Posts Tagged ‘ethics’

Unethical Social Media at its Worst: Rob Ford’s Fake Twitter Account

The Globe and Mail, Maclean’s magazine, CTV, the Torontoist and blogTO all ran stories in the last day, alleging that staff of Toronto’s newly-annointed mayor elect, Rob Ford, used a fake Twitter account to deceive a voter into handing over incriminating materials during the campaign.

According to the reports, Ford was recorded offering to buy prescription painkillers on the street for a voter suffering from fybromyalgia, and tapes of the call were sent to the Toronto Star.

According to blogTO:

“In fear that the Star would release the information, Nick Kouvalis, a key Ford campaign member, tasked Macdonald with getting a handle on the situation. According to Maclean’s, “Kouvalis pulled aside Fraser Macdonald, the team’s 24-year-old deputy communications director–whose prior political experience consisted largely of his involvement in a model parliament club at Queen’s University–and told him to ‘do everything you can to get that tape….’”

Fraser Macdonald allegedly established a fake Twitter account (@QueensQuayKaren), with a bio that claimed ‘Karen’ was a “downtown Toronto gal who likes politics, my cat Mittens, and a good book,” and pretended to be a supporter of rival candidate George Smitherman. They allege he then befriended the person who made the tapes in order to get a copy. After receiving the tape, the campaign leaked it to the Ford-friendly Toronto Sun themselves, rather than having the less friendly Star release it at a time when it could be more damaging.

The fake Twitter account then continued its activity under the guise of being a supporter of rival candidate George Smitherman for the remainder of the campaign, posting messages including:

“I can see Ford’s appeal. I don’t agree with him on everything, but the man speaks the truth. George needs to improve on that.”
“@ThomsonTO that bitchy attitude sure got you far, Sarah [a rival candidate]. It’s funny that I once respected you. Now you’re just a total embarrassment”

Perhaps not surprisingly, the account was deleted shortly after the mainstream media caught wind of the deception. Fortunately, the Torontoist captured all of the tweets from the account beforehand prior to this happening. You can see them in their entirety here.

As a digitial communicator, I find myself actually getting angry when I think about this kind of tactic. I have no issues with the way the campaign leaked the tape once they had it, but the way they allegedly went about getting it is just disgusting.

Let’s go over this again – according to these reports, Rob Ford’s staff:

  1. Set up a fake account pretending to support the other candidate
  2. Mislead a voter into handing over incriminating material to them

As if this wasn’t bad enough, Macdonald actually gloated publicly about the stories today, telling people to get over it:

Is this the kind of behaviour we should expect from our elected officials or their staff? As Dave Jones and John Leschinski pointed out, political campaigns have for a long time populated the Letters to the Editor sections of newspapers with letters under false names. Similarly, cynics will point out that politicians of all stripes have broken promises.

Consider: companies have been hung out to dry for years for this kind of deceptive behaviour when the consequences are far less substantial.

This isn’t just about politics. I don’t care which side of the political spectrum people fall; deceptive and deceitful tactics should be out of bounds. Given the uber-high standard to which we hold companies in the social space, I would hope that people would consider this kind of behaviour to be just as despicable.

If this is the kind of behaviour that is considered normal for the people we trust to run our governments, then our moral compasses are pointed in entirely the wrong direction.

I’m not sure if the City of Toronto’s code of conduct for council members technically applies during an election, or if the city’s Integrity Commissioner has jurisdiction over the actions of the staff of election candidates, but if either applies then I’d hope that this isn’t the last we hear of this.

The World Won’t End Without Your Tweets

Social media can be a compulsive beast. It’s easy to feel a ‘need’ to keep putting out content through your various channels; no-where is this more true right now than on Twitter. I’ve written about that topic before, and I’ve also discovered the importance of unplugging occasionally.

So, what to do when a client feels like they can’t let their account lie dormant, even for a few days?

Todd Defren wrote a thought-provoking  post earlier this week, asking if people thought his company had done the right thing when a client asked them to take over his Twitter account and “tweet” on his behalf. Their reaction:

“Yes, we would tweet from his account, but with the following conditions:

— Prior to the event, he must tweet, “During the show some of my tweeting will be supplemented by our extended team.” We felt that the term “extended team” was appropriate, suggesting that that term covered both internal and 3rd party colleagues.

