Social Media

A question of ethics

The discussion about sponsored links on a site has been fairly good at Phil Ringnalda’s, except for a couple of threads.

It’s late and I don’t have time tonight to link to any sites–maybe tomorrow–but there are folks who are not offended, and others who are. Rafe at wrote:

I guess my position is that publishing those links on your site isn’t the most unethical way to earn a buck, but it is unethical. Publishing these links makes the Web a little bit worse for everybody. I guess a person could rationalize it by saying that the things that make a site a worthwhile spot to put those links in the first place adds value to the Web, and so it’s justifiable to post those links and offset some of the value being added to the Web in exchange for profit, but I still don’t like it.

Webster’s defines ethics as:

The discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation.


A set of moral principles or values.

Well, at least I wasn’t accused of doing evil.

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