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No Problema


Hostage Taker of Quads
Yeah . . . I've been on the fence about this one ever since Josh first posted it. Might as well make it a Pine fence.

On one hand, it's a sponsored project -- advertisement for a specific product sold by someone not-FT, and we do have a section for that. HK at least is on good terms with FT, but what if Banggood or Gearbest were to sponsor threads like these? In a sense, they already are, but those projects require far less effort from the reviewer -- Josh is actually building out the kit, instead of unpacking and "unbiased" reviewing it.

Which is the other hand -- this project needs a LOT of work, and he's carefully build-logging his work. In this respect I've been letting it slide (and not bringing it up until someone complained :p )

I guess my stance so far has been that Josh has been VERY forward that he didn't buy the kit, and thorough about the parts, quality, methods and costs, so this isn't an advertisement masquerading as a "review". That's content we're generally welcoming of here, regardless of the vendor.

. . . but moving forward . . .

Keeping in mind that Josh is a buddy of ours, and making an exception for him or gerrymandering the rules so he slips to the right side of the line is generally a bad idea -- that tends to bite you in the end -- What is our policy moving forward?

Simple "unbiased review" declared or not, sponsored or affiliate linked, clearly goes in the "sponsored review" section. If they want to Pay FT for a review, they can, but cheaping out by bribing a handful of forum members is something we don't want to encourage. I don't have an issue with a full complicated build-log that happens to be sponsored living among the regular threads so long as it's declared . . .

. . . But how complicated is complicated enough?

These are opposite sides of this spectrum, and I'm not sure where we should draw the line. What if Banggood were to try the same with a kit they sell? Drawing it based on company sounds like a bad policy to me (although some companies may get less grace than others). Drawing based on material/type (balsa kits are OK, but not electronics) seems bad for similar reasons -- I could see a few build-logs for FPV gear or multirotors that would be equally indepth and interesting.

Dunno . . . I've always preferred to have the line pre-drawn than entirely seat-of-the-pants, but not sure myself how much effort (or other criteria) is enough. :(



Stuck in Sunny FL
Staff member
I'm going with content.

Does the content of the thread have more value as a sponsored piece, or as educational material for the reader?

If the thread reads more like an advertisement, and doesn't offer any instruction, then it goes in the sponsored section.

If, (and a thread like the one in question fits this category in my opinion) the author creates a detailed thread that shows building techniques, programming tips, or some other educational value that outweighs the fact that it's a sponsored item, then it can go in the category that it most properly fits as long as the sponsorship is stated.

But that's just my view on it.


Got Lobstah?
Site Moderator
Ever since Dan's response I've been recomsidering my decision. The thread is as Joshua's typically are, helpful and informative but this one with some HK plugs. If we leave it in the regular non-sponsored area then in time someone else will eventually have a sponsored product to build and I think it will put us in a more difficult position to make a consistent judgement that preserves the forum for the hobbiests. On the other hand, if it gets moved to the sponsored area it might get overlooked by the casual forum surfer but those who check the new and daily posts will catch it anyway. I'm guessing Joshua must have suspected the possibility of it going to there as he was straightforward in the title that it's a sponsored build.

I think we have little if anything to lose and perhaps a more important precedent to set. If there are no objections, I want to move it. I can write Joshua O. about it but doubt he'll be upset. This shouldn't hurt his thread any, especially with a redirect for those who navigate the forum that way and it will certainly help silence those who might think there is some good ole boy network that favors unfairly. Objections?