Boag on paying not to be mentioned on a blog

In a panel discussion on RadioLive today Michelle Boag explained how on a certain blog you could pay $300 per promotional post and you could also pay not to be posted about. She wouldn’t name the blog but Shaun Plunket made it clear it was Whale Oil (Cameron Slater).

Slater later denied paying for silence.

“I don’t receive any money from anybody to not be mentioned on the site,” Slater told Sean Plunket.

This is a transcript of the Boag segment:

Boag: Some particular bloggers I know who charge people not to mention them.

Plunket: Oh really?

Boag: Yep.

Plunket: Oh no hang on, let;s hold it right there. Tell us more Michelle.

Boag: No. Cause he’ll just have another go at me, but I know it’s happening.

Plunket: Ah this is Cameron Slater.

Boag: Not making any comment.

Plunket: Ah well, do you pay Cameron Slater not to say nasty things about you Michelle? Does he offer that…

Boag: I don’t. I don’t. In fact even if I did pay him he wouldn’t stop saying nasty things about me, but I know…

Plunket: Do you know people whom Cameron Slater has said if you pay me this money I will not say nasty things about you?

Boag: I know people who pay money through an intermediary to a particular blogger so that he won’t mention their name.

Mike Wiliams: That is sensational stuff Shaun and you’ve got yourself a scoop.

Boag: There’s no more senstational than that intermediary saying to people “oh, if you want to get promoted on this blog it’s three hundred bucks a pop.

Plunket: Are you prepared to name the intermediary to me or make that information…

Boag: Off air I will.

Plunket: Ok Michelle, I would like you to do that after this panel and we will chase that story down. That is tantamount to a kind of formalised blackmail.

Boag: Well it’s not a kind of, it’s just typical tacky behaviour that you’d expect from that particular source.

Plunket: It’s like a protection racket.

Boag: And let’s wait and see what he says about me today. And he should take regard of the fact that there’s a cyber bullying law now.

Plunket: Michelle I’m just going to ask you did you come on the programme with the intention to make this disclosure today?

Boag: Not at all. I’ve known about this for months.

Plunket: Gosh. I wish you’d told me months ago. It would have been good for the ratings.

After a break:

Plunket: Oh yeah, and the Friday morning panel have just thrown a bit of a spanner in the works of the whole day I imagine, or the news cycle. Michelle Boag telling us that there is a blogger that I presume is Cameron Slater who has an itermediary who will go to people and say “Give us some money and we won’t mention you on our blog”.

Boag: No that’s not how it works. What I said was that the intermediary says if you give me, oh, if you wanna be mentioned on the blog or promoted in any way there’s a price on that. And then if you don’t like it you have to pay for them not to do it.

So he mentions people, right, and the you say hey it no longer suits me, I don’t want that going on, right, you pay and he doesn’t do it any more.

That’s still not very clear. Does she mean that you have a contract to be promoted and if you decide to stop part pway through you have to pay the full contract anyway?

Plunket: Whoa, doesn’t do what? Doesn’t mention you by name…

Boag: That’s right.

Plunket: …or attack your opponents.

Boag: No no. Mention you by name.

Plunket: Ok but who would pay to be mentioned by name in a bad way in the first place?

Boag: No not in a bad way. Look you look at the way bloggers operate. They promote certain people, they get involved in certain discussions and they say so and so’s a lousy candidate, so and so’s a good candidate, so and so deserves to be elected…

Plunket: Yeah, well I knew that was going on.

It’s well known that Slater promotes candidates, MPs and lobby interests and he attacks others as a paid for service – and it’s impossible to know in his posts whether he is doing posts for hire or just expressing his opinion.

But I don’t know of any other bloggers who operate like this. As far as I know it’s the way just one blogger operates.

Boag: Well that’s for sale. Right.

Plunket: So you can get coverage that will help you for a price.

Boag: Yes.

Plunket: Ok. So that’s like paying for advertising.

Boag: Yes except it’s not disclosed.

Plunket: But the more important thing is you’re also saying that if nasty things are being written about you you can get them taken off for a price.

Boag: Um I know someone who has paid not to be mentioned.

Plunket: Oh. Ok and what sort of money are we talking Michelle?

Boag: I’ve got no idea. But I know how much you pay to be mentioned.

Plunket: Ok how much do you pay to be mentioned? Three hundred dollars?

Boag: Three hundred bucks a pop. So if there’s six blogs in a day you’ve paid eighteen hundred.

Plunket: I’ve had all sorts of rubbish written about me on the Whale Oil site, I’ve never paid a cent. Is that ’cause he likes me.

Boag: Because he’s saying horrible things probably.

Plunket: Sometimes they’re nice, sometimes they’re horrible,

Boag: Well I’m not saying that’s what all the content is about. What I’m saying is there is clearly examples…

Williams: It’s a lucrative sideline…

Boag: Well it’s probably the only part that’s ah you know being economically efficient.

