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New FTC rules on endorsements and reviews by bloggers and how it impacts PA

MDateMDate Registered User new member
edited October 2009 in Debate and/or Discourse
Here is an article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/06/business/media/06adco.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1254866555-g9axupGORkzuL7RJJ0+W3Q

The FTC's rule will require bloggers (or anyone using facebook or twitter) to disclose the fact they received either money or a review product. Obviously that is best practice, but requirement seems a bit excessive.

Where this MAY IMPACT someone like Penny Arcade is liability. The FTC rule (PDF is available here: http://www.ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005endorsementguidesfnnotice.pdf) makes companies liable for what bloggers say about its product. The problem with this is it will make companies less likely to give products to bloggers for review (and hurt our access to information).

I don't know exactly how PA does its reviews or advertising, but just something to discuss if you all are interested in that.

I did find one of the new examples in the rules to be related to someplace like this:

"Example 7: A college student who has earned a reputation as a video game
expert maintains a personal weblog or “blog” where he posts entries about his
gaming experiences. Readers of his blog frequently seek his opinions about video
game hardware and software. As it has done in the past, the manufacturer of a
newly released video game system sends the student a free copy of the system and
asks him to write about it on his blog. He tests the new gaming system and writes
a favorable review. Because his review is disseminated via a form of consumer-
generated media in which his relationship to the advertiser is not inherently
obvious, readers are unlikely to know that he has received the video game system
free of charge in exchange for his review of the product, and given the value of
the video game system, this fact likely would materially affect the credibility they
attach to his endorsement. Accordingly, the blogger should clearly and
conspicuously disclose that he received the gaming system free of charge. The
manufacturer should advise him at the time it provides the gaming system that
this connection should be disclosed, and it should have procedures in place to try
to monitor his postings for compliance."

MDate on

Posts

  • ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited October 2009
    This caught caught in the spam filter, and now I release it.

    Elki on
    smCQ5WE.jpg
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Isn't PA supported by ad-revenue rather than kickbacks from developers? So it wouldn't really be impacted given that it is G&T's own views rather than endorsed ones.

    Also, there's a spam filter?

    moniker on
  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Tycho and Gabe have received free games and utterly destroyed them in review.

    Fuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Tycho and Gabe have received free games and utterly destroyed them in review.

    This is true. And PA survives quite nicely on ad revenue; they don't need to shill games sent to them for free.

    However, this does mean that when doing any impromptu review of a game that was provided to them as a freebie, they'll need to throw in an aside stating how they got it.

    In the case of PA, no big deal. In the case of a lot of other blogs? More so.

    mcdermott on
  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    edios is gonna be so pissed

    Local H Jay on
  • ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited October 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Tycho and Gabe have received free games and utterly destroyed them in review.

    This is true. And PA survives quite nicely on ad revenue; they don't need to shill games sent to them for free.

    However, this does mean that when doing any impromptu review of a game that was provided to them as a freebie, they'll need to throw in an aside stating how they got it.

    In the case of PA, no big deal. In the case of a lot of other blogs? More so.

    They already do it quite often.

    Elki on
    smCQ5WE.jpg
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Elki wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Tycho and Gabe have received free games and utterly destroyed them in review.

    This is true. And PA survives quite nicely on ad revenue; they don't need to shill games sent to them for free.

    However, this does mean that when doing any impromptu review of a game that was provided to them as a freebie, they'll need to throw in an aside stating how they got it.

    In the case of PA, no big deal. In the case of a lot of other blogs? More so.

    They already do it quite often.

    And I don't really see how it would be so burdensome for others. Aside from fear of getting fined possibly leading to a more strict editing process. It basically just seems to require a token 'I got __ from Blizzard today, and...' or similar.

    moniker on
  • werehippywerehippy Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    MDate wrote: »
    Where this MAY IMPACT someone like Penny Arcade is liability. The FTC rule (PDF is available here: http://www.ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005endorsementguidesfnnotice.pdf) makes companies liable for what bloggers say about its product. The problem with this is it will make companies less likely to give products to bloggers for review (and hurt our access to information).

