Monday, June 22, 2009

Blog Czar Is Next!?

Why it is anybody's business I have no idea but FTC (Federal Trade Commission) clearly thinks it's their business and it wants to monitor and regulate your blog.

FTC plans to monitor blogs for claims, payments
(6/20/09, AP via Yahoo Tech)

"Savvy consumers often go online for independent consumer reviews of products and services, scouring through comments from everyday Joes and Janes to help them find a gem or shun a lemon.

"What some fail to realize, though, is that such reviews can be tainted: Many bloggers have accepted perks such as free laptops, trips to Europe, $500 gift cards or even thousands of dollars for a 200-word post. Bloggers vary in how they disclose such freebies, if they do so at all.

"New guidelines, expected to be approved late this summer with possible modifications, would clarify that the agency can go after bloggers — as well as the companies that compensate them — for any false claims or failure to disclose conflicts of interest.

"It would be the first time the FTC tries to patrol systematically what bloggers say and do online. The common practice of posting a graphical ad or a link to an online retailer — and getting commissions for any sales from it — would be enough to trigger oversight."

Bye bye Google Ads, bye bye Amazon affiliate program.

"As blogging rises in importance and sophistication, it has taken on characteristics of community journalism — but without consensus on the types of ethical practices typically found in traditional media."

Traditional media is indeed very ethical.

Most ominously, the article says:

"Any type of blog could be scrutinized, not just ones that specialize in reviews. "

Clearly, blogs have become enough of a threat to "traditional" way of doing anything from journalism to advertising and marketing that it's time to ... regulate them so the high quality and ethical standard of "traditional" way of journalism, advertising, marketing, whatever, could be upheld.

"Shock and awe" blitzkrieg Obama version continues to roll. What's the next target? Message boards? Anything that dare show a sign of life?

Oh well. It's been such a short while since I started the blogs and I've been having a great time doing it but it looks like it may all end in summer.


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