Overall, I’m not surprised that the FTC imposed these new rules on the internet given the ever increasing number of dishonest bloggers and companies exploiting blogging and bloggers to hype their shoddy products. So in many ways these new rules were inevitable, especially with the Federal Government’s current dictatorial nanny-state mentality.
I have no problems with the parts requiring full disclosure if a blogger receives some sort of gain from a review or recommendation. I also like that they got rid of the “results not typical” garbage that’s been used in advertising for so long. Unfortunately our government has a history of trying to insert bureaucracy into the internet and suppress individuals in the name of protecting the public which is what I fear is the real intent of the change.
I suspect it will now also hurt professional post-for-pay bloggers, legitimate or otherwise, assuming the FTC can somehow manage to read each and every single blogpost on the web every single day. Yeah, didn’t think so. Which is where my concern comes in that it will be used as a tool by the government to silence the opposition who writes something the FTC or Federal Government (or elements thereof) doesn’t like.
My other concern is the hypocrisy behind the new rule which doesn’t apply to corporations so that consumers learn the truth of which company owns which other companies or have exclusive deals with them. After all, if the FTC (and by extension the entire Federal Government) consumer protection is what they’re after then full disclosure should be disclosed by all from the smallest blooger to political campaigns to multinational corprorations. Ghost bloggers are bad enough, but federal chicanery disguised as protecting the public good is worse.