Are referral hubs ethical?
is it ethical for a writer to post a hub that is purely a referral to another site. For example, if I wrote a hub about signing up for cable and the hub purposefully took the reader away from hubpages to a cable sign up site but otherwise did not support the hub community and I was paid each time a reader ventured to the site... is that ethical? is it "legal" within hubpages protocols?
That's a really interesting question. I can't answer that directly, but I did know a person who happened to be stalking me. Weeks after I told this particular person to sever all contact with me, he popped up as a referral of mine here on HubPages (which meant he'd either read my blog or profile here on HP.) As the weeks wore on and the stalking got worse, I'd pointed out that he'd join HP under me and he questioned the ethics of hubpages referral program and accused me of stealing from his company on the basis that he'd created the account for his company and that I was set to earn referral $$ from him. He didn't understand that the $$ came from HubPages part and I really didn't want to get into an argument with a person I wanted to leave me alone.
Here's my question to you: Is referring a person, without their knowledge, to HubPages ethical?
I think the key is... without their knowledge... hubpages puts a join hubpage.com link on all of our profiles, which I do not think is visible to us as we view our own profiles but is visible to everyone else. Somewhere, in all the sign up process must be a statement that says... we agree to this and therefore we know about it. If you are like me and don't read all of that information, then are we still unknowing or did we just assume that everything we did not read was okay? There in lies the answer to whether or not this is ethical. Another point is that since this is an online world, how much seclusion should we really expect. If someone continually harrassed me or stalked me I would send the information to hubpages and keep track of what I have done myself to prevent that person from bothering me. If the behavior continued then I would contact my local district attorneys office and ask if this is something they can help you with. There are Internet laws about harassment that are put in place by various nations. The US has laws to protect people from stalking and internet stalking.
If the main purpose of your Hub is to promote a singular site or service, chances are that if it is ever flagged or otherwise brought to the attention of the site moderators, it will be interpreted as overly or purely promotional... and unpublished.
The first sentence of the FAQ section on this topic pretty much makes clear this question: http://hubpages.com/faq/#overly_promotional
"Purely promotional offers and Hubs designed only to promote other sites or businesses are not allowed..."
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by Debra Allen 8 years ago
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