So much for the Twitter holiday
Extra Credits elected to reply to my rebuttal of their accusations. May I suggest Twitlonger? A bunch of .@replies is a pretty ineffective way of getting your point across. That said it does make it easier to rebut point by point.
".@totalbiscuit Hey man, JP here. About doing paid promotion, I hear what I hear and if I got any of the details wrong I apologize. But: ..."
You hear wrong and you probably shouldn't be quoting numbers that you have no basis for. That number is grossly exaggerated. If you don't believe me, you can go and ask Muse games, I'm sure they will be happy to call that number bogus, because it is.
".@totalbiscuit Without equivocating, can you answer yes/no: have you ever been paid to promote a game?"
Absolutely. How anyone could have missed that considering we are so open about it that people have asked us to disclose LESS because we are talking about it too much, I'll never know.
".@totalbiscuit Or, again, yes/no: have you ever realigned your videos because they didn’t make your viewers aware enough of paid promotion?"
What does this mean exactly? Do you mean we have enhanced disclosure? You know that to be true because I said it in my reply to you. Our initial disclosure was based on advice from TGS/Polaris and the FTC guidelines. Those guidelines changed in 2014 and we changed with them.
".@totalbiscuit If you can’t answer those 2 questions without having to make disclaimers it seems hypocritical to shout for ‘media ethics...'"
What disclaimers are you referring to? I'm not sure I understand what you mean by this. Also the hypocrisy point is a tu quoque fallacy. For example, alcholics are often in very good positions to talk about the dangers of alcohol. There is a very good reason why the first target for improved disclosure was our own channel. It's that moment of self realisation and attempt to improve in an industry that's rapidly evolving. We always disclosed. Now we disclose better in a way that absolutely can't be missed, as opposed to previously where there was a small chance it could be missed. Our disclosure level is far and away better than ANY games media site, it is unavoidable, it comes in a MINIMUM of 3 forms, usually more, all directly viewable on the video itself regardless of device. It's not merely a line at the bottom of an article. I'm pretty comfortable with our position on disclosure and the the amount of self-reflection we do. I've spoken at length about our levels of disclosure because I take these concerns seriously. If I were to go down the route of some games media sites, I'd be mocking those concerns and the people making them. We haven't. We carefully took advertorial deals that we felt did not violate our ethical standards and did not require editorial content or any statements of opinion or endorsement. Our audience did not object and we did look for objections, we're always super concerned about producing content that our audience actually wants to watch.
"..about people allegedly helping their friends while you take money to do the same thing."
What? I don't take money to help my friends. Where did this come from? [Citation needed]
".@totalbiscuit Because if you answered yes to either of these you’ve been given the chance to re-earn your audience’s trust."
Well here's the thing. We never lost it in the first place because we never made any effort to hide that information nor did we go after our viewers when things are pointed out that we could do better on that front.
".@totalbiscuit Let other outlets do the same instead of constantly hammering about hidden ethics violations you cannot prove.
This is a little rich considering the reason you we are having this conversation is that you accused me of a hidden ethics violation that you can't prove. Regardless that is irrelevant to the point. They are being given plenty of chances. When PC Gamer addressed its conflict of interest with Ubisoft, that was the end of the matter. They did the right thing and made improvements. When Polygon started disclosing who it donates to on Patreon, that is them being given the chance to "re-earn" the trust of their audience. When Kotaku and Escapist update their ethics policies, that's them re-earning the trust of their audience. When Kotaku, Polygon, Destructoid and more retroactively add disclosure to previous articles which are suspect, that's an attempt to re-earn the trust of their audience.
When they do all of that, it torpedoes your point that they are "hidden ethics violations that I can't prove". They were already proven, admitted by the sites in question and addressed. Those are closed cases.
".@totalbiscuit More people get their information from you than any of the people you've accused."
Why do you think that is? Perhaps because I don't have to re-earn my audiences trust because I never lost it in the first place.
".@totalbiscuit More people make buying decisions based off what you say than the traditional gaming media."
Yes, they trust someone who has taken disclosed brand deals to promote very specific games in a non-editorial fashion. I have literally taken money from devs to advertise their products and people still trust me. Ask yourself why that is. In my opinion, it's because we don't infantalise our audience and we tackle these issues head-on with healthy doses of self-reflection. We educate on the subject and that results in smarter more discerning consumers which I think is a net positive for this industry.
"There’s a responsibility that comes with the platform you have. I’d just ask that you take a good hard look in the mirror before you do this much harm to our community."
Please cite instances of harm I have done to "our community". I would like to point out that the community in my eyes does not exist. There are 100s of millions of gamers on the PC platform alone. The only thing we have in common is that we like to play games. That isn't a community anymore than watching TV is. You'd be hard pressed to find someone who takes their responsibility more seriously than I do, to the point where my viewers are kinda getting sick of the constant mirror-gazing, they just want more gaming content.
"If you're willing to do that, I'll be the first person to reach out my hand and say, let's put this community back together."
You know I asked you about doing that months ago by email. It never went anywhere. The pursuit of ethics and better games media is a net positive. Equating it with harassment is intellectually dishonest. Harassment is harassment, I've condemned it on numerous occasions but I'm not going to back down from my consumer first position because the people I am tasked with helping and protecting are the guys working 60 hours a week, wanting to know whether or not the limited free time and disposable income they have is going to be wasted because they bought a stinker. Those are the people I care about first and foremost because those guys are my audience and they gave me this life. I owe them and games media would do very well to remember who their audience is that gave them this privileged position which a small group of bullies have shown a willingness to abuse.
Twitlonger, or a blog, much better than those .@ replies. Twitter holiday recommences. I already have one kind of poison being pumped into me I'm gonna do my best to avoid a second.
[Disclosure] - This reply was written under the influence of chemotherapy, prescribed steroids and painkillers. Also I am a terrible writer.