Want to learn about blockchain technology? Who do you trust?
Attracted to the wonders of blockchain technology due to its trustless and permissionless nature, many future crypto investors turn to Google to dig up information on their newfound interest. Clicking on the top search links, a crypto novice chooses to gain knowledge from what they would consider to be trusted sources of information.
It’s ironic. Even in the world of trustless blockchain technology, we still need to trust someone, ultimately. Often brushed off and told to “do your own research”, many interested in learning more about Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, ICOs, and blockchain technology do just that, but come up against a major barrier.
You can’t really trust a lot of the sources of information out there.
It turns out, in a recent report by Breaker magazine, more than half of the tested crypto news outlets were willing to accept money to publish articles, without any disclaimer stating that the publication was indeed sponsored.
From the article, “Of the 22 outlets who replied conclusively, 12 of them—more than half the total—were willing to publish paid content without disclosing it as such” (source)
The article goes into detail about the fact that many of the outlets were happily ready to speak positively about sketchy ICOs, as long as a bit of money, sometimes in the thousands of dollars, was forthcoming. Acting in coordination with unscrupulous traders and bots, this kind of practice contributes to the pump and dump schemes and scammy behaviours that cast a dark shadow over the amazing potential and innovation of distributed ledger technology.
This is a huge problem for journalism in this sphere. And at CryptoMurmur, we have witnessed the problem first hand. Despite our fledgling existence, even we have been asked to accept payment for positive reviews of ICOs — specifically requesting that we do not mention that the content is sponsored. We flatly refused and will continue to do so in the future. It’s true, we could have made a few bucks, but it’s not worth losing our integrity for short-term gains.
CryptoMurmur readers can rest assured; we will never secretly accept money for any biased news articles or opinion pieces under the guise of journalism. Our goal is to inform and empower with objectivity based on careful and deliberate research. And in the cases where we do publish sponsored material, such articles will always clearly and specifically state that the content was sponsored.
Our most popular series, Focus Fire, for example, is not sponsored in any way, shape, or form. We receive no funds for this series whatsoever. Our goal with every Focus Fire series is to select from projects we find compelling for various reasons and to then let the community decide which one they would most like to learn about. This series has given us opportunities to experience fantastic learning experiences and, hopefully, has provided the same for our readers. Of course, the goal is that the series will engage and educate an ever-widening audience, but it is most certainly not to compromise our journalistic integrity just to make a little money.
CryptoMurmur will continue its mission to inform and empower, maintaining integrity as we do so. Stick with us and we will grow and learn together!