Disclosure and/or recusal from topics, people, reviews, impressions, etc. is an important factor in providing the most fair and accurate coverage we can provide. As such, we have laid out these disclosure policies.
We strive to cover all situations that may come up, but expect these to be updated if situations arise that require additional clauses and updates to our disclosure. User feedback is important in this regard as well. If there are circumstance we are not covering, or issues we are not addressing, then please leave your feedback in the comments below or contact us.
Reviews, Impressions, and Let’s Plays
Content producers are required to disclose the source of the product (eg. game, comic, movie, book, etc.) they are providing coverage on. Additionally content producers are required to disclose connections they may have to companies or individuals related to the product. This includes:
- Whether the product was purchased by the content creator, given as a gift, or provided by the publisher/distributor/developer of the product for purposes of coverage.
- Whether the product was obtained through Kickstarter, Indigogo, or another crowd-funding source (with the exception of Patreon, contributors are barred from supporting individuals or companies on Patreon and must disclose prior Patreon donations to editorial staff).
- Additionally, product covered that is in an “Early Access” or preview state will be presented as an “Impression.” Preview content, whether alpha or beta state software or Early Access, will be presented “as is” and labeled as not indicative of the final product
- All content producers and editorial staff are required to disclose any connections to individuals or companies connected to the product they are covering. If fair coverage to a product cannot be provided then producers or editorial staff are to recuse themselves
Coverage of Events and Issues
We strive for fair and accurate coverage of events and issues. People will always come into an event or issue with preconceived notions and biases. Our definition of objectivity in relation to journalistic pursuits identifies these biases and requires us to put these in check as to gather the facts of an event and present them as fairly as possible. Our audience is an important factor in ensuring we do the absolute best job we can covering issues. As such, our content producers and editors are required to disclose any connections to a subject so our audience can keep these in mind. When a producer or editor feels they cannot check their biases to work a story objectively, then they are to recuse themselves. Connections that are required to be disclosed to our audience are:
- Whether a producer or editor is or has been friends with someone connected to a story
- Whether a producer or editor has previously worked with or for someone or an organization connected to a story
- Whether a producer or editor has previously funded or donated to a person or organization
- Whether a producer or editor is a member of a industry organization (eg. IGDA, ESA, SPJ, etc.)
Additionally, we strive to have our articles be as up-to-date as is possible. Some stories maybe developing as they are presented, new information will come in, or a new source will come forward. We update our articles when new information comes forth and that will always be disclosed with an “Update Note.”
Crowd-funding and Donations
While we wholly support the building trend of funding projects, individuals and companies through crowd sourced options, we feel that certain avenues and amounts constitute a conflict of interest. When covering products and events related to the industries we are covering, we feel that the following disclosures and prohibitions needed to provide as accurate of coverage we can provide:
- Content Producers and editors can fund Kickstarter or Indiegogo projects, but not in significant amounts. All funding of this type must be disclosed to editorial staff and in any coverage provided. If the editorial staff determines the amount funded would influence coverage, producers or editors will be told to recuse themselves from coverage
- All staff at SuperNerdLand is prohibited from supporting individuals or companies through Patreon. This is not a statement against Patreon as a platform. We just feel that funding of this type can constitute too much of a conflict of interest when providing coverage of products, organizations or individuals. All previous Patreon donations must be disclosed to editorial staff, and must be disclosed in content when relevant to coverage
- Early Access purchases are allowed. As one receives a product for the money give, we view this as just a purchase. When covering an Early Access product, it will be presented as an “impressions” as the final product is unavailable and thus not review-able
- Donations to 501c non-profit organizations are allowed, but if an producer or editor is donating to an organization they are covering, they must disclose this to editorial staff and in coverage. If the amount is significant, editorial staff reserves the right to recuse someone from coverage
We have a contributor, Pory, whom is also a moderator on /r/KotakuInAction on Reddit, and some other forums on the internet. As such, we have set up extra layers of disclosure and recusal for this contributor.
- 1) I will immediately disclose any biases I have in material that I am covering at the beginning of an article. In addition, I will excuse myself from writing any article that I feel I am unable to cover neutrally.
- 2) I will not post articles written by myself, or other writers for SuperNerdLand, to forums where I am a moderator.
- 3) I will not cover #GamerGate, reddit, or any forums where I am a moderator in articles that I write.
- 4) If an article written by a SuperNerdLand writer is posted in a forum that I moderate, I will abstain from any moderating decisions regarding the thread/article.
- 5) If an article written by a competitive site to SuperNerdLand is posted in a forum that I moderate, I will abstain from any moderating decisions regarding the thread/article*1.
- 6) Forums that I moderate require the use of archives for linking to sites deemed by the community to be undeserving of pagehits. If the list of sites that we use requires modification, I will abstain from any decisions regarding it.*2
Posted 9÷4÷2015 By Pory
*1 Updated 9÷5÷2015 By Pory
*2 Updated 9÷6÷2015 By Pory
Additionally, if users want to see what actions moderators on /r/KotakuInAction are taking, they can view an open mod history here: https://modlog.github.io/#/r/KotakuInAction
(Updated 9÷8÷2015: Added the Extra Disclosure/Recusal section to detail extra contributor disclosures where applicable.)