Are we the only ones disturbed by the proliferation online of content that is paid — but not obviously so? In other words, content that is propaganda or “fake journalism?”
Apparently not. U.S. District Judge William Alsup, said “the court is concerned” that Oracle and Google may have hired authors to comment about their ongoing patent court case. Now, Judge Alsup wants the parties to submit a list of their paid propagandists.
This is according to the web site Paid Content, where you can find the full article.
Florian Mueller, a self-described “patent analyst” wrote a series of one-sided posts over the course of the trial such as “Oracle Java patent rises like Phoenix from the ashes.”
You don’t have to be a professional journalist to realize that kind of content is unethical. By all means, take the jobs you need to pay your bills — and hit your income goals, whatever they are — but make it clear to the readers when you have a conflict of interest.
If you don’t make a habit of those ethical practices, you’ll find the high-profile real journalism jobs harder and harder to get.