[Updated March 27, 2017 - Re-organized sections and added FTC guidelines -Niero]
[Updated Feb 20, 2017 - Added Fig Investing and topic sections were re-organized -Chris]
[Updated Oct 1, 2014 - We moved the ethics statement from our Terms of Service here -Dale/Jordan]
Destructoid is but one voice among an echoing canyon of reverberating noise right now. We can't magically resolve all of the issues that plague the video game industry as a whole. However, we feel it's important to disclose some thoughts and policies that the staff holds dear. At the end of the day, we really just want to do our best to serve you the best we can, and we believe the way to do that is by being good and honest people.
We're proud to have been named one of OpenCritics's most trusted sites in 2016, and hope to continue earning such accolades by being one of the most open and transparent gaming sites on the web.
As outlined by the Federal Trade Commission, Destructoid makes every effort to follow the guidelines set by the FTC, as recommended in 2013. Generally speaking, we make repeated clear and conspicuous disclosures and disclaimers in every author's biography, and under every editorial where our readers may have any such concern. We view ourselves as a consumer-first publication and do everything in our power to live up to this standard.
EX-DESTRUCTOID STAFF AND ASSOCIATES
The video games industry is very small, and our job involves getting to know the individuals behind the games we play. Many prominent figures in the business have worked at Destructoid in the past. Those relationships don't simply vanish when they move onto other things. They are, however, set aside and never taken into consideration when we evaluate games.
We also ask for disclosures upfront as part of our employment paperwork, which are updated on a regular basis. When a person leaves Destructoid, their new work history is noted on their bio whenever possible.
You will find disclosures on every employee bio, and a snippet of that appears on every article. When developers, marketers, or sponsors blog here it is clearly labeled as such.
REVIEW SCORES AND FREE PRODUCTS
In every case, we disclose if the product was provided by the manufacturer or if it was purchased on our own. We've also made an effort to retroactively pursue disclosures where former staff had any involvement, direct or indirect. Such is the case with this review of Oddworld after learning that a staff member, who was hired after we reviewed the game, was involved with the production as a voice. It seems unnecessary, but when possible, we prefer to be as transparent as possible. We wouldn't be here without our readers, so we owe it to you. If mistakes are made, we'll do our best to make it right.
CROWDFUNDING / INVESTING
As a whole we take disclosures very seriously, and we have continued to make an effort to disclose relationships in all of our reviews. That includes private investments, Kickstarters, Patreons, IndieGoGo, Fig campaigns, and any such other financial contribution that individual staff members are directly involved in or through their family members. These disclosures will also show up in the review itself. If a writer invests in a game, they are barred from writing about it. Similar to disclaimers for ex-staffers, we'll also provide a note in pertinent news stories that we have an individual who is investing in the game.
As always, no relationships will be factored into coverage, and writers are required by Destructoid to disclose this before they invest. To go a step further, all shift leads (EICs) are forbidden from investing outright, and reviews for these games will be non-scored.
TRAVEL AND GIFTS
Any travel, gift, or product provided by an advertiser is clearly marked as such.
Destructoid does not have an in-house advertising sales team: we work with multiple third-party ad networks to display advertisements on our site. These external teams do not have access or control of the editorial content in any way, shape, or form. Likewise, the editors have no knowledge ahead of time what advertisements may appear on Destructoid, and 100% of ads are hidden when an editor is going about their work on our site.
AUTOMATED SOFTWARE DISCLOSURES
Our web software will automatically insert disclosures for stories that match a certain pattern. For example, if a story is tagged 'deals' our software will insert a disclosure stating that we as a company may earn an Amazon.com commission for the sale. This isn't always the case, as we frequently report deals that have nothing to do with affiliate relationships, but we prefer to err on the safe side. In broad terms, most deals on Destructoid are blogged from the "Dealzon" author account, which also carries a similar disclosure in their bio. This is also the case involving Twitter - we use third-party software to push social media updates automatically. We make every effort for any social media update containing a deal or offer to automatically have clear disclosures when shopping links are concerned, regardless if they financially benefit Destructoid or not.
When a story contains a serious error, such as an error in pricing or factually incorrect statements, we will add a note with [ brackets ] within the editorial, usually at the top. If small spelling or grammatical errors are made that don't affect the meaning of the story this may be silently corrected by our editors.
SATIRE AND DEFAMATION
SEVERITY AND TERMINATION
If it is discovered that an editor at Destructoid willfully withheld ethical conflicts of interest that may or may not have affected their output, the person will immediately be put on suspension and following an investigation may be immediately terminated. We take these matters very seriously.
CONTACT US WITH YOUR CONCERNS
If there is ever an issue please contact us, whatever is on your mind. We're fairly easy to reach and try to answer all concerns within a day during business hours (Mon-Fri).
MODERNMETHOD BLOG NETWORK
This ethics statement reflects our work at Tomopop, Flixist, and Japanator and all we do.
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