ezine article policies, censorshipLast week I wrote about Ezine’s policy changes in response to Google’s Panda Update. Ezine made some strict changes regarding the submission of articles to their directory, and these changes are specifically to combat the poor and duplicate content issues that have caused Ezine to drop in the SERPs. You can read the full article and policy changes here at Ezine Responds to Google’s Panda. Now that Ezine has made some moves to improve the quality of content on their site I can address a personal issue I have with some of the submission policies at Ezine, not regarding rules such as minimum word count, or number of links, but rather a controlling element in relation to the nature of content submitted.

Ezine controlling for quality or another agenda?

I’ve personally experienced some frustration when it comes to submitting articles to Ezine. Perhaps my primary pet peeve with Ezine has been the way they appear to censor or control the content on their site. Controlling a site for quality is one thing, controlling the content to fit your agenda is another.

Wikipedia defines Censorship as “the suppression of speech or other public communication which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient to the general body of people as determined by a government, media outlet, or other controlling body.

No Negative Reviews? You can’t be honest about a poor product at Ezine.

A few months back I submitted an article I wrote about the social advertising network MyLikes. The article was never published at Ezine so it ended up being published here at infocarnivore (If your curious, you can read it here, What happened to MyLikes? A frustrated Review). Why wasn’t it published? The article was not what I would call negative, it was honest observation about what has been happening with an advertising network that has very little quality control. Instead of publishing it here’s what Ezine had to say (in a personal message sent to me):

“We are not able to accept articles that contain negative language in reference to any particular product, company, individual or group. Additionally, we do not accept negative review articles, or articles that have an overall negative tone. I suggest formatting your article to focus on general issues or problems, rather than citing specific people or groups in correlation with those issues.”

An interesting response, obviously a form letter, almost an automated response when my article got flagged for being an honest opinion piece with what they would call a negative tone. I found that response frustrating since I have always striven to be positive and honest. Even my bio declares that “I aim to contribute a positive and encouraging message to the web”. Does that mean I should overlook obvious flaws, or fail to warn people about scams and poor products? Not at all. If Ezine is not a platform that allows content like this then it is clear as an article directory they are participating in some levels of censorship (whatever they consider objectionable) to the

Relevant Information, Ethics aside, still not accepted

Admittedly, I do understand this next point a little more, yet at the same time I still issue with it because they are not allowing people to make their own decisions on issues such as these. Ezine is not (in my opinion) a website that should be telling people what is right and wrong, there role on the web should be to provide information. I submitted an article about torrents and steps one can take to insure that they do not download dangerous torrents (viruses, keyloggers and other risks abound in the torrent community), the article was intentionally written with an ethics aside approach, designed only to provide information. I even included a disclaimer within it, realizing that people will make their own decision whether to utilize torrents for legal or illegal purposes.

Ezine notified me with an email saying,

I see your article has been placed in problem status because it contains content on Torrents. We do not accept info on torrents because they are used for illegal file sharing, and we cannot accept content on any illegal activities.

Like I said this makes a little more sense, but is still frustrating. You can read the torrent article here if you like, how to stay safe on a torrent site. If I’ve had this much trouble submitting quality articles to Ezine I’m curious as to who else has run into issues with their article policies. Have you experienced any frustrations submitting to Ezine? Do you think this is censorship, or do you feel they are making the right call in rejecting articles like the ones I mention? I’d be curious to get your opinions. The conversation is on, below.