Share-PSI.eu brings together diverse stakeholders in the European public sector information ecosystem, including civil society, the media, government, academia, commercial re-users to forge the lightweight agreements and standards that are needed to enable interoperability and integration of public sector information across Europe and beyond.

Affiliate advertisement websites : an ethical problem on the Internet

May 06 2017

It is no secret that the trading sector has a great potential but also a lot of problems related to fraudulent and unethical practices. Despite the minimum set of standards and regulation brought about by regulating bodies such CySEC, FCA and AFM, countless fraudulent brokers still operate in the market and shady practices are still widespread.

Fraudulent and unethical practices: case study of the online trading sector

A number of trading brokers do not respect (or only partially respect) the standards and guidelines set by the international regulating bodies with the aim of enhancing transparency. Some of the unethical practices that we are witnessing more often are the use of misleading advertising tactics that can make uninformed users believe that they run no risk and that profits are even guaranteed: the brokers are not disclosing risks properly; making false assurances about returns; featuring hidden and unclear Terms & Conditions; offering clients managed accounts.

Brokers with an excellent reputation ?
Learning about all this unethical activity going on might be surprising for those who have carefully chosen their binary or forex broker based on the hundreds of outstanding reviews left by other “users” as a guarantee that the broker is serious and has an excellent reputation.

Excellent reviews and affiliate marketing

What many people ignore is that a large part of those positive reviews were not actually left by a real user of that broker, but by an affiliate marketer : someone who was paid to write an appealing review that can create interest and traffic around a product that they might well not have even tested at all. Affiliate marketing is a legitimate industry. We are not trying to say that the whole industry is a scam, though we firmly believe that its practices can create in some cases an ethical problem on the Internet as we think of all the less experienced users that fall prey of false promises and nice words, often losing large amounts of money.

The case of Thailand and IQ Option

Thailand is a country where startups are thriving, particularly in the fintech sector. Binary and forex trading is becoming increasingly popular and it is really difficult if not impossible for the user to extricate themselves among the dozens of local and foreign brokers that proliferate on that wide, young market : the example of Forex Ponzi Scheme in Thailand just prove it one time again. Such market lacks the levels of control and regulation that we are seeing in Europe and America. The most direct way to investigate the reputation of a broker is to rely on the reviews that are supposed to come from real users.

The reputation of IQ Option : a broker with “100% positive reviews ?”

We have taken much interest in IQ Option, a leading binary broker in terms of reliability and credentials. If we believe affiliate websites as moneyonlinethai, top 3 for “IQ Option” keyword in Thai google: IQ Option is the best of. But is it truth ? Maybe yes maybe not : the presence of affiliate websites definitely hide it.

The reputation of this broker seems absolutely spotless and it attracts a growing number of users also thanks to the large volume of excellent reviews that it has obtained over time. We don’t want to question the whole reputation of this broker, but we are just wondering what is the percentage of genuine reviews against reviews from affiliate marketers. What is your opinion about it? How do you think the reviews would look like if all posts from affiliate website were removed from the picture?

Whats next? Workshop report and DAA agenda.

May 24 2011

Thanks, again to all who joined us in Brussels for the Share-PSI.eu workshop.

The workshop report is now up as a commentable document. It identifies a number of follow-up questions that you can add responses to.

At the Digital Agenda Assembly, key outcomes of the workshop and the subsequent discussion will be presented at the Workshop on open data and re-use of public sector information, and then taken to the plenary.

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Workshop materials available

May 16 2011

While our friends at epsiplatform are busy pulling together some of the results from last weeks Share-PSI workshop in Brussels, a few quick pointers:

  • The workshop agenda page is updated to link to PDF versions of all the presentations that were shown. Those of you who prefer slideshare to PDFs can go to epsiplatforms feed there.
  • We took notes collaboratively during the workshop. Those notesare available

Well have a report with the high-level takeaways available later this week, and hope to continue the discussion at the Open Data Workshop at the Digital Agenda Assembly on 16 June.

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Share-PSI.eu was initiated by ETSI and W3C as a Big Idea for the Digital Agenda.