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Old 10-10-2007, 03:04 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 614
Default How To Warn About A Suspicious Sponsor?

First, I want to make it clear that I am NOT accusing this particular sponsor of anything illegal or unethical.

I am simply using it as an example of my personal suspiciousness, and looking for potential red-flags. Especially when my audience might contrue me as somehow recommending something (like a particular affiliate program.)

Anyway, I just wrote up the following listing for my site...
http://www. matcash .com/ Mat Cash - Pays for downloads of some kind of browser toolbar. Also offers links to free games. Net 15, by check, PayPal, minimum $50, or wire transfer (minimum $100, minus a fee.) They appear to be located in China, but with contacts in France. International publishers OK. However, note that they seem to use ActiveX prompts for the downloads, and there is a risk of inappropriate software being pushed through.
I try to list every "mainstream" sponsor I find. And I try to take a positive attitude.

But, sometimes, I just get a feeling of suspicion. And I certainly don't want to risk being perceived as promoting or endorsing spyware, scumware, spam, etc.

OTOH, I don't want to slander anyone's business.

I just want to indicate that, while a sponsor is listed on my site, I also don't actually recommend that any other publishers promote anything involving toolbars or ActiveX. But without pointing a hysterical finger.

Is the above description OK? If not, what would you suggest?

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Old 10-10-2007, 03:55 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 227

Based on your description and how you feel about being seen as recommending such companies, why are you even posting and essentially recommending the company in the first place?

If you must list them as a service, perhaps a separate section devoted to them with an appropriate warning about that category of advertisers/sponsors so webmasters have a clear indication of the applets they'd be serving to their visitors and the potentialy drawbacks (or rewards).

I've tried several of the major toolbar companies in the past and really don't think they have any place in the market given their practices and the damage you can do to your site by utilizing them. I've also been on the other end trying to clean up family members computers who were just flooded with the toolbars and 3rd party junk installed by these companies.

The sites that tend to do well with these programs are just like an evil MFA site, yet they're Made For Toolbars "MFT" exploiting naive users to click on the flash videos that require a toolbar download and 3rd party software installs to view.

Last edited by fusionhosting; 10-10-2007 at 03:57 PM.
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