— A reminder to that effect would go out, regularly, throughout the conference, i.e., every 10th tweet would remind followers that someone besides the executive might be “at the controls” of his Twitter account.

—When character spaces permitted, we’d add a #team hashtag to denote that the tweet was not published by the exec — but honestly, this attribution fell away more often than not; we largely relied on the “every 10th tweet” approach to cover our ethical backsides.”

Todd asked us, “how would you have handled such a request?” My initial response, posted as a comment on Todd’s post, was that I might have considered disclosing more fully but that in general they seemed to have approached it the right way.

Then, once again, I had a conversation with a colleague that made me think differently.

In one of our social media team meetings, Kerri Birtch suggested that we should really be thinking about a different question: did the client really have to appear to be online all the time?

Why did they feel the need to be online – was it for ego-based reasons or a genuine business need? Could the CEO have simply tweeted that they’d be at a conference and would be paying less attention over the next few days? Could they have posted a heads-up on a company blog for people who missed their Twitter announcement? Why did they not feel it was ok to be less active for a few days?

I don’t know the answers to those questions as I don’t have the context, but Kerri’s thoughts really highlighted a question we all need to ask of ourselves and of clients more often:

Why?

Do People Really Care About PR Disclosure? And Why It Still Matters

Do people really care about disclosure by PR agencies when it comes to activities for their clients?

I don’t mean those of us in the fishbowl or in the PR industry, but the average person on the streets. Do they really care if a company’s representatives are in-house or contracted? Businessman about to reveal identityDo they care if a PR agency (or any other agency) is acting on behalf of a company, if they have the authority to do so?

Does the average person care about disclosure?

Those of us living in the fishbowl (social media and/or public relations) love to discuss the concept of disclosure. I should know – I’ve written about disclosure several times in the past.

A post yesterday from Jason Chupick over a PR agency’s disclosure (or lack thereof) of their role in a video for AT&T, and subsequent tweet by Todd Defren, sparked an interesting conversation on Twitter with Beth Harte, Sonny Gill, Arik Hanson and myself.

Essentially, as Jason’s post put it:

“Last week AT&T responded to criticism about the delays the MMS service for IPhones, as well as the device’s network-hogging tendency by way of a “Seth the Blogger Guy” YouTube video [...] Seth is neither a blogger, nor does he work at AT&T. He’s just the face of the team doing the work.”

Our subsequent discussion revolved around whether the average person in the street would care that someone from AT&T’s PR agency starred in the video without disclosure.

My take: if most people in the world don’t have a clue what a PR agency is, or the nature of the client/agency relationship, are they likely to care about disclosure from agencies? Probably not. They’re more likely to care about the quality of the product/service they’re buying or the responsiveness of customer service than about who is speaking on behalf of the company.

Disclosure still matters

As the title of this post suggests, though, I think disclosure by PR agencies is important regardless of the importance the average person puts on it, for three primary reasons:

  1. De-railing your message – whether the average person cares or not, controversy courts the press. There’s no better way to derail your message than to create controversy about the medium.
  2. Industry reputation – controversy over disclosure can haunt you for years. Stories like Wal-Marting Across America or the AllIWantForXmasIsAPSP blog still reverberate around the industry. Is that what you want you or your company to be remembered for?
  3. Ethics – when I finish my work for a day, I want to feel good about it. While lack of disclosure isn’t necessarily the same as deception, I want to be able to look myself in the mirror and know that I’m doing best job I can.

On top of these reasons, if I’m right and the average person doesn’t care who’s communicating on behalf of a company, then where’s the downside to disclosing? The main argument for not disclosing tends to be that admitting it’s not the company speaking directly can lessen the effectiveness of the communication. If that’s not the case, then what?

Bottom line: I don’t think most people care about disclosure. The social media/PR echo chamber does, but I’m not sure the concern extends to the broader public. Regardless, though, I think disclosure is still important. We’re firm on disclosing our activities on behalf of clients, and I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing.

What do you think?

(Image: Shutterstock)

Astroturfing Online Reviews: 3 Reasons It’s A Bad Idea

TechCrunch reported yesterday that they had obtained evidence that a PR firm had “a team of interns to trawl iTunes and other community forums posing as real users, and has them write positive reviews for their client’s applications.”

