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David Lee King

If it’s on Your website – is it your opinion?



Close_The_Libraries_And_Buy_Everyone_An_Amazon_Kindle_Unlimited_SubscriptionIn my last post, I purposefully title it “Forbes Wants to Close Libraries.” Why?

Well – I was critiquing an article on Forbes website.

The article is written by a “contributor.” Apparently, you can fill out a form (and probably do a lot more stuff) to be able to post as a contributor at Forbes.

And guess what? Forbes wants you to write for them, but doesn’t want to necessarily be associated with the content that contributors write.

Under the contributor’s names and photos is a tiny statement that says: “Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.”

Well yeah. It’s an opinion piece, after all.

Here’s my problem with that idea:

  1. It’s on Forbes website. Look at the image in this post – Even though Forbes wants to make sure you know that it’s not THEIR opinion that’s being expressed … it sure does look like it’s coming from Forbes to me!
  2. When the opinion piece gets cited … it will be cited as coming from Forbes.

Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck …

I know – magazines and newspapers have always had opinion pieces, letters to the editor, and love using that “opinions expressed are not held by the organization” statement.

I’m just not sure it works all that well in an online setting. Either own the content on your site (like Techcrunch, Mashable, etc do) or don’t post it.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Douglas Mason

    I agree with you, plus the fact that Forbes is about business, profit, and financial success begs the conclusion that they support the concept of non-profits, or any government organization that fits a NPO profile, being displaced and replaced by profiteers. Fine print claiming neutrality from the contributor’s opinion always smacks of self-serving legalese in the event something off-the-wall slips through the oily fingers of their manipulative agenda-driven editors.

  • Jon D Solomon

    David, I agree with you as well. I would also add that I’m sure Forbes gets many submissions for contributing opinion pieces, but ultimately it is Forbes editors who choose what to print. So they can say that the article is not their opinion, but they are choosing to print it over others.

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