FTC Takes First Step in Regulating Internet

Alarming Development on Internet Catches Government’s Attention

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.

The practice has grown to the degree that the Federal Trade Commission is paying attention. 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.

This is from, “FTC plans to monitor blogs for claims, payments”, Washington Post, June 21, 2009.

No word yet on whether the FTC plans to go after Congressmen and political appointees who fail to disclose conflicts of interest when they advocate particular policies after having received thousands of dollars from those who stand to benefit from the policies.

H/T to Karen De Coster