AstroturfAs a PR professional, this is extremely disheartening to me. I guess on some level we all know this happens, but this is a great reminder that this kind of activity just isn’t acceptable.

Here are three reasons you won’t find me practicing this kind of behaviour:

Risk to the client

Some people in the post’s comments suggested that it’s PR professionals’ job to position their clients in the best way possible through legal means. The implication was that this activity was legal, so it was ok.

I would agree with their definition of a PR pro’s role to an extent, but I add “ethical” to the list of qualifiers. For me, that rules astroturfing out.

I have had clients ask me to write reviews for them, and have refused (and explained the rationale): Because our refusing protects them from featuring in articles like the one on TechCrunch. As a PR professional, I consider exposing a client to the risk of being featured in an article like this to be completely unprofessional. I haven’t had a single person push back after explaining this.

Risk to the PR person/agency

In fact, the risk goes both ways. As the firm involved in this specific instance is no doubt discovering, getting outed for this kind of behaviour isn’t pleasant. I don’t plan on tarnishing my reputation with this kind of activity.

It’s unethical

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I want to go to sleep at night knowing that I’ve done the right thing. Despite some peoples’ perceptions, going into PR doesn’t mean giving up your own ethics. I want to look at my ugly mug in the mirror and feel good about my work.

Remember – not all agencies will do this. As Brits like me (and Aussies) would say, it’s just not cricket.

(Image: Shutterstock)

Social Media Agencies and Transparency

On Tuesday, Rachel Kay asked a thought-provoking question during a Twitter Q&A with fellow PR practitioner Sarah Evans:

How involved can an agency get in a clients SM execution & remain transparent?

In my view, agencies can get involved in every aspect of clients’ social media execution without sacrificing transparency. I say that not just from personal opinion, but because I’ve been there.

Note: I say “can” not “should aim to be.” More on that in a moment.

I place great importance on transparency (see my earlier posts on ghost blogging if you need convincing). However, that hasn’t stopped me from being involved in the full gamut of social media strategy development and execution, from brainstorming and drafting through to manning the Twitter account and blog.

How do you achieve that level of involvement while maintaining integrity?

Disclosure.

We make a point of disclosing client relationships at every turn. That runs from disclosure in blog comments, to naming individuals in bios on blogs and Twitter accounts, to even naming who is writing individual tweets. By disclosing who you are, transparency is maintained.

Now, on to an important issue: I don’t think this is an ideal long-term solution.

In the short term, there are many reasons why an agency might get involved in executing social media tactics:

  • Clients may not have sufficient capacity to undertake the work
  • Clients may lack the expertise necessary to execute at the best level
  • Clients may want to pilot-test an initiative before committing in-house resources

All of these are valid short-term reasons.

However, in the long-term I think the best solution is for much of the tactical execution to be taken in-house if appropriate staff with the right skillsets and framework within which to operate are available. Agency roles in the long-term are best played as a strategic advisor, training staff, developing ideas and strategic direction and offering advice on tactics where required. Agencies can also play a valuable role doing some of the “arms and legs” work – monitoring, reporting, designing and developing online properties, email campaigns, etc.

In summary, agencies can be involved in every aspect of social media execution without compromising transparency. That just doesn’t mean they always should be.

For the record, here’s Sarah Evans’ response to the question:

I think that agency SM involvement should ultimately result in biz’s online sustainability (i.e. can they do it themself?)… #prexaminer

It’s a lot about working with them, teaching, listening, identifying (or creating) the right tools. #prexaminer

…I created a “clients” section on my blog to disclose who I’m working with. I’ll be up front if we’re connected. #prexaminer

What do you think?

Want Me To Write About Your Stuff? Don’t Lie In Your Pitch

I receive several pitches each day. In general, even if I don’t write about what they’re pitching, I welcome the approach.

A few days ago, however, I received this email:

subject: I’d like to know your opinion Hello, My name is […]. I’m a […] student at […]. I writing you because I’d like to know your opinion about a YouTube Viral ad I saw recently posted on AdRants for a nonprofit called […]. Recently I’m seeing more nonprofits use social media to spread their message. This ad in particular struck me because it seemed like it was directed at a specific type of YouTube viewer, FailBlog fans. FYI FailBlog is a YouTube channel that posts juvenile videos about people falling and such. What I found refreshing is the fact that a serious nonprofit like [...] is using a juvenile ad to communicate a serious message. Here’s the video link: [Deleted – I'm not giving him the traffic] Hope you enjoy it and post about it. Look forward to hearing your comments. Thank You

Reading this, my spidey senses started tingling:

  • The person sending the email opened saying they wanted my opinion and closed asking me to post about it (is this what you had in mind?)
  • Some of the language sounded a lot like an informal version of what I see in a lot of pitches – “Recently we’re seeing more companies use X to do Y.

