Rejecting paid reviews - the ethical dilemma. Tonight I did, and here's why...
It's always an honour when a software developer wishes to pay you to review their creation on your website. It represents a financial investment on their part; a leap of faith even. They might end up paying $100 for an honest but damning review of their product, condemning its very existence.
As such, tonight, I've declined my first ever review.
I have a good history of reviewing things
I'm always honest and almost never 100% positive. Whatever I do I aim to be constructive and this allows the creator a return on their investment. Aside from the SEO boost of the keyword-rich back-links they also get a brutally honest opinion from someone experienced in this field.
Tonight I was requested to review a piece of software, a key-logger to be precise. I won't link the exact one in question because that would be entirely unfair on the developer, but ethically I can't review something I don't agree with in principal.
Key loggers are legitimate pieces of software and technically have good reason for existing; it allows parents to keep a passive view of what their kids are doing on the Internet. However, even overlooking all the potential mis-use of such software, I personally think that key-loggers are too invasive - even for family security.
Aside from the wonders of denial, you really don't want to know what your kids are searching for or saying on the Internet.
You really don't. I'm not a parent but I was once a teenage boy with Internet and I know first hand that it's better for all involved if the life lessons learned were done so privately.
I simply don't trust software that has to work so hard to convince you that it has legitimate purposes.
As such, this brings me to my point.
As a blogger with aspirations of making money online, you need to make decisions like these. Do you accept whatever offers come your way because they help you achieve your goals, or do you stick to your ethical guns?
In this instance I stuck to my guns and have no second thoughts about doing so. I always review honestly and I wouldn't be giving the software developer value for money if I object to the fundamental nature of the application; then they're just paying for me to announce why I don't like key-loggers.
So ask yourself the same question - if you're blogging in the pursuit of making money, are there things you're not prepared to do?
Enjoy this article? Why not subscribe to the full RSS feed?