Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Government to Monitor Your Blog

Watch what you are saying boys and girls on the blogosphere, Uncle Sam wants to make sure you are on the up and up. According to reports from the AP, The Federal Trade Commission is set to monitor blogs to ensure any product review you make, is not made in exchange for compensation. According to the FTC many bloggers have received $500 gift cards or even thousands of dollars for a 200-word post. Apparently under the new regulations which are expected to be approved latter this summer a simple graphic ad with link for which you receive compensation, would be enough to trigger oversight.

Is this really necessary? Are there really throngs of people out there buying products based on anonymous reviews. Where is the personal responsibility? Are we really going to pay people to read and monitor blogs to make sure you aren't getting paid?

If you follow this trail to it's logical conclusion it does not end well for the individual. Imagine you tell your friend to shop at Wal-Mart because they always have the lowest price. (or so they claim) But soon you are being sued by the federal government because you own stock from Wal-Mart from back when you worked there in college. Sure you had forgotten all about it, but never the less, you have an interest in the company.

Perhaps I'm being a bit overly dramatic, but maybe not.

4 comments:

Mookie said...

Well, that cancels my plans. Here I was all set to pay you $5000 a month to promote my blog...it seems my readership is under a million, and I just cant have that. Now you will just have to do it for free!!! LOL

All In said...

Sorry comrad, your capitalist ways are no good here on my blog.

scotterb said...

I suppose they want to make sure that advertising regulations are followed -- perhaps they want to tax the compensation. But do you really think the government has the capacity to do this? I suspect they'll respond to complaints (and companies may start trying to look for competitors on blogs and make complaints). I don't think it's necessary, but I doubt it'll work (who'll actually 'monitor'?), and in the Walmart example the first amendment would trump any government regulation.

All In said...

Scott,

According to this story the government is poised to hire folks to do the monitoring. While I agree it is a bit far fetched to think that they will be able to monitor each and every blog, but if that isn't their intent why set up the agency to do it?

As far as the Wal-mart example, don't be so certain. If you don't disclose your compensation you are basically comitting "payola" which is something radio stations and their employees have been fined over for years.