    The only thing that has given me any pause at all is this, and it's liability only in the case of intentionally misleading information. So in the context of reviews this shouldn't matter at all unless the company is specifically asking the reviewer to willfully lie about the product being review. So now there's a legal barrier, nebulous it may be, on shilling for money.

    I can live with that.

    werehippy on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Elki wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Tycho and Gabe have received free games and utterly destroyed them in review.

    This is true. And PA survives quite nicely on ad revenue; they don't need to shill games sent to them for free.

    However, this does mean that when doing any impromptu review of a game that was provided to them as a freebie, they'll need to throw in an aside stating how they got it.

    In the case of PA, no big deal. In the case of a lot of other blogs? More so.

    They already do it quite often.

    Oh, I know they do. It just goes from "they normally do it" to "they have a legal obligation to do it every time."

    But again, in the case of PA no big deal.

    And like moniker said, probably not a huge deal in a lot of other cases either. It just means that people can't act like random bloggers hyping up a product when in fact they got it for free as an incentive to do so. I don't know how much of an effect this has on the videogame blog sphere, or other industries...but it seems like common sense to me.
    The only thing that has given me any pause at all is this, and it's liability only in the case of intentionally misleading information. So in the context of reviews this shouldn't matter at all unless the company is specifically asking the reviewer to willfully lie about the product being review. So no there's a legal barrier, nebulous it may be, on shilling for money.

    I can live with that.

    True. The FTC made it pretty clear they wouldn't drop the hammer on a site like PA that forgets one time to mention it. So yeah, no big deal.

    mcdermott on
  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    While, in general, I really like this ruling it raises some questions. What makes a site like Joystiq different from a site like Gamespot, other than the format of their content? (note I haven't read the details so this may be explained)

    Tomanta on
  • cyphrcyphr Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Is this the first instance of the U.S. government issuing official restrictions on internet content? Besides stuff that was already illegal in any medium, of course (child porn, etc.)

    If so, fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. This is a chilling precedent. What happens in the following scenario?

    FTC: This blogger received a review product and didn't disclose it, we need his contact information.
    WHOIS: The site is registered and hosted in Sweden.
    FTC: Dear Swedish ISP, give us this blogger's information; he made his content available to American citizens and it is therefore subject to our regulation.
    Swedish ISP: Fuck you guys.
    FTC: Okay fine, dear all American ISPs, you're not allowed to serve this blogger's content.
    American ISPs: ???

    cyphr on
    steam_sig.png
  • cyphrcyphr Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Elki wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Tycho and Gabe have received free games and utterly destroyed them in review.

    This is true. And PA survives quite nicely on ad revenue; they don't need to shill games sent to them for free.

    However, this does mean that when doing any impromptu review of a game that was provided to them as a freebie, they'll need to throw in an aside stating how they got it.

    In the case of PA, no big deal. In the case of a lot of other blogs? More so.

    They already do it quite often.

    Oh, I know they do. It just goes from "they normally do it" to "they have a legal obligation to do it every time."

    But again, in the case of PA no big deal.

    And like moniker said, probably not a huge deal in a lot of other cases either. It just means that people can't act like random bloggers hyping up a product when in fact they got it for free as an incentive to do so. I don't know how much of an effect this has on the videogame blog sphere, or other industries...but it seems like common sense to me.
    The only thing that has given me any pause at all is this, and it's liability only in the case of intentionally misleading information. So in the context of reviews this shouldn't matter at all unless the company is specifically asking the reviewer to willfully lie about the product being review. So no there's a legal barrier, nebulous it may be, on shilling for money.

    I can live with that.

    True. The FTC made it pretty clear they wouldn't drop the hammer on a site like PA that forgets one time to mention it. So yeah, no big deal.
    And if there's one thing I've learned about the government, it's that only a fool trusts them to act in good faith. Wasn't that Patriot Act thread just on the front page of D&D?

    cyphr on
    steam_sig.png
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    cyphr wrote: »
    Is this the first instance of the U.S. government issuing official restrictions on internet content? Besides stuff that was already illegal in any medium, of course (child porn, etc.)

    If so, fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. This is a chilling precedent. What happens in the following scenario?

