It would be hard to overstate how much I have historically liked the website/blog Cult of Mac. Simply stated, I have long felt it was the single best source for Apple-related news, reviews and videos. I usually read it first when I open up Google Reader to consume my news of the day.
Until this week, when I saw a post entitled MacKeeper is 911 for Your Mac.
Until that moment, I assumed Cult of Mac was a clearinghouse of sorts with respect to all of the things (apps, websites, etc.) that apear in its stories. The inescapable problem with the above post is that a lot of people- and I mean a whole lot of people- not only disagree that MacKeeper is a good app, they think it is somewhere between unnecessary and nefarious. Need some examples? Here’s a thread from today on the Apple Support Community message boards (the first stop for Apple-related questions and troubleshooting). This is not an isolated response, and it’s not limited to the Apple Support Community. Here’s a page that goes to great lengths to warn users away.
The comments to the post as well as on Cult of Mac’s Facebook page evidence the controversy.
A couple of important things, in the interest of fairness. One, Cult of Mac is not alone in recommending MacKeeper. Two, I have never tried MacKeeper, and have no first hand knowledge of whether it is the greatest thing ever, the worst thing ever, or somewhere in between. My problem with Cult of Mac is simply this: if you are the premier source for Mac news, you simply cannot toss up a post recommending MacKeeper (or any other controversial app) without addressing the significant anti-MacKeeper sentiment that pervades the internets. Especially when readers might think (rightly or wrongly- I have no idea) that you are getting a cut of sales driven by said post.
If MacKeeper is wrongly maligned by these other websites, then gut it up and tell the readers why. Debunk the criticisms, but don’t just willy nilly recommend the app, without comment. Users at least need to know there is a vigorous opposing view. I would like to be able to trust any app I see recommended on Cult of Mac, but if they don’t want to do the work to give us the full story, I can’t and won’t do that.