After about 30 seconds of pondering this, I glanced at the email address of the sender, only to see that the email came from the domain of one of the world’s largest advertising agencies. What’s more, the person who sent the email appeared to be the person who had posted the video on YouTube. Instead of potentially getting me to write about their creative video, the agency has succeeded in getting me to block all emails from their domain in future. What’s wrong with this approach?

Main faults

  • The email, coming from an ad agency’s domain, claimed to be from a student. Even if the person really was a summer student at this agency, their actions reflect on the company. 
  • The sender claimed to have seen the video on AdRants (it was indeed posted there) when in reality they posted it to YouTube themselves.

More problems

  • The email describes the video as a “YouTube viral ad.” It had 2,900 views. Not exactly viral.
  • There are clear typos in the email, for example “I writing you…”
  • There is zero personalization in the email. I have no way of knowing if they have ever seen my site, or even if they know my name.

This kind of deceptive outreach is deceptive, unethical and frankly despicable. Don’t do it.

Misleading Magpie Ads = Unfollow

A while back there was a minor uproar around the launch of Magpie, a Twitter-based service that offered to pay users in exchange for placing ads into their Twitter stream. Fast forward a few months – this weekend Read Write Web’s Marshall Kirkpatrick published an alarming post looking at some of the companies that have chosen to advertise through this service. Some of those listed include Apple, Skype, Flip, Box.net and others.

I don’t subscribe to the extreme view that Twitter must forever remain untainted by ads, however the nature of the ads that Kirkpatrick revealed is disturbing.

Apple ads on Magpie

Do you see what I see? I see ads worded to clearly imply the person in  whose stream they appear both purchased an Apple product and liked it.

In my eyes that’s misleading and deceptive. It hijacks the trust that people establish with others online and uses it to falsely recommend products.

One of the reasons that social media is so powerful is that people trust other people like themselves. These ads play on that trust and abuse it.

I’m trying to shy away from implying blanket rules for people using social media tools (one of the lessons I learned from the ghost twittering saga recently). So, rather than tell others what to do, I’ll tell you how I react.

If I see someone with Magpie-sponsored ads in their feeds, I start to feel I can’t trust what they say.

When I see companies like Apple, Flip and Skype using these tactics, I lose respect for them.

On either side, would you want people reacting to you that way?

As Marshall concludes, “to the advertisers out there – is this cynical scheme the best you can do to engage with all the new ways people are communicating online? That’s pretty bad.”

Public Relations Is Not A Right

Does everyone deserve public relations representation?

Every so often a story comes along – the recent saga around the mother of octuplets, for example – that raises the question of whether PR firms should exercise discretion in the clients with whom they choose to work. The same question gets raised for tobacco companies, oil companies, nuclear power companies and for all sorts of other organizations.

This post isn’t about any specific example, rather it’s about one general theme.

Public relations representation is not a right.

Some people see public relations alongside law. They think that everyone has a right to be represented in “the court of public opinion.”

I don’t think that coming up with a phrase that includes the word “courts” puts public relations alongside law as a right. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms gives every resident the right to retain legal counsel, but we’re not lawyers. I don’t see a mention of public relations in there.

There is no inalienable right to PR representation.

I’m very pro-public relations (obviously – I work in the field) but let’s be realistic here. Public relations is a business function. I think it’s an important one, but it’s still a service – just as marketing, advertising and other areas are. 

Companies or individuals who act illegally or unethically aren’t “entitled” to representation, and I personally don’t want to be the one providing it to them. I want to put my head down at night feeling good about the work I do, not worrying whether I’ve helped an unethical organization go about its business.

We’re into another grey area here – where do you draw the line? How do you decide what’s just a simple mistake and what crosses over to make a company unworthy of representation? That’s a tough question – I think different people will have different answers – and I’m not sure I even have an answer to it.