    FTC: This blogger received a review product and didn't disclose it, we need his contact information.
    WHOIS: The site is registered and hosted in Sweden.
    FTC: Dear Swedish ISP, give us this blogger's information; he made his content available to American citizens and it is therefore subject to our regulation.
    Swedish ISP: Fuck you guys.
    FTC: Okay fine, dear all American ISPs, you're not allowed to serve this blogger's content.
    American ISPs: ???

    Not seeing how that's the case.

    moniker on
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    This seems like there's no way it will stand up to scrutiny.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
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    it was the smallest on the list but
    Pluto was a planet and I'll never forget
  • SkutSkutSkutSkut Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Elki wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Tycho and Gabe have received free games and utterly destroyed them in review.

    This is true. And PA survives quite nicely on ad revenue; they don't need to shill games sent to them for free.

    However, this does mean that when doing any impromptu review of a game that was provided to them as a freebie, they'll need to throw in an aside stating how they got it.

    In the case of PA, no big deal. In the case of a lot of other blogs? More so.

    They already do it quite often.

    Didn't EA or someone send Gabe and Tycho a DS and a review copy of the game and they threw the DS away? I seem to remember that as a comic.

    SkutSkut on
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    SkutSkut wrote: »
    Elki wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Tycho and Gabe have received free games and utterly destroyed them in review.

    This is true. And PA survives quite nicely on ad revenue; they don't need to shill games sent to them for free.

    However, this does mean that when doing any impromptu review of a game that was provided to them as a freebie, they'll need to throw in an aside stating how they got it.

    In the case of PA, no big deal. In the case of a lot of other blogs? More so.

    They already do it quite often.

    Didn't EA or someone send Gabe and Tycho a DS and a review copy of the game and they threw the DS away? I seem to remember that as a comic.

    And then they found out there was a letter attached saying it was for a charity auction... yeah...

    DarkPrimus on
  • RingoRingo He/Him a distinct lack of substanceRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    SkutSkut wrote: »
    Elki wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Tycho and Gabe have received free games and utterly destroyed them in review.

    This is true. And PA survives quite nicely on ad revenue; they don't need to shill games sent to them for free.

    However, this does mean that when doing any impromptu review of a game that was provided to them as a freebie, they'll need to throw in an aside stating how they got it.

    In the case of PA, no big deal. In the case of a lot of other blogs? More so.

    They already do it quite often.

    Didn't EA or someone send Gabe and Tycho a DS and a review copy of the game and they threw the DS away? I seem to remember that as a comic.

    And then they found out there was a letter attached saying it was for a charity auction... yeah...
    They gave it away in a contest. Dickerdoodles I think.

    Ringo on
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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Ringo wrote: »
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    SkutSkut wrote: »
    Elki wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Tycho and Gabe have received free games and utterly destroyed them in review.

    This is true. And PA survives quite nicely on ad revenue; they don't need to shill games sent to them for free.

    However, this does mean that when doing any impromptu review of a game that was provided to them as a freebie, they'll need to throw in an aside stating how they got it.

    In the case of PA, no big deal. In the case of a lot of other blogs? More so.

    They already do it quite often.

    Didn't EA or someone send Gabe and Tycho a DS and a review copy of the game and they threw the DS away? I seem to remember that as a comic.

    And then they found out there was a letter attached saying it was for a charity auction... yeah...
    They gave it away in a contest. Dickerdoodles I think.

    Yeah, I believe it was signed by somebody, or something. That was the issue. They never even opened it or looked at it, just gave it away.

    Is this the first instance of the U.S. government issuing official restrictions on internet content? Besides stuff that was already illegal in any medium, of course (child porn, etc.)

    If so, fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. This is a chilling precedent. What happens in the following scenario?
    FTC: This blogger received a review product and didn't disclose it, we need his contact information.
    WHOIS: The site is registered and hosted in Sweden.
    FTC: Dear Swedish ISP, give us this blogger's information; he made his content available to American citizens and it is therefore subject to our regulation.
    Swedish ISP: Fuck you guys.
    FTC: Okay fine, dear all American ISPs, you're not allowed to serve this blogger's content.
    American ISPs: ???

