s skippy the bush kangaroo: and now, a word about our sponsors

skippy the bush kangaroo

Thursday, June 15, 2006

and now, a word about our sponsors

or rather, about those we choose not to let sponsor us.

a few weeks ago, being enamoured of free money from blogads, we at skippy international accidentally accepted an ad for "hands off the internet," or, in other words, "let the telco's determine who gets to see what if they pay enough, ie, no net neutrality."

we had already accepted the money and let the ad onto our site, before realizing the meaning of our actions. if we had wanted to (or were smart enough to watch the full ad play out before accepting it), we could have rejected the ad.

several commentors on dkos and booman (who also ran the ad) pointed out the apparent disconnect between bloggers blogging for net neutrality but accepting $$$ from the opposing side.

we did the best we could, which was to put the ad as low as possible on the ad bar.

cut to just a few minutes ago. we were accepting a new slate of ads, when we noticed one about "the future of the internet." this time we watched the whole ad. yep. it was against net neutrality. so we rejected it.

we bring it up, because some other bloggers who will remain nameless have gone ahead and accepted the ad, with explanations to their readers that go something along the lines of, well, you readers are smart enough to know b.s. when you see it, and their money is as good as anyone's.

sorry, that rationalization doesn't hold water, at least not for skippy international. it's one thing to allow for all sides of a debate to be heard on your blog, it's another to enable destructive behavior.

pardon our self-righteous naivete, but it seems to us that taking money from a cause or position that you are opposed to belies the courage of your convictions. and if you need money all that bad, there's always a market for heroin or underage sex, and the profit margin is so much bigger.

there is such a thing as responsible capitalism. to disassociate yourself from how you earn and where you get your money, in our opinion, makes you no better than the cold-hearted billionaires we are currently fighting with for the soul of this country.

of course, our ad revenues probably are miniscule compared to those of the blogs that happily accepted the responsibility of helping spread the word that your internets should no longer be free and equitable. we are sure that the same ad that we refused to accept $15 for, most probably was worth several hundred dollars to the bigger blogs. and so, they probably had several hundred reasons more than we do to sell out. so be it.

the blogs we speak of are some of our favorites, and daily visits for us. we don't plan on boycotting them. and we are a little afraid they'll be pissed at us for taking this stand.

but that's just the kind of international news organization we are at skippy.

and while we're at it, may we remind you to call your senators and demand net neutrality.

addendum: upon further reflection, it occurs to us that, irrespective of whether one thinks that liberal bloggers ought to actually live the values they espouse, net neutrality is the stupidest issue for a website to advertise the contrarian position.

it's one thing to take a laissez faire approach to hot-button topics like the nra for ad revenue, it's quite another to take money from the very people that want to limit your ability to reach your audience.

morals and ethics aside, we maintain that the quick fix of a few hundred dollars in a blogger's pocket today is not worth the chance that the grassroots of the world will lose its ability to communicate with each other freely tomorrow.
posted by skippy at 7:03 PM |


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