Ethics of product reviews/criticisms
Hello! As some of you may know, I'm working on a violin documentary project on technique, pedagogy, health, etc.
The idea is to travel the world and interview orchestral musicians, soloists, pedagogues, etc.. and have them talk about their beliefs on various violin related topics. In recent months, Laurie has been posting surveys on questions I plan to ask, so it was rather fascinating to see her asking the same questions.
Anyway, one issue came up that is bothering me. Of course, when you're going to interview a lot of violinists, you are going to have a lot of different answers, some will be controversial or contradict what another person says.
That is no problem; in fact , that is why i want to do this: to give everyone a chance to explain and/or show what they mean
My issue then is that I also want to bring up opposite view points. Let me give you an example: some teachers say that the bow hair shoul be flat all the time (I can name famous pedagogues but I won't), others say it should be tilted, and others say other things.
Is it a bad idea to ask them what they think of what someone else says (without ever bringing up names)? Again the point of this is to have a discussion going on and to get the clearest answers possible.
Another issue is regarding set up and accessories. As part of my proiject, I bought a lot of popular accessories and I get certain people to try them out. In some cases, some people had harsh things to say about certain accessories. I paid for all of these out of my own pocket so I don't owe any one any stellar reviews, but is it fair to include critcisms of people's works. Again , I wouldn't allow free bashing: if someone had negative things to say, they have to say it respectfully and they have to explain very clearly why they think that way. But should this be included in my videos?
It's a bit of tricky situation, because if I censor them, then basically , we are censoring healthy and respectful discussions, but then if I include it, I don't want to hurt any company's business.
In my interviews with musicians, I always try to raise the point that even though an accessory may not be right for them, it can certainly be right for others.
What are your thoughts? thanks!
Of course it should be in your videos!
Thanks for your input. I wanted say that I wouldn't alter anything but I just was thinking of not mentioning names/brands (I definitely would like to avoid mentioning names if possible). Things get tricky when people start criticizing other people's ideas, and some people's ideas are extremely popular and being commercialized and sold all over the world, and here comes someone who refutes the ideas. I certainly want to get a discussion going because it 's very healthy and beneficial for the progress of the art.
The issue is that sometimes there is an assumption that there is "one right away" to do things. In something as complicated as playing an instrument, there are generally many ways to achieve a particular goal as there are teachers to teach it!
Get legal advice. Although I can't claim any knowledge, I suspect that, whereas if you were to say in public "Brand X is rubbish", that only counts as hearsay and is not libellous, once you publish, it's a different matter. And a documentary constitutes publication. Having said that, where does it leave Amazon reviews? Where does it leave forum discussions? I don't know. Get legal advice.
You can always fade in/out the aggressive bits and include your polite version in the voice "off" commentary. But every idea should be included.
Denis, you begin by saying:
Hello Holly, as I mentioned I purchase everything that I will include in my project, so there is no outsifde financing. I avoid any kind of sponsorship that would get in the way of being neutral and accurate.
That clarifies your options a lot, Denis.
Thanks! Curious to hear other people's thoughts, I'm thinking it's just best to avoid names and brands.
Here's one scenario .
To me there is nothing to fear if you stick to the facts and avoid individual opinions. When an opinion is voiced, dig out the facts that led to the opinion. For e.g. An accessory may be quality made or not, my be effective or not, may be popular or not, but never say that it's either bad or good. Bad and good is relative and subjective.
Question: When a violinist of some reputation makes a statement about technique won't she/he WANT to have their name attached to it? What makes you so sure everybody will have a problem with their names being named?
Hello folks. As always. Thanks for the input thus far.
I agree that the video is not first class. The most glaring error though is that the visual indication of the distance from the chin to the collarbone is nowhere near the collarbone. Also his advice sounds somewhat inconsistent: If you want to hold the violin by putting your chin on the chin rest, i.e. between shoulder and chin (not with the neck, he never says that!) it seems illogic to then bring the collar bone into the discussion.
I'll say that I'm only as neutral in the sense that I'll give everyone equal opportunities to explain their point of view, and I personally will keep my comments (if any) to a minimum, but you can never expect true neutrality, we all have opinions, but sometimes certain things are facts.
"people were asking the answer to an equation along the lines of 2+(3x5). There can be only one correct answer : 17, but people would answer 25, and people would rationalize the answer in a very well written way."
Sassmannshaus seems undogmatic to me. "may not be necessary" not "isn't necessary"; "some" not "all"; "is advisable" not "is mandatory"; "becomes difficult" not "is difficult"; "can lead to" not "causes" or "leads to". "if you find a solution that works for your body, use it". And that in his second language. It's not so bad.
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