TOU change: Disclosure of Material Connection addition

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  1. Jason Menayan profile image60
    Jason Menayanposted 6 years ago

    Hello everyone,

    Some policy stuff here.

    We want to remind all Hubbers about the rules associated with making endorsements of any products or services in your Hubs. If you have a connection (such as an affiliate marketing link or other monetization source) that might materially affect the weight or credibility of your endorsement, then you are required to fully disclose such connection on your Hub. Such disclosure may be something simple such as: “I may receive a referral fee if you purchase this product".   This is required pursuant to regulations set by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

    Please see HubPages’ Terms of Use – Section 10 “Disclosure of Material Connection” for more details:
    http://hubpages.com/help/user_agreement_sept2011

    1. lakeerieartists profile image76
      lakeerieartistsposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Why not have Hubpages have this as part of the boilerplate on the bottom of each hub?

      This is what Squidoo has on theirs:

      This page and all the pages on Squidoo generate income for lensmasters and charities based on affiliate relationships with our partners, including Amazon, Google, eBay and others. Have fun.

      1. Marisa Wright profile image97
        Marisa Wrightposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Exactly. 

        My understanding is that if you have your own website, you only need to place the disclosure somewhere on the site, not on every page.  And it can be general, like the example given above. 

        If that's wrong, I look forward to clarification.  If it's right, I'd like to know why HubPages can't add a generic statement like Squidoo's.

      2. kerryg profile image87
        kerrygposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Yeah, adding a couple lines of text to the footer seems much simpler than trying to get thousands of hubbers to update millions of hubs with the info, let alone remember to add the disclaimer to every single hub we write in future.

  2. KeithTax profile image69
    KeithTaxposted 6 years ago

    Hubbers should have done this for a while now. I know lierary agents that place the disclaimer on thier blogs because they promote thier clients books. My profile has a disclaimer (required by the IRS) because I write tax hubs. Disclosure is a good thing It's also a cheap way to minimize lawsuits.

    It might be a good idea to place a disclaimer on your profile page and each hub that requires the disclaimer.

  3. Peggy W profile image95
    Peggy Wposted 6 years ago

    Hi Jason,

    I just want to be certain as to what this means.

    Example #1...Say that I have a Window Covering Business and write articles about window blinds, shades and other window dressings with links to my personal business website.  In that case I assume that this disclaimer should be used.

    Example #2...Any and all of us that write generic topics (say for instance about flowers or vacation destinations) and have related Amazon or Ebay links inserted...does this mean that because we can earn money from HubPages, Google Adsense, Amazon and/or Ebay that we should insert disclaimers that we might be making some money?

    Thanks for clarifying this.

  4. SimeyC profile image95
    SimeyCposted 6 years ago

    Would it not be a good idea to have a 'drop down' disclosure as part of a Hub setup. You can provide 4 or 5 generic disclosures but also provide an option for 'no disclosure' or 'customized disclosure'.

    The problem a lot of people (including me) is that I always forget about this and having caught the habit yet - so being automatically forced to make this choice while starting a hub will be very beneficial for me!

    1. Aficionada profile image86
      Aficionadaposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I like this idea, and I hope it will be adopted!

      I'm also eager to read the clarification that Peggy W requested.  We need to know whether disclosure is required on every Hub other than the ones that are marked as non-commercial.

      The TOU (with my emphases) says, "If You endorse any products or services on the Service for which there is a connection that might materially affect the weight or credibility of the endorsement (i.e., the connection is not reasonably expected by the audience), You must fully disclose the connection."

      That sounds to me as if simply providing Amazon or eBay links would not absolutely require the disclosure. But specifically recommending the linked products (or the ones in the capsule) would.  That's the way I interpret this. Would that be correct?

    2. K9keystrokes profile image91
      K9keystrokesposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      SimeyC, I really like this idea!

  5. MelissaBarrett profile image59
    MelissaBarrettposted 6 years ago

    Does this mean we have to put the endorsement on all hubs with amazon links?  If so, dear God please tell me we can cut and paste without duplicate penalty (I only have 40 hubs, I feel sorry if this is the case for people with three or four hundred hubs)

    1. K9keystrokes profile image91
      K9keystrokesposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Just the thought makes me woozy Melissa...

    2. Marisa Wright profile image97
      Marisa Wrightposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      If you own your own website or blog, you need to display a disclosure statement somewhere on your site, it doesn't have to be on every page or post.

      So I can't see why we'd need to add a disclaimer on every Hub.  The obvious place to put it is on your Profile page. 

      However, Jason is saying (I think) that HubPages has interpreted the law to say it must be on every Hub - so I suppose if we don't comply, we're breaching HubPages TOS.  The question is, if that's the case, why hasn't this ever come up when Hubs are moderated?

  6. Elijah S profile image59
    Elijah Sposted 6 years ago

    Would a disclosure on the profile page be sufficient?

    Or maybe the team can think of some automated way of doing it for many hubs?

  7. Jason Menayan profile image60
    Jason Menayanposted 6 years ago

    Everyone,

    We just wanted to highlight a TOU change to Hubbers. smile

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