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Ethics Statement

The Digital Citizen team

The Digital Citizen team

Before becoming Digital Citizen, we operated under the name 7 Tutorials from 2009 to 2015. Initially, we were a team of volunteers passionate about writing technical content. We focused primarily on publishing tutorials, driven by our love for products like Windows and Windows Phone and by our desire to share knowledge with others.

Since October 15, 2015, we have been known as Digital Citizen, and starting 2019, our team of professional editors have been working under the umbrella of CITIZEN MEDIA LLC, a small independent company based in Romania.

Earning and maintaining the trust of our audience is the focus of the work we do here, at Digital Citizen. In the modern internet, where information is found everywhere, across countless formats and platforms, it’s important to have clear ethical guidelines. These help people know where information originates and whether they can trust it. Here are the ethical guidelines we, the Digital Citizen team, adhere to:

Editorial independence and accuracy

We strive to create accurate, comprehensive, and valuable articles. To achieve this, each editor personally tests the products or services they write about, and every piece of content is reviewed by at least one additional editor before publication. In our editorial process, we follow these guidelines:

  • Our content must be technically accurate and provide complete information that is useful to people, not bots. We place significant emphasis on this aspect, ensuring multiple editors review each article before it is published.
  • Despite our efforts to maintain accuracy, errors can occasionally occur. When this happens, we take immediate steps to correct the inaccurate information and update our content accordingly.
  • Furthermore, we may remove content if we or other parties determine it infringes on the intellectual property rights of a third party, violates any third-party rights, or breaches any applicable law or regulation.
  • We do not accept preconditions for coverage that require us to make specific statements.
  • For previews and reviews, we always honor embargoes. We do not post spoilers until we have permission or until after the public release of the product we’re covering.

How we review products

We review products provided by PR agencies, tech manufacturers, or products we purchase ourselves. Most of these products are loaned to us for a short period, and then we return them to their owners. During this time, we thoroughly test and photograph the products, considering how real users would interact with them. Additionally, we perform extensive benchmarking to compare their performance and identify each product’s strengths and weaknesses.

On rare occasions, we keep some of the products we review for internal use. These products are used for creating future content on Digital Citizen, such as comparisons with similar products.

We do not accept any preconditions requiring us to artificially promote products or mislead our readers. It is essential that our reviews accurately reflect the real-world user experience. Therefore, we candidly discuss any flaws we find during testing and clearly state them in our reviews, providing verdicts that mirror our actual testing experiences. Some companies have not appreciated this approach and have opted to stop sending us products to review. This has always been a positive outcome for us, as it helps identify which brands respect our editorial independence. We do not wish to collaborate with brands that expect publications to compromise their integrity in product reviews.

How we use AI

Our content is always original and written by a real person in our team. We don’t publish articles written by AI, nor do we copy and paste press releases or other types of materials. However, we do use AI in our work for the following activities:

  • Citing or referencing content generated by AI when publishing content about Artificial Intelligence
  • Generating images that might be useful in the articles that we publish (we mention when this is the case somewhere in the text)
  • Rephrasing short sentences when we don’t feel inspired enough to write something that is engaging to read
  • Translating our original work. We are a bilingual team, writing and publishing content on two websites (the one you’re reading now, in English) and www.digitalcitizen.ro (an almost identical website with content in Romanian). We sometimes use AI to make faster translations for the content we wrote in one language so that we can publish it in the other language we’re using. However, this translation is always fine-tuned by an editor, and the final result is verified by at least one other colleague.
  • Translating foreign languages. We use AI to translate content from other languages when doing research for our articles.

How we monetize our work

We work full-time at Digital Citizen, and we need to earn a living from our work, just like everyone else. We earn revenue from:

  • Display advertising - the main source of revenue is represented by the ads you see displayed on our website. This is why we kindly ask you not to use an ad blocker. We keep our content free for everyone, and displaying ads means that we can earn a living.
  • Affiliate links - many of our product reviews have links to shops (usually Amazon) where you can buy them. If you buy a product using those links, we receive a small commission from your purchase. Sometimes we include affiliate links in our tutorials and other types of articles.
  • Paid content - our editorial team occasionally publishes paid content. For transparency, such content is always written by us and labeled with a big “Sponsored by” label next to the title, followed by the company’s logo sponsoring the respective article.

Other employment

Employees of Digital Citizen may not be employed by or receive compensation from companies they are likely to cover in their articles. Generally, writers and editors at Digital Citizen are not permitted to create content for other publications without the explicit permission of the editor-in-chief.

However, they may engage in side projects that do not involve producing technical content for other publications. For instance, some of our editors have done web development work on side projects, while others have performed translation services for different publications and small firms.

Give us feedback

We love hearing from you, especially when you ask questions or propose content ideas. Also, if you have any concerns about our ethical standards or notice something that doesn’t seem right on Digital Citizen, please let us know.