When is it appropriate to disclose one's vested interests in a topic?

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by Baldeee, Jun 14, 2023.

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  1. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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    There is a principle that, hopefully, most of us would accept, although dissenters are welcome to discuss.
    That principle is that it is ethical to disclose a vested interest.
    There is then the application of that principle, the standard which one applies to determine whether it is appropriate.

    (This matter was discussed in this (now-closed) thread, with one person holding what everyone else who chipped in held to be an unreasonable / nonsense / meaningless / dysfunctional standard. Feel free to review that thread to get an idea of that standard, and the response to it, but that is not the focus of this thread.

    What, in your reasonable view, needs to occur before one should be ethically obligated to disclose any vested interest?
    What does one need to be doing in their discussion that would then warrant such disclosure?

    Is it enough for the person to merely have an enthusiastic and positive view on something, while maintaining a balanced view of the risks and rewards?
    Does one need to be actively advertising, linking to other places, or being unreasonably frequent in recommendations to a particular course of actions?
    At what point does an interest or a positive view of something tip over into perceived “promotion”?
    Should disclosure actually be relevant to the statements you have made, such that it would reasonably be expected to alter someone’s view of those statements?


    Further, should one be required to disclose if they themselves do not consider that standard to have been met?
    What if the majority hold that the standard has been met?
    Is this the time to accept that a “reasonable” person considers it such time, or are they just wrong?

    There may be other reasons not to disclose, for example, at least on a site like this, and if so they can be explained, but in principle, and notwithstanding those other reasons, would you disclose if the majority thought you should?


    My own views:
    Positive opinions, when discussing in good faith, do not themselves warrant disclosure of vested interests.
    Nothing discussed in that previous thread, or the underlying cryptocurrency thread, by way of example, would warrant such disclosure.
    If the prevailing view is that one has crossed over into needing to disclose, to me that would be convincing evidence that, other reasons not withstanding, it would be time to disclose, and I would likely adjust my compass accordingly.

    Now, much of this may have been discussed in the other thread, and others may not wish to contribute further, but that thread is now closed.
    I think it is an interesting enough subject to warrant a place for its discussion.
    This thread should hopefully remain open (the previous thread was closed with the comment that the discussion could continue in another thread) should anyone wish to continue the discussion regarding the principle or, more likely, the application thereof.
     
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I think we've already aired this subject sufficiently.
     
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  5. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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    Then by all means don't respond.
    The other thread was closed, whereas I think it is a reasonable topic that should have a place for discussion should people wish, and James R's comment was that the discussion could continue just not in that thread.

    The other thread also didn't get particularly deep into detail of the standard, but was mostly about the principle.
    Even those on the majority side of the other debate may have differing views as to what standard should apply.
    I'm curious to know if there are such differences.
    Maybe it's a "gut feeling" as to when the standard is reached, rather than anything that can be easily expressed?
    Maybe there are some clear markers that show definitely gone past, but the actual line is quite wide.

    Would me linking to a second-hand watch reseller and opining on the good value of a second-hand watch over new be sufficient?
    If so, which part is pushing it over the standard: the opining, or the linking, either/both individually, or is it the combination?
     
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  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Well yeah. That's why mods have discretuon to make those judgement calls.

    That a given outcome didn't fall your way doesn't automatically mean the mod is corrupt.

    Although some members may have brownie points stored up whereas others may have burned them. Keep in mind that moderators do have justifiably limited patience.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2023
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  8. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    This topic is very similar to one on another topic, about appropriate disclosure of vested financial interests.

    It turned out that Baldeee, who posted the opening post to this thread, was unable to carry on a civil conversation about that topic.

    I do not expect that, one day after the closure of the previous thread, he will be any more capable of rational discussion of that or any related topic.

    Hence, this thread is closed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2023
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