Free Web Hosting, Compare Hosts, & Coupons

Web Hosting Reviews – we offer ratings and reviews of the best web hosting and free web space service providers on the internet. Includes cheap domain name registration, ecommerce, and other articles.

FTC and Blog Rules

October 24th, 2009 · No Comments · Uncategorized

In December 2009 the FTC will implement new rules and regulations regarding online users and there ability to mention, review or sell products online. What the FTC is demanding is a disclaimer of sorts to be written on any website or post or update (on Twitter or Facebook for example) that the author is being compensated in any way for the writing. This means if you receive anything from a free product (with or without being asked for a review or anything) or payment or service of any kind you have to add the disclaimer. If you don’t the fines can be up to $11,000.

This new ruling is going to be a nightmare to actually enforce. While most sites with posts or updates about products are quite obvious about the fact that they are peddling the product the FTC will be hard pressed to actually hunt them all down and fine them. There are too many factors involved and it will be extremely time intensive. In the meantime many articles have been written about how hard it will be for the FTC to uphold these new rules and how easily they will be overturned if people just raise their voices.
The problems with the new rules are many.
  1. Freedom of speech is being taken away.
  2. The FTC is only targeting online marketers, no other advertising medium (newspapers, magazines, television, radio) is being attacked in this way. This is discriminatory.
  3. In a time of financial turbulence the FTC threatens to take away part of what makes the economy go round.
Overall this ruling is just a bad idea. It is obvious that marketing across the board could probably use a few regulations and closer monitoring but to only pick on the Internet is not okay. If a magazine receives a free product and they decide to write a review we never read a warning that says they received the product for free. We just assume because we aren’t foolish enough to believe that they don’t ever have products sent to them. It is quite obvious when a website owner is part of an affiliate program or being paid to post information. Perhaps our intelligence is being underestimated as consumers.
It is understandable that the FTC wants to protect consumers but it should also want to protect the other sides of this. Everyone should be treated fairly within their Constitutional rights.

Tags: ··