The FTC to Start Regulating Blogs?

Filed as News on June 22, 2009 6:44 pm

It’s not as bad as if the FCC were to step in and start censoring blogs, but it is a step closer to government regulation…

According to a report in The Washington Post, the Federal Trade Commission is expected to rework guidelines that will permit the agency to go after bloggers who file phony claims on products – or fail to reveal if there is a conflict of interest.

For example, if you work for Company XYZ and log on to your personal blog and post that Product A manufactured by Company XYZ is the best thing you’ve ever used…you better be willing to fess up that you’re an employee.

Do you think a uniform disclosure policy will help or hurt the blogosphere?

One school of thought says that this type of FTC regulation could filter out a lot of the “junk” and add even greater credence to the medium. Others, however, feel that such a move shifts blogging closer to a “police state.”

It’s reported that the same laws would apply to both blogs, Twitter and other social media avenues.

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  1. By RaceDriven posted on June 22, 2009 at 10:24 pm
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    I believe that the FTC wants all articles, all blogs to come with a real name, no more blogging under Mr. X or some screen name, but that isn’t entirely a bad thing, you guys here at The Blog Herald do it, I do it, my blog says my name on it, of course that is for credibity as well.

    However it all depends upon how far they want to go to get to bloggers, are bloggers going to be held to media standards? I would say yes, they will.

    As for the example up above, you should have to idenitify who you are on your blog when it comes to products promotions, tell people this is sponsored or your an employee, consumers are looking for a neutral opinion on a product, not some employees opinion, that doesn’t help, it hurts.

    But like I said, how far is the FTC going to go?

    Reply

  2. By wolfi posted on September 24, 2009 at 9:09 am
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    When we – in casual conversation – discuss a company or product, we are not required to tell our audiences whether or not there is a conflict of interest. Why would have to online?

    I don’t like shills anymore than anyone else does, but how would they define these ‘conflicts’ ? Do you have to disclose that your spouse works for a particular company or that you ‘live in Detroit’, if you’re supporting the US auto-maker?

    From a technical perspective, the only way one could enforce such a thing online, would be if the FTC had a much greater identification system tracking everyone’s computer activities…

    Reply

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