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Bloggers face disclosure ruleshttp://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-bloggers6-2009oct06,0,4733519.storyFTC Tells Amateur Bloggers to Disclose Freebies or Be Finedhttp://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/10/ftc-bloggers/FTC Publishes Final Guides Governing Endorsements, Testimonialshttp://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/10/endortest.shtmConcurring Opinions: FTC and Blogger Disclosure Ruleshttp://www.concurringopinions.com/archives/2009/10/ftc-and-blogger-disclosure-rules.htmlGoogle Blog Directoryhttp://www.google.com/press/blogs/directory.htmlRegulating the Internet is a bit like lassoing a cloud: You might be able to do it, but it will probably get away from you sooner or later. This Monday, the Federal Trade Commission issued rules regarding the relationships between advertisers and online product bloggers that have some freedom of speech advocates and prominent bloggers up in arms. It is well known that many bloggers receive products from companies eager to receive positive feedback on their consumer goods, and the Commission was concerned about the issues of disclosure in this regard. Beginning on December 1, those bloggers who review various products will now have to disclose whether they received free products and also if they have any formal ties to companies. In a commentary on the decision, Richard Cleland, the assistant director of the division of advertising practices at the FTC noted "We were looking and seeing the significance of social media marketing in the 21st century and we thought it was time to explain the principles of transparency and truth in advertising and apply them to social media marketing." Some industry groups expressed displeasure with this recent decision, and many in the blogosphere wondered how the government could possible provide oversight of the thousands of product-related blogs that currently exist. The first link will take visitors to a New York Times piece from this Monday which talks about the rules issued by the Federal Trade Commission. The second link leads to a similar article from this Tuesday's Los Angeles Times. Moving along, the third piece leads to an article from WIRED's "Epicenter" column. Here, visitors can read comments from a number of bloggers who write product reviews and also read some engaging questions raised by this decision. The fourth link will whisk users away to the Federal Trade Commission's press release on the matter. The fifth link leads to a fine post from Professor Deven Desai of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law regarding this recent decision, complete with additional links to a relevant paper he wrote recently on the subject. For a bit of fun, the last link leads to Google's Blog Directory, which contains more than a few blogs related to various Google activities and initiatives in the world of public policy, technology, and so on.
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