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!


  1. I have a parallel problem with NewsVine and can find no outlet to complain to. I have been personally attacked by what seem to be favored posters, that have called me insane, and other direct insults, insinuate that my opinions are based on being raped by a man, and thery have gone on for weeks at a time, never even touching the articles topic. Multiple daily attacks have gone unattended. Yet when I finally fall to the frustration and call them on their constant and repetitive harassment with the word clown or loser, I am suspended. From what I can tell, sites like MSNBC are just playpens with no control of their employees.
    Earnest Lee Saddened is the name I post with. Feel free to peruse the bile I have had to endure. Repeated letters to the NewsVine staff have been left unanswered. Reporting the miscreants have led to more frustration when the staff tell me I have to have "links" but won't explain what they are. It is obvious to me that MSNBC is biased and anyone can be targeted for hate until they can be punished for the merest "violation".

  2. LOL but Earnest Lee Saddened, come one, let's be real, you were just a troll

  3. So, you admit to violating their rules about self promotion and you whine about being caught? hahahahaha

    1. Hahahahaha. I should be able to violate the policies because look the site itself posts it's own stuff to the site! That's self-promotion! Whaaaa.

    2. My thoughts were addressed in the post so I won't get into all that here. Even still, to the letter of their policy, I broke it and admitted to it. I don't think laying out an opinion with supporting information for both sides is whining. The overall point, in case you missed it, is that they technically do not follow their own rules.

    3. They own the site. It's their site. They are posting their own content to the site.

    4. I agree! I expect that to happen, and even said that in the post. But, that is self promotion, a third party user is not submitting it. It is a violation of their own rules in my opinion.

  4. Below is a screen grab (RSS feed) of some links seeded on Newsvine by ""

    It does not say BY msnbccom. It saya "Top Seeds - Looks to me like that is the SOURCE of the news. I checked and there is exactly the same set-up for the New York Times AND my local paper.

    Sorry, but it seems as if you broke the rule and just can't accept it and are grasping at straws.

    1. Correct! All MSNBC's links are seeded by Newsvine which they own making them the same entity and therefore making it self promotion.

      No straws my friend. I do accept it, admitted to it, closed my account and have no sorrows about it. Seriously, I am not upset and never whined about it, but it seems that is what all the Anonymous posters are getting hung up on. Forget that part and look at the main point.