Thursday, March 24, 2011

There are reviews, and there are reviews (the difference between Ezine Articles and TechCrunch)

If you've heard of MyCleanPC or other CyberDefender product fronts, perhaps you ran across this EZineArticles review from Dale Powell Jr. Excerpt:

As an IT Specialist performing computer maintenance on a regular basis, I routinely remove viruses and malware from both home and business computers. The problem is getting so epidemic that the majority of the computers we check-in for repair are infected. And since we are in the business of professionally removing viruses and malware, we know what works best, and what doesn't. With that said, you might want to know what we discovered about a popularly advertised product you may have seen on TV or heard on the radio called

Powell discusses the product offering, including the fact that you have to purchase additional products, and then talks about the certifications that MyCleanPC has received:

When it comes to the security software industry, there are many, many companies involved from all over the world. For many of these companies to become known as major players in this industry, they have to submit their products for product compliance and performance by an accredited 3rd party company. Three of the top certification companies are ICSA Labs, VB100, and AV Comparatives. There are others and you can easily check the results of how the various security software products they tested were ranked. Companies that have submitted their products for certification with favorable results will proudly display the certification logo on their products and websites.

CyberDefender boast many awards dating back to 2006 based on popularity because of the high number of downloads recorded for their products.

Read the rest of Powell's review here...and then note that at the end of the review, there's a link to

But wait a minute...why would a MyCleanPC review link to another MyCleanPC review?

If you follow the link, you'll find out why. The site doesn't allow me to print excerpts from the real review, but suffice it to say that Powell did not have the freedom to say everything that he wanted to say in the Ezine Articles review. For example, the second review makes it clear that CyberDefender has not received certification from the top certification companies that Powell named in the first review.

But enough about CyberDefender - what about EZine Articles? I couldn't find any explicit statement that negative comments were banned, other than this item in the editorial guidelines:

MUST NOT contain any content that is a violation of any law, be considered defamatory, libelous, or infringes on the legal rights of others.

I don't know...perhaps saying that a product doesn't have an independent party certification is considered defamatory.

And Britt Malka (on a site called has posted a list of the unwritten rules of Ezine Articles. The first item on Malka's list:

Don’t write negative reviews. It’s okay to put in a negative thing or two, but your review must not be totally negative. notes why positive reviews are important:

Actually, I can see why they don’t want anyone to write negative review – in case of this particular game, what if i tell everyone it’s bad and then its developers would look at EzineArticles and say, “holy cow, we won’t pay these guys for ads, they allowed someone to bark at our game!”.

But this isn't unique to Ezine Articles:

This also why you would look up and down many major gaming networks and never find an honest review about a game that is really bad and isn’t worth your time – there are few sites that allow themselves to write the truth and not being afraid of losing some future advertiser.

But I previously saw this post (H/T Chris Pirillo) about someone who tried to get a TechCrunch article edited:

After the launch party for the new Jake Gyllenhaal movie, the Source Code, Alexia Tsotsis of TechCrunch posted an article about the social game layered above the movie. Immediately following the publication of her post on TechCrunch, Alexia received an email from Moviefone/AOL Television...

It's relevant to note that TechCrunch is also an AOL property.

...asking her to tone her “snark” down after Summit complained about the tone and content of her article. Moviefone, of course, made the request to stay on good terms with the movie studios. And of course, Alexia refused.

And if I were to be perfectly honest, I edit myself. There are some negative things that I could write here that I have chosen not to write, for a number of reasons.

So how do you trust any of us writers?
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