One of the core tenets of #GamerGate was getting the media to disclose ties and relationships to publishers, developers and subjects of their article and content. It’s been mocked by most media journalists who have oftentimes been found to have engaged in some form of corruption, but it’s a serious issue that a lot of gamers felt needed to be addressed, so much so that they even worked with the Federal Trade Commission to bring awareness to endorsements and disclosures within the gaming sphere. Well, Electronic Arts is jumping on board with a new mandate for content creators to disclose when they feature sponsored or promoted content from Electronic Arts.
German gaming journalist Thomas Ruscher posted a tweet about the announcement that was made recently over on the official EA German news site, letting the audience know that sponsored or promoted content now needs to be tagged on social media and in YouTube videos as #supportedbyEA or #advertisement.
— Thomas Ruscher (@ThomasRuscher) November 17, 2016
Ruscher made a post about the news over on NeoGaf, breaking down the new contracts that will require the disclosure of sponsored content; it’s been a request from #GamerGate and a requirement from the Federal Trade Commission.
Over on the news site EA explains what the two different types of hashtags represent and how they should be used to inform and disclose to viewers what the relationship is between the content creator and Electronic arts…
“#supportedbyEA – Covers all Content that EA has supported the creation or realization of, for example, invitations to EA events and shows and possibly the acquisition of travel expenses. However, for all content marked with #supportedbyEA, the viewer can be assured that EA has not made any editorial influence on the design of the content or made any specifications for the implementation. The content is independent, but the creation was supported by EA.
“#advertisement – Unlike supported by EA contributions are in posts with marked #advertisement to Content that EA could take editorial influence or content that EA itself has created.”
Seems simple enough. They even offered watermarked logos for content creators to use in order to notify viewers at the start of the content whether it’s sponsored or paid for content provided by Electronic Arts.
Following up on the EA Roku program where they were reported to the FTC along with Microsoft and Machinima during the XB1M13 scandal, it’s nice to see EA taking the ethical route with this new contract mandate. They don’t mention if this rule from EA Germany will apply to all of the international content creators working under EA since there’s no news about it on the English version of the site, but it could be coming later on down the road.
Overall it’s a good step toward being more open and abiding by federal standards when it comes to endorsements and sponsorships. It’s taken two years to fight to get to this point, but the battle for better ethics in media journalism continues to reap positive results.