Threats Can’t Stop Me From Reporting The Truth

I’ve written for various magazines, blogs, forums for about 20 years thus far. However, more and more lately, I’ve received letters of threats, my accounts being hacked, etc when I write anything remotely negative about anything. Bear in mind, I never actually slammed any product in my life. I may show some thing or things that are objectively negative. “Objectively negative” means it is not opinion-based negativity.

THX, for example, I show their negative sides publicly on their Facebook page. Their reaction? They are fine by it. They even still recommend their followers to follow my Tweets as they claim that I “know what (I’m) talking about”. No hard feeling because they know what I reported to be the truth. Whether the readers will take it as positive or negative is besides the point. The same goes with Monitor Audio, PSB, Sony, Outlaw, Panasonic, Samsung, Pioneer, and the list goes on.

There are three companies, however, which I’m not going to mention…yet…that got their panties in a bunch just because I’m stating the facts that they are trying to hide. Not for once I subjectively mentioned that their products to be bad. All I did was mentioning their not-so-hidden facts which sooner or later publications such as Home Theater and What Hi-Fi will expose the hidden specifications. Yet they threatened to stop giving me product sample to be reviewed (I never get my product sample from them, by the way, I bought them myself or loaned by the magazines I write for), they threatened the company I write for that they will pull their advertising (they are dumb enough to not realize that they don’t even have advertising with the magazine they sent the threat to).

I guess that’s why when you read most reviews they are always positive regardless of how negative the result is.

As I previously stated in my articles reviews, companies that don’t have anything to hide usually send me their product to be reviewed. Although not all companies that refuse to send their product to be reviewed have something to hide (sometimes budgetary constraint and being not a good fit with their target audience are the reasons) but every single “bad” review I encountered only comes from the products where the company refuse to ship to be reviewed.

Oh, contrary to the popular belief, as a reviewer I do NOT get to keep the product I reviewed unless I pay for it.

Last but not least, threatening me or my magazine or any of my employers and/or clients in order to stop me from publishing something that is factual is not only unethical, but also illegal and punishable by law. Just in case the three of you don’t know.

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One response to “Threats Can’t Stop Me From Reporting The Truth

  1. A lot of companies these days rely on I what I like to call “kumbaya” marketing, particularly for niche categories of products like specialized electronics gear. Build a small, loyal base of followers for the product and then use them as the basis of a viral marketing campaign.

    Typically these type of campaigns can’t handle independent scrutiny and evaluation, getting very defensive when even slight flaws are pointed out. Anything that pricks the bubble of positive news around a product is immediately attacked, either by the company or its followers.

    There is an implied quid pro quo and code of silence. Direct critiques are not tolerated by the manufacturers, so everything has to be written so that smarter readers can read between the lines. Stereophile has mastered this over the years, often damning expensive speakers with very faint praise without making explicit criticisms about the product.

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