shills for various products stop by all the time and don't disclose that they are associated with a particular product. Not sure why a rule for political disclosure would even matter.
We tend to find the shills and ban them.

The site is supported by advertising and premium memberships. Staff is compromised of volunteers.
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Old October 8th, 2012, 08:58 AM   #16 (permalink)
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We tend to find the shills and ban them.

The site is supported by advertising and premium memberships. Staff is compromised of volunteers.
This is true. But I think we both know that there are people on this site who are shills they just haven't been found out yet.
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Old October 8th, 2012, 09:16 AM   #17 (permalink)
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This is true. But I think we both know that there are people on this site who are shills they just haven't been found out yet.
Then they're doing a lousy job of shilling.
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Old October 8th, 2012, 10:07 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Hey! I resent that!

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Old October 10th, 2012, 11:21 PM   #19 (permalink)
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... Staff is compromised of volunteers.
I disagree that AF is compromised by being comprised of volunteer staff.

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