    I'm pretty sure the last two lines wouldn't happen. Probably not the two before, either. He'd simply not be subject to regulation, the end.

    mcdermott on
  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    This isn't a chilling precedent, it's simply aknowledging that blogs and other editorial pieces are more and more major sources of income for their producers and information for their consumers. As such they need to be held to the same standards as magazines and newspapers and disclose when they are getting free stuff.

    I predict someone will just write some boilerplate (Jims gaming site regularly recieves sample games and products for review from a variety of sources. Jims gaming site accepts these samples as review and test products in order to improve the diversity of material available to the reader. A list of sources from which products have been received follows...)

    tbloxham on
    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Magazines/newspapers aren't required by the FTC to disclose people who give them money/things.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
    NREqxl5.jpg
    it was the smallest on the list but
    Pluto was a planet and I'll never forget
  • HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    So the FTC wants people on the net to say, "This was sent to us by x for y amount"?

    Wouldn't it be fairly obvious in the case of video games? "So Nintendo let us try the new Metroid for free." Is that it? Is this a problem?

    Henroid on
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    The problem will be figuring out who is subject to this and when, and who it will be enforced against and how.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
    NREqxl5.jpg
    it was the smallest on the list but
    Pluto was a planet and I'll never forget
  • HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Dyscord wrote: »
    The problem will be figuring out who is subject to this and when, and who it will be enforced against and how.

    So is the rule set in stone yet, or is this a pre-cursor to it being finalized?

    If it is ambiguous, I'm sure it could be fought in court in regard to the ambiguity.

    Henroid on
  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Dyscord wrote: »
    Magazines/newspapers aren't required by the FTC to disclose people who give them money/things.
    I'm already pretty against this, and if what Dyscord here says is true I'm absolutely against it.

    When "real people" appear on companies' commercials and shill for their products, do they get fined if it turns out the company supplied them with products for free?

    It sucks that the Internet has become a gossamer web of lies and illusion, but I don't think we need to invoke the blunt force of the law to protect people from shill advertising. False advertising is another thing.

    Qingu on
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    Dyscord wrote: »
    Magazines/newspapers aren't required by the FTC to disclose people who give them money/things.
    I'm already pretty against this, and if what Dyscord here says is true I'm absolutely against it.

    When "real people" appear on companies' commercials and shill for their products, do they get fined if it turns out the company supplied them with products for free?

    It sucks that the Internet has become a gossamer web of lies and illusion, but I don't think we need to invoke the blunt force of the law to protect people from shill advertising. False advertising is another thing.

    You want to be depressed about disclosure in the news, pop "video news release" into google and do a little reading. They don't only give them the product, they give them the entire segment.

    This just the latest revelation in "how working in communications will make you depressed."

    But anyway, yeah. Print media is regulated basically not at all. There are endless industry or privately financed "newspapers" or "magazines" out there that don't disclose anything. Think about it: when was the last time you read a movie or a book review that "disclosed" where the reviewer got their copy of the material?

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
    NREqxl5.jpg
    it was the smallest on the list but
    Pluto was a planet and I'll never forget
  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    Dyscord wrote: »
    Magazines/newspapers aren't required by the FTC to disclose people who give them money/things.
    I'm already pretty against this, and if what Dyscord here says is true I'm absolutely against it.

    When "real people" appear on companies' commercials and shill for their products, do they get fined if it turns out the company supplied them with products for free?

    It sucks that the Internet has become a gossamer web of lies and illusion, but I don't think we need to invoke the blunt force of the law to protect people from shill advertising. False advertising is another thing.

    For the most part I agree with this. I think the problem is when someone goes on Facebook and says "Hey, everyone should get Cornballer 2.0! I totally don't burn myself with it anymore!", when the facebook user is a paid shill for the Bluth company. If Mr. T goes on TV and says it in an infomercial there's an assumption that he is speaking for the company. Likewise, if someone writes a review in the New York Times there are certain assumptions that go along with the review. You don't get that in some of the new 'social marketing' that's showing up.

