The Verge Updates Affiliate Link Disclosure Following #GamerGate FTC Campaign

#GamerGate has been labeled in the mainstream media as a harassment campaign. Some have even gone far enough to say that the call for ethical reform in media outlets is just a mask to harass and drive women out of the tech and games industry. Of course, what you won’t hear any major media outlet report on is the mass e-mail campaign to the Federal Trade Commission in order to update policies regarding disclosure and transparency regarding paid affiliates and native advertising. Well, following Gawker’s privacy policy overhaul on January 19th, 2015, in response to the FTC campaign, The Verge is joining Gawker by disclosing affiliate links and linking to their very own public ethics policy.

Over on the Kotaku in Action sub-Reddit, which works as a central hub to discuss ethical violations (and a wee bit of drama) in relation to #GamerGate, a post was made indicating that The Verge is starting to disclose affiliate links in their articles.

If you look at articles from The Verge, a subsidiary of Vox and one of the prime culprits for spreading misinformation about #GamerGate, the articles from late last year – such as this Price Check piece from November 21st, 2014 or this other Price Check piece from December 19th, 2014 – did not have disclosure notifications in the articles. In fact, as recent as January 23rd, 2015, disclosure about affiliate links were not included.

If, however, you check the latest Price Check piece from The Verge as of February 6th, 2015, look at the bottom of the article and note that there is now a disclosure notice about affiliate links. You can even check out the public ethics policy right here.

This change was made following a #GamerGate e-mail operation to the FTC following attention being brought to the lack of affiliate link disclosures in a post on Kotaku in Action.  They now join IGN, who also made their ethics policy public following a #GamerGate inquisition, as well as Defy Media, Destructoid and Gawker in being more transparent regarding their operation policies.

The Chief Lunatic, a Reddit user, commented about the new update on The Verge, saying…

“Let’s be clear: The Verge and its sister sites like Polygon despise GamerGate. However, like Gawker Media, even they are changing their disclosure policies once GamerGate points them out.

“When will they admit it really is about ethics? Perhaps one day.“

Previously, The Chief Lunatic had posted up an update a couple of months ago about the progress #GamerGate was making with getting things turned around with disclosure and transparency from major media outlets. This occurred after he reached out to the Federal Trade Commission and managed to get a response about the branch’s intention to help consumers become more aware of affiliate and native advertising practices after the FTC received plenty of e-mails from consumers rallying under the GamerGate hashtag.

It looks like The Verge is now getting on board the ethics train, because the train has no intentions of slowing down or stopping any time soon. Brakes? None. Destination? Ethics City.


Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Contact.

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