Williams: Viable.

Audio: Are Kiwi bloggers taking payment to stay silent?

Follow-up audio: Cameron Slater denies Michelle Boag’s claim he takes payment for silence

The transcript of the follow-up interview with Slater will be posted as soon as I get it done.

20 Comments

  1. Spelling in this post needs some work.

    • Yep, I was just working on completing it and getting it up. I’ve had a chance to go over it now.

  2. GregM

     /  21st August 2015

    The whole thing is absolute rubbish. If anyone offered Cam money to keep something quiet he would latch onto it like a Staffy cross on their bum and publish it anyway.

    • It needs some clarificaztion at least, as it is it’s not clear exctly what the accusation is.

    • Maureen

       /  21st August 2015

      I think he would have once ago, not so sure now. Once, commenters could take an opposing view to Cameron’s view, – not any more. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

      • GregM

         /  21st August 2015

        I disagree with the posts there occasionally, and say so. Several others clarify things at times as well. Graeme Edgeler did just that today:
        http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2015/08/precedent-set-if-your-culture-allows-it-you-can-still-hit-kids/

        • But moderation there has been very ruthless at times. It’s possible that news and opinion posts may be less rigorously moderated, but paid for posts are controlled nuch tighter.

          I was banned permanently about a year ago for posting a comment that was contrary to the post.

          • GregM

             /  21st August 2015

            Didn’t know that Pete, Do you have a link to your comment or has it gone ?

            • I can’t find it, must be gone.

            • Greg M – I got a ban for asking where one of my comments had gone to. It had just sat with the mods. Saying deleting peoples posts breaches freedom of speech was the thing the got me the ban to be precise.

              But not only was I banned, everything that had got published as a comment for the previous month was deleted. Copping the ban for poking the borax like I did was not a big issue, I could see the freedom of speech thing was probably a bit to hyperbolic a response. But wiping everything for the prior month is control freak behaviour

              I have also had warnings posted in reply to some previous comments saying do you want a ban, for basically taking a contrary view prior to the axe falling….

              Its funny because I have never copped that behaviour at either The Daily Blog or The Standard when posting contrary views there… and TDB has a rep for not allowing comments through

              I’ll read their stuff but I’ll never post there again to be frank….

          • Hollyfield

             /  22nd August 2015

            I got banned for upvoting someone else’s comment. A comment that broadly agreed with the post but pointed out that things are not black and white.

          • Mike C

             /  22nd August 2015

            @George

            I was also banned permanently from the Whale about a year ago for arguing with one of the moderators.

            Best thing that ever happened to me 🙂

      • The big macho image and persona of Slater is depicted even in the evasive dealings with Plunket today. He demonstrates the characteristics of a typical misfit bully. As befits that, the wafer thin strength cannot handle mild opposing views so they are are censored out. It’s his blog though so he can do what he likes.
        He and Michelle Boag deserve each other. Are there any celebrity boxing events on the horizon?

  3. DaveG

     /  21st August 2015

    I have been a regular at WO for several years, copped a few warnings, had a few posts deleted but It’s all been fair. I recall in the early days WO had a fair bit of course language and some argy bargy. Now, I think it’s streets ahead of where it was. I have disagreed with Cam directly, but put properly there was no issue. If I had of tried this at the stranded I would have a double ban! You too had a pretty good run Pete, it only got tetchy when you were there promoting your blog here. I am a fan of WO and also like it here, you run a good blog Pete!

    • It got tetchy when I challenged Slater a few times. I’d had some debates with Belt and some exchanges with Slater over time. Then suddenly it seemed to change, in the middle of last year the purges began and many people were banned. I think some of the aims were fine, toning down some of the language was a good idea. But it became a situation where people were walking on eggshells never knowing when they might be banned or not. Worse than The Standard and I’ve posted a lot about how made the ‘moderation’ can be there.

      I thik this is a shame. WO has doe some very good stuff but the purges on top of the pay-per-post revelations changed the tone there. It can now look like an orchestrated endorsement forum.

  4. I think Cam is a slug. Despite my personal feeling about the bloke I write this

    I didn’t even know who Michelle Boag was till I read this post this morning. I did a google search on her….Interesting

    Boag: “And let’s wait and see what he says about me today. And he should take regard of the fact that there’s a cyber bullying law now.”

    Notice just how quick she was to throw that out there [so much for revenge porn]

    Now I know there are some who don’t like me providing my own links

    https://r1016132.wordpress.com/2015/06/27/such-is-life/

    But such is life

    • Mike C

       /  22nd August 2015

      @r2d2

      I don’t mind your links, and I have even read some of your posts that I am interested from time to time. LOL.

      If Pete didn’t like your links, then he would delete them 🙂

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