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Washington Post Announces ‘Sponsored Views’ in their Comment Section

What’s worse than a politically charged comment section? How about ‘sponsored views,’ the latest from the New Ventures team at the Washington Post. As if there wasn’t enough noise, the Post announced today that organizations can pay to have their comment, labeled and washed in a yellow hue, at the top of a comment section on the Post editorial section. So, say, the Center for American Progress pays a fee and their 600 word response to an editorial is there, front and center.

The good news? It is properly labeled — you can’t miss that it’s sponsored and it all blends in rather well with the user experience. Much like all of those “from around the web” links we’ve gotten used to skimming over at the end of an article. The Post wrote in the press release that the product:

offers an opportunity for advocacy, communications and government affairs professionals to place their message in front of key constituents.

It doesn’t really — it’s just a lot more noise, which I don’t mind when it’s a link to a slideshow of ten stomach slimming fruits, but is mildly irritating since it’s politically oriented. I like being able to filter out the free speech I think is stupid.

What do you think? Where do you see this going?

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