Thursday, March 3, 2011

Newsvine and MSNBC violate their own Code of Honor

The popular news portal Newsvine (owned by MSNBC) has a reasonable Code of Honor. Of particular interest, and the focus of this post, is #2:
Newsvine's primary purpose is to provide a place for people to share and discuss topics relating to the news. Self-promotion, seeding links to your own site(s), and advertising are not allowed.
  • Posting full articles (using the "Write Article" feature) that also appear on your blog or web site is acceptable but seeding your own stuff is not.
  • Do not seed links to any sites you're affiliated with.
  • Posting links to drive traffic elsewhere for personal or financial gain is prohibited.
Below is a screen grab (RSS feed) of some links seeded on Newsvine by "". Isn't that a violation of the second and third bullets? It sure is!

Now, don't we expect this from a large company that owns another to pass traffic back and forth? Of course we do. But not if it blatantly violates their own ethics.

I bring this up because I seemed to garner a bit to much traffic from Newsvine yesterday and must have raised a red flag. My post on the iPad 2 features did well by my standards; it received about 350 hits yesterday with 190 coming from Newsvine.

Before I deleted my account it contained about 10 movie review articles that I wrote and that were not linked back to my movie review blog (not active). I seeded about 50 stories of which 4 did direct back to this blog. Four carefully chosen seeds to this blog over a month out of the 42 blog posts made. I do not consider this spamming, just a touch of self promotion mixed in with other activity. Does it violate the Code of Honor above, yes, I admit that. (This is a cache of my page at the beginning of February.)

Newsvine emails me today:
from: Newsvine Team
to: Me
date: Thu, Mar 3, 2011 at 10:20 AM
subject: Using Newsvine
Hello dbin78,

Please note that Newsvine is for collaborative discovery and discussion of the news -- not self-promotion. As such, it is the community's policy to prohibit seeding links to your own web site, or post material deemed to be advertising or of a promotional nature. You are welcome to list a web address under the 'personal home page' field in your account settings. A link to your home page will then be available on all of your articles and seeds for other users.
This policy -- and all other guidelines from the Newsvine Code of Honor (see below) -- is designed to help keep Newsvine an honorable place. We fully understand if this particular guideline wasn't immediately clear.
- Newsvine Team
Additional information can be found here:
They also deleted all my past articles, seeds, etc. but left the account active. I donated my earnings to the Wildlife Conservation Society then closed my Newsvine and MSNBC accounts while removing my Twitter and Facebook authorizations.

Bye Newsvine!