A recent article by Corin Faife in Breaker sought to prove that crypto news outlets accept money to publish sponsored posts without disclosing their sponsored status. We like where Faife was going with this idea, it’s something we might have written about ourselves. However, in the article where they claim that half of the news sites contacted agreed to post undisclosed sponsored content, they mistakenly included Cointelligence.
I’d like to set the record straight.
1. There are only 2 options for paid content on Cointelligence: one is PR which is tagged as such, and the other is guest blog posts which are published under the name of the person who paid for and wrote the blog post. We never have and will never publish any paid content as editorial content under Cointelligence’s name or the name of one of our team members, without adding a sponsored tag. You may have received a response from one of Cointelligence’s team members stating your blog post wouldn’t be tagged as sponsored because our intention was to publish it as a press release or guest post.
2. I am disappointed that you didn’t do more research about us, because if you did you would have discovered that we are committed to our ethical standards and dedicated to fighting corruption in the crypto industry. We’ve solidified our reputation by calling out ICO advisor corruption, illustrating when rating websites and tech reporters have missed obvious scams, and cast doubt on the validity of Initiative Q. We are one of the only websites calling out scammers on a regular basis. We are potentially the only ICO rating website that will not accept payments for ratings as can be seen in this blog post we published recently: How is Cointelligence different?
3. Cointelligence has quality control for everything we publish, from ICO ratings to blog posts. Every piece of content is reviewed to ensure it is up to our standards for quality and integrity, and that it is in line with our mission. In the unlikely event that one of my team members would agree to publish a sponsored blog post as editorial content without a sponsored tag, it would have been caught and blocked before publication.
4. I consider it irresponsible of you to have not reached out to us for a comment before publishing your article. Is this not a part of your journalistic process? It seems hypocritical of you to write about ethics when you aren’t following up on your leads like an ethical journalist would. This puts you in a position where readers can also question the integrity of your claims against the other sites on your list. In the spirit of journalistic integrity, I’m firmly requesting that you do the right thing and add my response in your article.
5. I feel so strongly about the integrity of my site and my team that I am prepared to offer you a challenge. If you can prove that you convinced one of Cointelligence’s team members to publish an editorial blog post that you paid for, which is not a PR or a guest blog post, without a PR or sponsored tag, I will transfer 10 Bitcoin to you. In fact, if you can prove that we have ever done this, for anyone, I will pay up. You will need to show me proof that someone at Cointelligence agreed to this, that you (or someone else) paid for it, and that we sent you (or someone else) the URL to the live article after we were paid.
Maybe you find it wrong that we accept money for guest blog posts. We’ve felt like our procedure of posting this content under the writer’s name, often with their connection to the company clearly displayed, was well in line with our ethics. But since you’ve brought this to our attention we are reviewing our procedures and considering the addition of a sponsored tag to relevant guest posts. We are dedicated to being leaders in this community, and a good leader can take criticism and see where there’s need for change. I hope that you can as well.