Yesterday, the US Federal Trade Commission unanimously ruled
that all press outlets be held to disclose any "material connections" to the products they review. This basically means that if you review a product that was given to you for free by the company, you must now disclose that fact in your review. Interestingly enough, this ruling also dictates bloggers as well.
As part of the Joystiq
network of blogs, Massively is actually held to an integrity policy
that prevents us from accepting gifts
valued over $20. This includes everything from airfare for studio visits to the games themselves -- we must turn them down. And while this new FTC ruling is not actually a law
, we are excited to see that our long-standing policies safeguard us from any integrity issues. Plus, we simply don't review MMOs.
So now we're curious to hear what you think of this decision by the FTC. Do you think this will bring about a drastic change to all MMO reviewers out there? Can you trust a reviewer, knowing they were given a free game or travel expenses to visit a studio? Let us know what you think about this entire issue in the comments below!