Today we’re releasing some important changes in SocialSpark, specifically related to how bloggers disclose in their posts. While in-post disclosure has been required since the beginning of SocialSpark, we’re taking it a step further today, requiring both text and image disclosure. It’s just one of the extra steps we’re taking to make sure that our bloggers and advertisers are maintaining the highest standard for transparency and ethics in sponsored posts.

If you’re a SocialSpark blogger, you’ll notice some changes right away on the “Take Opportunity” page for Sponsored Posts after today’s release. Most of the changes are just cosmetic, but there is one very important difference: the section related to disclosure. You’re now provided with two required codes, one being the disclosure badge, and another the new Disclosure Message.

Disclosure Requirements

The disclosure message should appear at the beginning of your post, and the disclosure badge should continue to be placed at the end. SocialSpark’s auto-reject script will determine whether your post contains the disclosure message and the disclosure badge, so don’t forget one!

New Disclosure Infographic

Your old disclosure badges will continue to look and work as they always have. These changes apply only to posts made after today’s SocialSpark release; you won’t have to update your existing posts.

Today’s SocialSpark release will go out around 2:00 PM EST today (Nov 17). There will be a few minutes of downtime as we make a few updates to our database. Stay tuned to our Twitter feed if you want instant updates about the release.

Update (2:21 PM EST): This change is now live. Enjoy!

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24 Comments

  • BenSpark says:

    Love it. Thanks guys, a great move!

  • Shydub says:

    Sounds okay to me. Thanks.

  • RealityTVFan says:

    Is the wording up to us, or do we have to copy and paste exactly?

  • […] New Disclosure StatementsSocialSpark has announced that starting today there is an update to Blog Disclosures which now require you to put a statement at the top of the opp disclosing it as a sponsored […]

  • Jamie says:

    @RealityTVFan: You will have to copy and paste it exactly. The auto-reject script looks for the exact phrase as it is provided to you on the Take Opp page.

  • Joe Tech says:

    Great move. Transparency is important and this extra step is a good addition with the recent changes in FTC requirements, etc.

  • Ashley Edwards says:

    Transparency is making me hungry all of a sudden!

  • Dhemz says:

    I like the new concept. Great job guys!

    Totally agree with Ashley…the double cheeseburger is making me hungry!

  • Elizabeth says:

    Love it! This is similar to what many product review bloggers are already doing,but with a disclosure statement at the end of their posts.
    It’s great to have IZEA leading the way with required disclosure right at the beginning of the post.

    p.s. double cheeseburger NOM NOM NOM

  • […] perfect timing as Izea launched their updated disclosure requirements earlier in the day. You can read their disclosure update announcement on the Izea blog. They are calling the update a “sandwich disclosure”. You […]

  • RealityTVFan says:

    @Jamie Thanks for the response 🙂

    Can I put in a suggestion that we be given a drop down with a handful of options (much like Sponsored Tweets). It’s no big deal, I just personally don’t care much for the current wording. Ta

  • […] was reminded of Leo today, when I read about the disclosure changes that Ted Murphy of Izea implemented to Social Spark […]

  • Daniel says:

    I agree with RealityTVfan. I’d like a change in the wording of the opening statement.

  • Disclosure says:

    […] Murphy at Izea just released another round of super-juicy, well-done disclosure today called the disclosure sandwich. This is good, and […]

  • Jennifer says:

    Two thumbs up 🙂

  • I really like the new badge; it’s very classy. And I was already doing the “top bun” of your sandwich with many opps, anyway. So this latest development is very welcome! 🙂

  • I have made three posts since the change. I have tried everything to get them approved. They keep coming back that the disclosure is not there. I have copied and pasted the beginning disclosure and the ending disclosure on all posts.

    Nothing works – have left help messages almost every day since 17th and no one will respond.

    Help.

  • @BenSpark: Ben – can you get someone to help on this disclosure. I have cut and pasted exactly on three opportunities and cant get past auto reject. Have tried help for several days now and no one responds.

    Can you push anyone to respond.

    One of your team.

  • Jamie says:

    @Hillbilly willy- cecil Oursbourn: Blogger and Blogspot blogs are having a hard time with the new disclosure because their HTML editor changes <em> tags to <i> tags. From what we’ve learned through other bloggers who have experienced this, switching to the “old” HTML editor seems to work, because it doesn’t alter the code we give you. You could try that for now, while we implement a fix that will recognize either tag.

  • Jamie says:

    FYI, the disclosure message now validates whether there’s an <em> tag or an <i> tag. So if your post is currently auto-rejected for that reason, feel free to simply resubmit.

  • Shi says:

    I have done my fist post with double disclosure and it seems right to me. It is more transparent.

  • julius says:

    i find this refreshing. 😀 Thanks for this wonderful change 😀

  • Diane Scott says:

    I like the size of the new socialspark icon, much classier, less in your face. However, I have noticed on the approval process the system (was) having trouble picking it up. Hence two of my posts were rejected. I kept getting “we can’t see the badge try again” notices. Finally I just took them off and gave up. However, now I’m waiting 60 minutes so I can hit the midnight mark (been up since 3 a.m.) because I made my own post this morning. And some clause in the terms says something about no you can’t do that (with other asides). I’m tired. Would just like to do my job and go to bed, but this time it would be great to get paid for the job 🙂

  • Jamie says:

    @Diane Scott: I just took a look at your account and I see that two of your most recent three posts were rejected for reasons other than the disclosure badge. The most recent one did pass Auto Reject so it appears that you have figured out how to get the badge in there properly.

    The British Airways post (which had some disclosure related auto-rejections when you tried to resubmit) was not resubmittable for the reason outlined in the rejection notice from our reviewer. If you have trouble submitting posts in the future, please let us know in our support forum (click the Feedback tab on any page in SocialSpark) or by submitting a ticket to Customer Love. Thanks!

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