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Mumsnet editing of quotes by posters in e-mail selling products

(16 Posts)
Schoolaroundthecorner Thu 25-Jun-15 18:25:39

Glancing through the most recent Mumsnet 'Swears By' e-mail and lo and behold I spot a quote from little old me from the birkenstock thread.

http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/style_and_beauty/2406589-Comfiest-Birkenstock-Style

I admit to being a bit chuffed by this but as I read the quote I realised it wasn't quite right. I originally said 'just bought the mayari style in silver. Love them.' In the e-mail the quote has been changed to 'just bought my second pair of Mayari's in silver. Love them'. Why the change editors of mumsnet? I mean I do love them but not that much! I also noticed that the other two quotes in that section were changed too. They seemed to be changed more to tidy them up but still, why was it necessary?

I'll never be quoted again I know and I'm sure this is going to come across as super picky but I'd just like to know why!

cozietoesie Thu 25-Jun-15 19:19:30

That first change is really not on - it alters what you said significantly. I can understand minor tidying up of some statements but it would still be useful to have an MNHQ statement on the underlying policy here.

Schoolaroundthecorner Thu 25-Jun-15 19:23:40

Yes that's why it bothered me to be honest and how I spotted the quote was wrong. I do like the shoes very much but they're my first pair. I don't know if this is a regular thing (changing quotes) as I haven't checked any other emails....

Schoolaroundthecorner Thu 25-Jun-15 19:34:26

Ok I've checked the other quotes from the e-mail and every single one of them has been changed in some way. Some of them could perhaps be explained away as editing/clarifying but some (like mine) are actually misleading. To give another example the e-mail recommends the Marie Kondo tidying book. One poster spoke highly of it but noted some issuesntheyd had/advice they wouldn't take in hindsight. That bit didn't make it into the e-mail, instead it looks like the poster gave it a completely glowing recommendation. I just don't think this is on Mumsnet - if you are going to quote posters you should quote them fully not selectively.

cozietoesie Thu 25-Jun-15 19:42:35

Yes - I was just checking some of those and the ones I'd seen so far have been altered.

I'd appreciate MNHQ clarification on this. I know there will be something in the small print that says MNHQ can use anything we say but altering statements and presenting them as quotes - without, apparently, user agreement - is a bit underhand. Some idea of - at least - the editorial guidelines would be good.

cozietoesie Thu 25-Jun-15 19:49:15

I should add that in a professional capacity, I would never dream of mis-quoting. If someone says something 'unfortunate' in a way that doesn't alter the sense of what they're saying - eg inserts a durty word - then you deal with that in the accepted ways.

Basically, you play the hand you're dealt - or suffer the consequences of not being trusted.

Schoolaroundthecorner Thu 25-Jun-15 20:04:31

I agree cozietoesie, it's just not on

KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 26-Jun-15 10:16:54

Hello Schoolaroundthecorner and many apologies for this. Human error, I'm afraid - looks as though we may have accidentally transcribed the 'second pair' bit from another quote. So sorry - we do sometimes truncate quotes for layout purposes, but we'd never intentionally change the sense of an MNer's post.

Unfortunately it's too late for this email - but we'll change the quote on our Swears By page pronto, and make sure that we're eagle-eyed about this kind of thing from now on.

Justforblogprofileadmin Fri 26-Jun-15 10:34:34

I'm guessing that one of the copywriters misread or misremembered something about a series of posts and thought you had indicated elsewhere in the thread that in was a second pair. Then it might count as "tidying up" to gather your positive comments into a single quote. So it could just be sloppy reading rather than conscious deceit.

On the other hand (minor tidying/removal of swearing aside) it is one thing to polish and selectively quote the words of people writing formal reviews, who should write carefully and defensively, knowing that their words will have a commercial role, and another thing to do the same with the casual words of punters chatting on MN. How explicitly do the talk guidelines warn about this site function of converting chat into adverts? Is the site's raison d'etre of converting chat into promo made clear, or is there just a generic thing saying that they have copyright?

Justforblogprofileadmin Fri 26-Jun-15 10:35:54

Sorry, x-post. I guess the general point still stands, tho, if this happens a lot.

cozietoesie Fri 26-Jun-15 10:46:51

These would be the covering terms I assume - and pretty legally comprehensive they are as well. School's post is nonetheless a useful shot across the bows I think for any unwonted enthusiasts in MNHQ Sales and Marketing.

It happened to me a while ago, I was on a thread about toasters and said how good my Dualit was, followed by "it's ten years old now, not sure if the newer models are the same". They cut off that bit, so it may have given the impression mine was the same as the newer ones (they have changed apparently). I would advise always clicking through and reading the original thread.

There was another one where I was quite surprised as I had been on the thread and whatever it was had had very mixed comments, only the positive ones were mentioned on the email.

Justforblogprofileadmin Fri 26-Jun-15 11:41:14

Yes, those look pretty comprehensive, don't they cozie. I was thinking more of an ordinary-language warning on a non-legalistic page, like "Mumsnetters conversations will be searched and quoted for promotional purposes." On explicit product review threads the context itself generates an implicit warning, especially if they are incentivised by giveaways, but the absence of such context on general threads might create a feeling that promotional copy isn't sourced there.

Justforblogprofileadmin Fri 26-Jun-15 11:43:17

The toaster thing is terribly misleading! Toasters from what my son calls "your day, mum" tend to last ten times longer than today's sorry bits of junk.

Schoolaroundthecorner Fri 26-Jun-15 14:21:26

Thanks for the response. I didn't think it was deliberate but wanted to bring it to your attention just for future reference. I do think it's best to give the full quote though if possible, even if there's some negatives, just to avoid any accusations of being misleading.

KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 03-Jul-15 13:46:33

Hello all

Really sorry, Schoolaroundthecorner - I've just realised I didn't respond on the issue of qualifying statements occasionally becoming detached from the quotes we use in our newsletters.

This absolutely shouldn't happen, and we really do appreciate you pointing it out. We've now made our editorial processes much more robust, to make sure that it can't happen again.

Thanks again for making us aware - really useful.

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