    That said, I'm still on the fence for this decision, especially with a large number of questions I have...

    Tomanta on
  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    Dyscord wrote: »
    Magazines/newspapers aren't required by the FTC to disclose people who give them money/things.
    I'm already pretty against this, and if what Dyscord here says is true I'm absolutely against it.

    When "real people" appear on companies' commercials and shill for their products, do they get fined if it turns out the company supplied them with products for free?

    It sucks that the Internet has become a gossamer web of lies and illusion, but I don't think we need to invoke the blunt force of the law to protect people from shill advertising. False advertising is another thing.

    Oh, I just thought this was standardization. I agree with this law, but only if it applies to everyone in all 'responsible' media. If newspapers don't have to say this, then nor should websites.

    tbloxham on
    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
  • KrayzieKrayzie Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I thought this had more to do with bloggers who get paid money to write a good review, rather than those who are just getting a review unit for free. This basically is making paid shills have to disclose they are in fact shills no?

    Krayzie on
  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Krayzie wrote: »
    I thought this had more to do with bloggers who get paid money to write a good review, rather than those who are just getting a review unit for free. This basically is making paid shills have to disclose they are in fact shills no?

    What differentiates a paid blogger shill from the same shill in print (who doesn't have to disclose their allegiance)?

    Tomanta on
  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Tomanta wrote: »
    For the most part I agree with this. I think the problem is when someone goes on Facebook and says "Hey, everyone should get Cornballer 2.0! I totally don't burn myself with it anymore!", when the facebook user is a paid shill for the Bluth company. If Mr. T goes on TV and says it in an infomercial there's an assumption that he is speaking for the company. Likewise, if someone writes a review in the New York Times there are certain assumptions that go along with the review. You don't get that in some of the new 'social marketing' that's showing up.
    But any community worth its salt will be able to root out shills. We do it here.

    If some asshole you never met on Facebook contacts you and tells you all about how awesome a movie is ... well, either you assume they're spam, or you're a moron.

    And while it's tempting to protect the morons ... that's not really for the greater good.

    Qingu on
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    Tomanta wrote: »
    For the most part I agree with this. I think the problem is when someone goes on Facebook and says "Hey, everyone should get Cornballer 2.0! I totally don't burn myself with it anymore!", when the facebook user is a paid shill for the Bluth company. If Mr. T goes on TV and says it in an infomercial there's an assumption that he is speaking for the company. Likewise, if someone writes a review in the New York Times there are certain assumptions that go along with the review. You don't get that in some of the new 'social marketing' that's showing up.
    But any community worth its salt will be able to root out shills. We do it here.

    If some asshole you never met on Facebook contacts you and tells you all about how awesome a movie is ... well, either you assume they're spam, or you're a moron.

    And while it's tempting to protect the morons ... that's not really for the greater good.

    If I'm reading some dude's blog, and he starts talking about how awesome some book is, I'd like to know if he got paid to do so.

    Daedalus on
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Tomanta wrote: »
    Krayzie wrote: »
    I thought this had more to do with bloggers who get paid money to write a good review, rather than those who are just getting a review unit for free. This basically is making paid shills have to disclose they are in fact shills no?

    What differentiates a paid blogger shill from the same shill in print (who doesn't have to disclose their allegiance)?

    Nothing. Read the actual PDF from the FTC, not the Times article.

    Daedalus on
  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Qingu wrote: »
    Tomanta wrote: »
    For the most part I agree with this. I think the problem is when someone goes on Facebook and says "Hey, everyone should get Cornballer 2.0! I totally don't burn myself with it anymore!", when the facebook user is a paid shill for the Bluth company. If Mr. T goes on TV and says it in an infomercial there's an assumption that he is speaking for the company. Likewise, if someone writes a review in the New York Times there are certain assumptions that go along with the review. You don't get that in some of the new 'social marketing' that's showing up.
    But any community worth its salt will be able to root out shills. We do it here.

    If some asshole you never met on Facebook contacts you and tells you all about how awesome a movie is ... well, either you assume they're spam, or you're a moron.

    And while it's tempting to protect the morons ... that's not really for the greater good.

