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wheek.it and disclosure

wheek.it encourages you to use our links responsibly and with proper disclosure.

wheek.it is a charitable service, so it isn't clear as to how disclosure guidelines apply, but we've provided some key topics about the subject below so you can make a decision yourself about whether to disclose.

Why is this important?

To recap, wheek.it earns commissions from online retailers and service providers if people buy products and services through wheek.it links. All proceeds from those commissions go to a guinea pig related charity. Because money changes hands during this process, there is a certain degree of responsibility that should be taken into account when you use these links. [top]

Disclosure simply means telling your audience that some sort of benefit is being received from the content or links you are writing about.

Give me an example

For example: if someone receives some sort of benefit or compensation from a company, and they write a positive review about that company, they should disclosure that they are receiving benefit or compensation. Likewise, if you promote a wheek.it short link to people, you should disclose that third-parties may receive a financial benefit if they go to buy that product/service. [top]

Why would I disclose?

Simply put, it's just the right thing to do. When you are marketing online or through word of mouth, if you may benefit from your recommendations, you should disclose that.

But why does this even matter? wheek.it operates for charity, right?

Since wheek.it uses affiliate links, we recommend including some form of disclosure when you use wheek.it links to recommend products and services to people.

Ultimately it's up to you. For instance, you might argue that you aren't receiving anything from your use of wheek.it short links, and it's all going to charity, so you don't need to disclose. It's up to you to make that decision. [top]

There is no requirement for disclosure when using wheek.it to shorten non-affiliate links that are not pointing to a participating shop's website.

How do I provide a disclosure statement?

If you are using Twitter or Facebook to share wheek.it short links, you can include a disclosure on your profile summary or as a hashtag (#$ or #aff). There is really no set standard for social profile affiliate link disclosure; use your best judgment.

Example disclosure for Twitter profiles: "shortlinks we post may be used to raise money for charity".

Providing a disclosure on a website is easier. The following ideas ca be used to provide a disclosure statement on personal or third-party websites:

  • A disclosure statement on the page of content using affiliate links
  • Link to your disclosure statement from your main navigation or footer
  • Include a disclosure statement in your privacy policy. [top]

Are there laws about this?

in the United States, there are no set rules about when to provide disclosure when you use affiliate links. However, the US Federal Communications Commission has rules about word of mouth marketing whereby you should disclose if you are receiving some form of benefit from your content or links, but not necessarily if that benefit will be donated to charity. It's a bit fuzzy, and in other countries and locations, rules and regulations about disclosure may vary a great deal. [top]

For more information about disclosure and the responsible use of affiliate links, read Brian Clark's article How to Turn Affiliate Marketing Disclosure Into a Selling Point and Darren Rowse's eight tips for affiliate link sharing on Twitter.