Still, while I haven’t had to deal with this situation yet, I know there are organizations out there that I wouldn’t want to represent. It’s not that it would be difficult; but that I would feel wrong representing a person or organization whose activities I fundamentally disagree with. What’s more, I don’t think I could do a good job for them – my heart wouldn’t be in it.

What do you think? Am I naive? Am I just wrong? Where do you stand on this?

Six Lessons From The Ghost Twittering Saga

Eureka momentLast week, I wrote a post about an a-list blogger (Guy Kawasaki) who used ghost writers on his Twitter account. The reaction to that post has been thought-provoking, to say the least.

Perhaps the most fascinating part of the whole episode, as a client put it, was watching the ripples go out from my post. Whether it was posts by the likes of Stowe BoydNeville Hobson, Sarah Perez, Li Evans and others, stories in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times or the sheer volume of discussion on my post, this topic certainly caught the attention of a lot of people.

I’ve had plenty of conversations about this post over the last week, and I’ve done a fair bit of thinking on my own. I’ve learned some interesting lessons:

Ethics works in grey areas

The more I write about ethical issues in social media, the more I’ve come to realize that ethical dilemmas are rarely black and white. There’s rarely a clear right or wrong, and most of the debate takes place in the grey area inbetween.

To make matters more complicated, the extent of different peoples’ grey areas varies. Some people see ghost writing, for example, very clearly at one end of the scale and others see it at the other end, but most see it as somewhere in the middle. As I’ve thought about it more and more (and as I’ve been exposed to over 200 peoples’ views over the last few posts), I’ve come to see it as more of a grey area.

I still have my views; I still think it’s wrong and, at best, often ineffective; but I see the other side too, along with a spectrum of opinions inbetween.

Different people use tools in different ways

I’ve always thought of Twitter as a place to connect; as a place to learn; as a place to share. From a corporate side, I’ve thought of it as a place to build relationships; to answer questions; to trouble-shoot; to manage issues. I’ve rarely thought of it as a place to overtly promote.

This week I opened my eyes a little and recognized people using Twitter in ways that I haven’t considered acceptable, and doing it successfully. I was aware of it before, but I avoided those people and in doing so forgot that it was happening to an extent.

New perspectives are valuable. I’ve re-gained one this week.Respond quickly to controversy

While I don’t think that referring to people who raise concerns as “self-appointed consciences of Twitter” is a great way to defuse things, I thought Guy Kawasaki responded well to the ethical concerns I raised.

I know Kawasaki tells people to forget the A-list, but I wasn’t expecting him to change his approach to disclosure just because of one email from me, Z-lister that I am. 

On the contrary, not only did I get a prompt and polite response from guy, but he immediately tweaked things based on my concerns. His twitter bio now names the other authors, and posts from them now include their initials at the end.

(To be clear, Kawasaki never denied the practice and conducted an interview earlier this year where he discussed it; however this was the first time it was disclosed up-front in his bio)

A separate discussion has started over whether his use of Twitter constitutes spam, but that’s not what I asked him about. Those issues are for another day. He addressed my concerns.

Naive to think it wouldn’t get personal

I naively hoped to avoid provoking personal attacks on Kawasaki from commenters. Unfortunately, I couldn’t. I’m sure he’s used to it and has a thick skin, but I was sorry to see the attacks happen and I did my best to stop those I saw.

Fortunately, we also got into a vibrant debate on ghost writing on Twitter, which was my initial hope.

On ethical issues, act proactively not reactively

As the conversation evolved, I noticed that numerous people weren’t convinced by Kawasaki’s response because he had to be asked before he changed the way he went about things. In their view, it was a grudging shift rather than a genuine one, and as a social media figurehead he should have known better.

Whether that’s the case or not, there’s a good lesson to learn for the future – if there are vulnerabilities in what you are doing, take the opportunity to fix them now. Don’t wait for people to shine a light on them.

Reflection on why I take a stand on ethics

 This week’s saga also caused me to reflect on why I keep coming back to the theme of ethics. Initially, I did it because some activities ran contrary to what I considered the ‘right’ way to go about things.

Over time, I’ve become more of a pragmatist. The fundamental ethical concern with things like ghost writing is still there, but I’ve realized that there’s also a pragmatic layer to why I feel so strongly about these matters.