    If I'm reading some dude's blog, and he starts talking about how awesome some book is, I'd like to know if he got paid to do so.
    So would I. But I could say the same thing about newspapers, magazines, or "some dude's zine."

    I mean, this is especially egregious because it's blogs, which are usually the online equivalent of zine (extremely low barrier of entry). Imagine if the FCC tried to regulate zines.

    Qingu on
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Qingu wrote: »
    Tomanta wrote: »
    For the most part I agree with this. I think the problem is when someone goes on Facebook and says "Hey, everyone should get Cornballer 2.0! I totally don't burn myself with it anymore!", when the facebook user is a paid shill for the Bluth company. If Mr. T goes on TV and says it in an infomercial there's an assumption that he is speaking for the company. Likewise, if someone writes a review in the New York Times there are certain assumptions that go along with the review. You don't get that in some of the new 'social marketing' that's showing up.
    But any community worth its salt will be able to root out shills. We do it here.

    If some asshole you never met on Facebook contacts you and tells you all about how awesome a movie is ... well, either you assume they're spam, or you're a moron.

    And while it's tempting to protect the morons ... that's not really for the greater good.

    If I'm reading some dude's blog, and he starts talking about how awesome some book is, I'd like to know if he got paid to do so.
    So would I. But I could say the same thing about newspapers, magazines, or "some dude's zine."

    I mean, this is especially egregious because it's blogs, which are usually the online equivalent of zine (extremely low barrier of entry). Imagine if the FCC tried to regulate zines.

    If I'm reading this right (and it's 81 pages, so I haven't read the whole thing here) there's nothing in here that's really specific to Internet media other than the new example. The idea is that if you're talking in a "personal communications space", you should know what's a paid endorsement and what isn't. A review section of a magazine has some obvious stuff known about it: the reviewer typically doesn't have to actually buy the item he's reviewing, for example; whereas some dude's blog doesn't have that, because people assume it's just that guy talking about whatever.

    edit: for example, if one writes a letter to the editor of a newspaper with the intention of having it printed and is making a paid endorsement of a product without disclosing that fact (i.e. just acting like an unpaid satisfied customer), that would probably run afoul of this, although again I didn't read the entire thing so I'm not 100% sure. Blogging is just the most likely occurrence of this sort of thing.

    edit 2: and for that matter even if this did only apply to Internet posts, I disagree with your premise that if things are broken in two or more places, it's wrong to only fix one of them at a time.

    Daedalus on
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Well, the goal seems to be to reduce the influence of viral marketing, which isn't really something that exists in traditional print media. Companies will set up superficially independent advocacy websites fairly routinely, but they generally don't start their own newspapers. So I wouldn't say it applies to non-internet media equally.

    The problem really will be enforcement. Is penny arcade the kind of website this will be applied to, or is it only going to be used to target obvious corporate astroturf? It's hard for me to see how it could be reasonably applied to things like twitter or facebook.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
    NREqxl5.jpg
    it was the smallest on the list but
    Pluto was a planet and I'll never forget
  • DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited October 2009
    I wonder if there should be a similar law for lobbyists, congressmen, and legislation. That is, before any argument on legislation someone presents, a list of related donors to their campaigns is read.

    Seems a lot more important than electronics review blogs.

    Doc on
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Doc wrote: »
    I wonder if there should be a similar law for lobbyists, congressmen, and legislation. That is, before any argument on legislation someone presents, a list of related donors to their campaigns is read.

    Seems a lot more important than electronics review blogs.

    Who watches the watchmen, etc.

    DarkPrimus on
  • BarcardiBarcardi All the Wizards Under A Rock: AfganistanRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Is this real? Why haven't i seen this anywhere else?

    What about anonymous references, like.... 90% of all amazon.com reviews? Or doctor reviews online? Or all of Webmd featuring recommendations for drugs to use, whos gonna admit to the free Viagra samples? Or the front page of msn.com brought to you by the chevy volt? The whole thing strikes me as impossible to regulate effectively. I could see the FTC being brought to a halt by under 100 websites, or just all of 4chan and a whole lot of photoshopped payola.

    Barcardi on
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