I was never really into reading blogs, but I did kind of watch vlogs on youtube during high school. Most of them were on games or tech, and it usually boiled down to someone reviewing a product of some sort. Now, I never looked to see if that youtuber specifically said they got whatever they were reviewing for free, but it was usually pretty easy to tell if they did. For example, there’s one gamer girl (who I have no respect for) who made a review for a piece of Razer hardware. The entire video, she only had good things to say about it, and it ended up just being her talking about how she loved her new toy. I thought the product must have been really good, until I realized that she did the same thing for EVERY piece of hardware she reviewed. My conclusion? She disclosed the fact that she pretty much got everything for free. I don’t know what legal troubles that come with not disclosing that information, but I think it’s extremely unfair to withhold that information from viewers.
There’s a level of trust between blogger/vlogger and viewer, and blatantly lying for the bells and whistles that come with it is unforgivable in my opinion. That’s why I believe bloggers should say whether or not they bought the device or product with their own money. There’s another vlogger that I follow (Marques Brownlee) who I consider one of the most entertaining and trustworthy users on youtube. The reason why is that he tells his viewers when he buys a product or when he gets something for free. While he might not review the bad side of things in every video, he at least makes an effort to point out issues he has with certain devices, even if he really likes it. I know I can always trust a review from him because he’s passionate about what he does. However, I am a little worried about the factual side of things. Checking whether information is correct or not can be a real pain when it comes with technology. Marques is nice enough to edit his videos to say when he’s made a mistake on something, but not all youtubers and bloggers do this. I think that bloggers need to do a sufficient amount of research when posting or vlogging about something, but I don’t expect it to be perfect. Like any journalist, bloggers have a schedule they need to keep up with, and time is not something that can be thrown around recklessly. I think writing good, interesting stories is more important than making sure a single article is perfect. While some might disagree with me, quality doesn’t always have priorities over quantity.