I’m a consultant. I advise companies on, among other things, how to find their feet using these tools. I don’t want to see my clients on the receiving end of something like this week’s controversy. The risk/benefit ratio just doesn’t justify unethical tactics.

How about you?

I learn from your reactions to all my posts. It’s why I post so much, and why I post on topics ranging from those about which I know a fair deal, to those about which I know very little. When a post resonates like the ghost twittering post did, I learn even more. 

What did you learn from all this?

Guy Kawasaki Discloses Ghost Writers, Defuses Issue

I’ve written several posts on ethics and ghost blogging recently, so it’s hardly surprising that when I spotted a post suggesting one of the biggest names in social media has other people write under his name, I paid attention.

Bottom line: Guy Kawasaki, creator of Alltop and Truemors, has three other people writing through his Twitter account on his behalf.

Aran Hamilton chose to use the first post on his new blog to discuss how this changes his view of Guy (disclosure: Aran is a client, but we are not involved with his personal blog). Like Aran, although I’ve never met Guy I have a lot of respect for him and what he’s accomplished, which was initially shaken somewhat by this news.

Here’s the situation, in Guy’s own words (from the iampaddy blog):

“…there are two people who tweet on my behalf. One, @amoxcalli, is a grandmother in LA who has an exquisite eye for the interesting and controversial. She adds about five tweets per day. The other is @billmeade. He is the best beta tester of books that I have ever met. I wish he would do more, but he does about one tweet every two days or so.”

To put this in context, Kawasaki posts about 35 messages to Twitter per day according to Tweetstats. Of these, again according to Kawasaki:

  • One is an automated Alltop announcement
  • 10-15 are automated tweets from Truemors
  • Five or six are undisclosed messages from other people
  • The rest (doing the math, 13-19 tweets or thereabouts) are from Kawasaki

I have no fundamental problem with the automated tweets. I don’t like them personally – they’re the reason I don’t follow @guykawasaki on Twitter – but from an ethical standpoint I have no concerns and from what I understand they work well for Guy.

However, I do have a problem with undisclosed authors.

The problem with ghost-writing in Twitter

The person who is posting many of the messages to this popular account (over 90,000 followers) may not be the person you thought. In fact, that’s the case in up to a third of cases on some days (taking the clearly automated messages out of the equation).

In cases where the ghost writers work on behalf of someone with a large personal brand, this kind of practice is even more grating. The brand is built on the trust of people who believe they are reading the thoughts of the person who is named.

The other authors were, last night, not disclosed anywhere on either Guy’s account or on those of the others involved. 

To me this represented a lapse in judgement. Guy has plenty of interesting things to say himself, so why have other people write for you?

Guy Kawasaki responds

I emailed Guy to get his comments on this issue. His answers, in typical Guy Kawasaki style, were up-front and to the point (it was also late last night – thanks, Guy, for the quick reply).

DF: In your interview with Paddy Donnelly, you mentioned that two other people contribute to your Twitter account. This was a couple of months ago. Is it still the case?

GK: There are still two people (and very infrequently a third) who tweet for me. Gina Ruiz and Annie Colbert. Bill Meade does from time to time.

DF: Why did you decide to have other people write under your name?

GK: Because I want a constant stream of the most interesting links in all of Twitter.

DF: Do you feel it is misleading to have other people write under your name on Twitter?

GK: Nope–especially because I don’t hide the fact.

DF: Have you considered disclosing the other authors in your profile?

GK: That’s a good idea. I just changed it. Never thought of that.

DF: How do you feel about the ethical issues raised by ghost writing using social media tools in general?

GK: Surely, there are more important things to think about.

Closing thoughts

I appreciate the honesty in Guy’s answers, although his dismissal of ethical issues worries me. Still, Guy is well known for his pragmatic style so a philosophical debate over ethics is unlikely to be priority #1. For me, however, ethical issues are important ones to discuss.

I’m especially happy that Guy chose to amend his Twitter profile to disclose the other authors. Indeed, I turned-on my computer this morning and he has already changed his bio.

That’s a smart move and, for me, defuses most of the controversy around the issue. While I still think that having other people tweet for you isn’t a great approach, this removes some of my concerns. Still, how do we know if it’s Guy writing in any particular case?

From the poll I ran on a recent post, about two thirds of people think that, with disclosure, this kind of practice is ok. 

What do you think?

(Image credit: hawaii)